Bet­ter than Bo­nang

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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

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