‘I want to tell local love stories’
Our Perfect Wedding, the popular reality show that recently courted controversy, has another new presenter.
Actress, writer and mother of twin boys Thembisa Mdoda takes over from Tumi Morake in the new season of the show, which will start on January 3.
Dressed in a light-pink, body-con dress and a brightly coloured headscarf, Mdoda told City Press that presenting a reality show was not originally in her plans.
“It was never really my plan to do reality TV. I did host a lifestyle show for Africa Magic and M-Net a while ago, but what really drew me to Our Perfect Wedding is that I am a person who loves love and anything to do with romance, love and happy endings. So when I was called to audition for season five, I was ecstatic.” But Mdoda went off-script during the audition. “My audition piece went out of the window and I decided to just go with it. I did my links, threw in some isiXhosa and prayed to God, saying: ‘Now it’s in your hands.’”
That seemed to do the trick and, earlier this year, she was confirmed as the new presenter of the reality show.
“I was more excited than nervous because it came at the right time. Even after a long wait, it was great to have it happen.”
But the show has been marred by controversy recently. Two sponsors pulled out after a former taxi driver, whose wedding was being featured, boasted about how he used to prowl the streets looking for schoolgirls to sleep with. The man also revealed that he had met his future wife when she was just 14 and he was 28.
Before last Sunday’s episode was aired, it was revealed that the groom had been arrested for forging a bank deposit slip, which he used as confirmation of payment to book the main wedding venue in Midrand. Mdoda, however, is unfazed. “No, because going into this, I wanted to tell the stories of these couples, these people who’ve been through a lot with each other and come to the weekend of their wedding saying: ‘Whatever has happened and whatever happens next, I’m with you.’
“I want to tell these love stories because I went in as a storyteller to show that love exists, and even though these people have been through all this crap, here they are. So that’s how I go into every episode,” she said.
In addition to shooting for Our Perfect Wedding, Mdoda is also starring in an Mzansi Magic drama, The Road. She is also working on two plays, including one that she wrote when she was at university.
“I really want to go into directing and I want to start with theatre. There is a play I have been writing since varsity. It was my thesis and I want to stage it at some point, but the issue is time. God willing, I will do it.
“It’s about relationships, about an interracial relationship and how this relationship makes sense of itself.”
The new Our Perfect Wedding will screen on Mzansi Magic.
Read Basetsana Kumalo’s views on reality TV, page 13