Fake it ’til you make it

Reneilwe takes a very real roller­coaster ride on her re­al­ity show when trolls at­tack her suc­cess and her weight.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - RHYTHM CITY -

Don’t for a sec­ond be­lieve every­thing that you see on re­al­ity shows, warns Amo Chidi, whose char­ac­ter Reneilwe has her own fly-on-the-wall se­ries. “It’s not real – from hir­ing the fancy sportscars to bor­row­ing clothes from de­sign­ers for an episode and claim­ing it’s yours, this is just about sell­ing an im­age.” Singer Reneilwe hires a per­sonal trainer on Mon­day 10 De­cem­ber to lose weight, know­ing that she will be in the spot­light even more when the cam­eras start rolling on Tues­day 18 De­cem­ber. “Be­ing in the pub­lic eye is tough for her,” says Amo. “Renei is con­stantly bul­lied and fat-shamed on so­cial me­dia but there is noth­ing wrong with how she looks.” The bul­ly­ing is so bad that Reneilwe is will­ing to take dras­tic steps on Tues­day 11 De­cem­ber to get the re­sults – and she doesn’t care if it af­fects her health.

KEEP­ING UP WITH RENEI

“She stops eat­ing and starts liv­ing at the gym. She’s los­ing her mind. She’ll be worn out by the time that the cam­eras ar­rive,” adds Amo. What the pop­star doesn’t know yet is that her pub­lic strug­gle will res­onate with her true fans and make her show a hit – if only she can be brave enough to face it. Be­sides feel­ing over­worked and fa­tigued, Reneilwe feels woozy af­ter miss­ing an­other meal on Wed­nes­day 12 De­cem­ber. “She has ter­ri­ble headaches, but she con­tin­ues to starve her­self,” says Amo. Reneilwe’s boss

Bongi (Thembi Seete) spots the warn­ing signs when the singer strug­gles to stay awake in their meet­ing on Thurs­day 13 De­cem­ber. “She or­ders the mu­si­cian to visit a doc­tor but Renei has an­other type of doc­tor in mind,” ex­plains Amo. “She goes to a plas­tic sur­geon to find out about li­po­suc­tion! Renei wants to look her best for the re­al­ity show but she can’t af­ford to get the pro­ce­dure. The pres­sure is get­ting to her head and she can’t han­dle it.”

GET­TING REAL

Renei is a ball of nerves on Tues­day 18 De­cem­ber. She hasn’t had lipo and her gym-starve rou­tine hasn’t helped. “This isn’t how she thought be­ing a fa­mous celebrity would be,” says Amo. Renei ex­pected her fans to fo­cus on her mu­sic and “that’s the side she wants to re­veal on the re­al­ity show and sur­pris­ingly, it works – her fans can re­late to her in­se­cu­ri­ties. She isn’t go­ing to go through with the surgery and she feels good about her­self for a change,” ex­plains Amo. “While she still has trolls, Renei feels closer to her fans who can see that it isn’t easy be­ing her. They’re sup­port­ive and love her more than ever and she can be her­self, flaws and all.”

Renei (cen­tre) gets sup­port from her friends and fans.

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