This is Freedom: The Mandela reality show

So three of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren will star in their own reality television show for South African television. The show will go on air in 2012. The main characters will be sisters Swati Dlamini-Manaway (34), and Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway (32), and their cousin, Dorothy Adjoa Amuah (27). They had a press conference in Johannesburg to announce the show. One journalist, writing about the launch, likened the show to something resembling “… the Kennedys, with a dash of the Kardashians.” I can’t even imagine what that is.

One of the stars, Dorothy Amuah refers to herself as part of “a new middle class of intellectuals” and was quick to play down the comparisons: they’re definitely “not the African Kardasians.”

Their bios:

Dlamini-Manaway, 34, has two children (a 10-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter), and another child due in January. She works for the family business, Mandela Dlamini Associates, and wants to launch a clothing line. Dlamini, 32, is a single mother who is re-launching her career by setting up a foundation to focus on medical, education and housing issues.  Amuah, 27, has a law degree and MBA from Monaco. She works in the luxury brand market.

What are the aims of the producers?:

They want to use the daily lives of the Mandela girls to showcase a new generation of working women in South Africa – while at the same time, giving a glimpse into the daily lives of this prominent, high-profile family.

Turns out one of them was executive producer of “Dr. 90210;” a show about plastic surgery in Beverley Hills.

Oh, and the Mandelas–and presumably the South African masses–fought for this:

The show’s producer’s however, say the Mandela family feels they have “fought for the right for their children to choose their own destiny.”

Meanwhile a “source” close to the Mandela family told the usually rightwing British tabloid, The Telegraph:

The commodification of the Mandela name is rampant and many are watching [the production of the reality show] with growing alarm.

This is freedom.

Further Reading

Where the social is political

On 9 May 2017, residents of six neighborhoods across South Africa’s richest province, Gauteng, protested about lack of basic services, housing and employment. A local TV news crew captured the frustrations of a resident from Ennerdale, one of the affected neighborhoods: “When …

Hack, make, sell

How to change the erroneous perception of Africa as technology backwater. Go look, for example, at what the “Maker Movement” is doing in Ghana and Nigeria.

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.