‘I want to tell lo­cal love sto­ries’

CityPress - - News -

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


Them­bisa Mdoda

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