Better than Bonang
Finally a talk show that does not gloss over women’s issues with over-the-top, celebrity-driven interviews and frivolous content. I’m sure many men would find it easy to dismiss Rise as a feminist talk show aimed at advancing women’s issues at the expense of men. But if we as a society are serious about turning the tide against rape and abuse, then we need more programmes like this. Of course, women’s talk is a crowded space. Even e.tv has Katch It With Khanyi and Ekse: Let’s Talk – Zwakala, an offshoot of Masechaba Lekalake’s show. SABC3 recently launched Afternoon Express with Bonang Matheba. Now SABC1 has joined the fray with Rise, a different breed of show altogether.
Hosted by broadcaster Kgomotso Matsunyane, alongside Lebo Ramafoko and two rising young stars in talk TV, Khanyisile Mazibuko and Nyiko Shikwambane, Rise offers a rare frankness. Some topics may even make men uncomfortable. Good.
This is no cooking show with fashion tips and celebrity gossip. There are also no hunks prancing about half-naked. Whether she’s talking self-image, teenage pregnancy, alcohol abuse or transactional sex, Matsunyane is bold and unflinching in her views, as is Ramafoko. Last week, she questioned why men found fault with her bald head at a time when she was battling hair loss due to alopecia. Men assumed she had cancer. In a typical patriarchal society, Ramafoko said it was not appropriate for men to be allowed get away with certain stereotypes while women could not raise issues as a result of societal pressures.
Relating her ordeal at the hands of family members, Mazibuko cried when she spoke about how a family member had found fault with her weight. It is these frank and hard-hitting conversations that will draw viewers to the show. Men would do well to tune in and learn a thing or two. – Siyabonga Sithole