Cape Town – M-Net’s spin-off version of Date My Family Zambia, following after the hugely successful South African version on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161), has been hit by scandal following revelations over fake participants used in the show.
MultiChoice Africa and M-Net broadcast the show on M-Net's Zambezi Magic (DStv 160) channel in Southern Africa, excluding South Africa.
Looking to cash in on the immense popularity of the show's format in South Africa, M-Net greenlit a spin-off version for Zambezi Magic, but the fake spin-off version somehow failed to adhere to the strict production values and guidelines followed by the South African version.
The producers of Date My Family Zambia failed to properly vet the participants beforehand, resulting in a faked show, as viewers discovered. The show is produced by Media365.
The scandal has compromised the integrity of the show after revelations that several couples who have appeared on the show have cheated by having known each other already, and that in several cases they had already been in established romantic relationships before they "met" in episodes.
M-Net and Date My Family Zambia moved their burden to pre-check contestants, to viewers, who quickly started to point out, using simply social media platforms that can be easily reached and used by anyone, that participants have known each other before and have already been in romantic relationships.
MultiChoice Zambia and M-Net are now distancing themselves from the mistakes, saying the producers on Date My Family Zambia relies on the participants and the information they provide to the show.
Banks, hospitals, courts, schools and other institutions don't just rely on the information provided by people and carry out checks to verify the accuracy and authenticity.
"For this purpose, our show producers rely heavily on the honesty of the applicants and full disclosure thereof," says MultiChoice Zambia in a statement.
"However, due to misrepresentation by several participants of recent episodes, we have endeavoured to ensure a stricter vetting process so that our valued DStv customers can continue to enjoy an authentic entertainment experience with real honest conversations," says MultiChoice Zambia.