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Gone are the days when reality TV stars were considered to be “famous for being famous”. In fact, the reality TV boom has become such a phenomenon, even the most “talented” celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and T.I. are embracing this genre. While reality TV continues to face significant criticism since its rise in popularity, the demand for the television genre continues to surge drastically. Many of you might know about my love for reality TV, a love affair that began way before the Kardashians. I remember skipping Programming classes to catch up on MTV’s Laguna Beach: The Real OC, which had the awkward 13h00 timeslot. I moved on to shows such as Runs House, VH1’s Fabulous Life, Kimora’s Life In The Fab Lane and The Hills to name a few. I’m also a huge fan of social media commentary, sharing my views on reality TV content. However, this weekend I found myself on the wrong side of fans (read paid influencers) when I made some comments about the star of a new reality show on SABC3.

So many have walked the reality path before and many will in the years to come. I understand how seeing unfavorable comments made about you on social media can be offensive, however choosing to air your personal life on a public platform, in the form of a reality series, does expose you to public opinions. Many times, stars such as reality royalty Kim Kardashian West have expressed how tough it is to live out your life in front of the world, while also stating that it comes with the territory and she and her family have with time learnt to block out negative comments. We are currently gearing up for the launches of SA’s highly anticipated reality shows, that of media powerhouse Bonang Matheba and house music’s Dj Zinhle, both launching this winter. These events have thus inspired me to share a brief guide on how to turn reality into a hit.


  1. Find a good production house

All good reality TV shows begin with a good concept, but it takes a really good production house to deliver the concept in an authentic manner that connects and sticks with the audience. I always say this, producers know best. Trust them. Listen to them. Follow their direction. Great producers will help you deliver your story in the best way possible.

  1. Develop a story line

I know it’s meant to be reality, but any tv show needs to have a good flow. The content of a show should show structure in the form of a story line, or your viewers will end up feeling like they are watching a series of Instagram stories.

  1. Be prepared to strip for your audience

There is no point in doing a reality show if one is not prepared to bare their souls to their audience. Often times, viewers are looking to get closer to the subject beyond what the media reveals. Get naked!

  1. Have a bigger purpose

A lot of reality stars have become sound entrepreneurs through the fame that comes with being on a show of this format. If you’re in it just for the fame, re-evaluate your strategy as quickly as possible. Fame is not sustainable as new reality shows crop up every week. Be encouraged to think beyond the glitz and attention by building a sustainable brand that will live beyond the show.

  1. If you’re looking for claps only, don’t start

Don’t even start if you think everyone will clap for everything you do on a public platform. The reality is, you’re exposing yourself to public scrutiny when you choose to share your life with the public. Be prepared to take the punches that come with the fame. In life, not everyone will approve of your actions. Public opinion comes with having a reality show. Know why you started and do YOU!

Images: Bravo/MTV/E!/VH1/Vulkan/FashionBombDaily

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