The Star Late Edition

KEEPING UP WITH KELLY KHUMALO

- DEBASHINE THANGEVELO debashine.thangevelo@inl.co.za

IT’S not often that we get to see sequels to celeb-anchored reality shows. When that happens, best you remember that it is because the subject matter resonates with viewers And they do wonders for ratings.

It also explains why Living the Dream with Somizi and Being Bonang have been renewed for several seasons.

While I highly doubt we will see a second instalment of Lebo M – Coming Home – his third separation notwithsta­nding – I loved the first season of Life with Kelly Khumalo.

Much of the appeal also lies with The BarLeader for their first-rate production value. They ensured the narrative was aligned with public curiosity. After all, the questions around the untimely passing of Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, who is the baby daddy of her daughter, Thingo, remain a talking point.

The first season was shot in lockdown. There were plenty of restrictio­ns and Khumalo was feeling the frustratio­ns of being confined to her luxurious home. Yeah, that’s hard. Not.

We got to witness her expand her business interest, work on a new album and navigate thorny family issues; from a fallout with her sister and questions raised about her father, which saw her mother leave the house.

Khumalo was unapologet­ic. I didn’t mind that though. She owned her truth. So respect.

I remember interviewi­ng her and she was very clear about a few things. She also told me in no uncertain terms that she is “not looking to set the record straight”.

Viewers got to witness her spiritual side as she tried to appease the ancestors. There was also talk about “the calling” but it wasn’t explored in greater detail.

She opened up about her strained relationsh­ip with Molemo Maarohanye, aka Jub Jub, who is the father of her son, Christian.

When things got too much, she turned to her confidants – BFF’s Brenda Mtambo and Thami Dish.

What I loved about the series is that it was entertaini­ng, insightful and it offered a no-holds-barred take on one of SA’s most controvers­ial stars. Heck, we even got to witness her skin-lightening journey. A growing fad in the industry that has become a bone of contention, too.

There were several unfinished issues from the first season, which I’m sure will be addressed in the second. And I’m dying to know more about her comment: “I’m not in a relationsh­ip; I am playing with someone.”

Given her reputation, she is clearly treading cautiously as she ventures into the dating scene again.

I’ve said this before. I’m not here to pass judgement on the verity of the controvers­ies involving her. After binging on the first season, I have developed a silent admiration for her as a woman, mother and star.

Her comment says it all. “My reality show is my way of owning my reality and embracing who I am.

“What I’ve learnt is that it gives me power to own my story. No one can ever use my story against me. This is me, who I am, whether good or bad.” The new series starts streaming on Showmax on Thursday, May 13.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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