How real are Jozi's Real Housewives?

TV REVIEW

Show: Real Housewives of Johannesburg

Channel: 1Magic (DStv 103)

When: Friday, 19:00

Rating:

It’s been a long time since a show received as much buzz as The Real Housewives of Johannesburg did when it was announced a month ago.

And that’s not because we particularly cared for any of the cast members, who are fairly unknown outside of the Jozi “money” circle. It can largely be attributed to the success of the franchise after the original show, The Real Housewives of Orange County, premiered in 2006 and its successful spin-off series over the following decade, which included locations such as New York City, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Miami and Atlanta. Many of those spin-offs are aired in South Africa, and still continue to take in high viewership numbers.

The first instalment of The Real Housewives outside of the US was developed in Athens, Greece, which later led to series based in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; Hungary; and now, finally, Johannesburg.

Evodia Mogase, Mercy Mogase, Brinnette Seopela, Naledi Willers, Christall Kay and Busisiwe Ter Mors are some of Johannesburg’s housewives and hopeful entertainers and by now have had their third episode aired on 1Magic.

When we meet the designated divas in the first episode, it’s clear that the women have studied their predecessors and know which are the best reality show tricks they can use to boost their relevance. But that well will soon dry, as many viewers are already familiar with other Real Housewives’ antics.


What we don’t need is almost half an episode dedicated to Christall being upset that Busisiwe didn’t pick the dress she chose for the latter to wear to Brinnette’s wedding. Do people have problems like that in real life? I doubt even the rich do. It’s just lazy scripting, actually.

Instead, Diepkloof-born teacher Evodia – who now owns a well-to-do catering business – has become one of the show’s darlings.

“I’m a diva. This diva you’re looking at is a queen of the town. I slay. And what madam wants, madam gets,” Evodia says with a serious expression as she introduces herself in the first episode of the series. It must have been love at first sight for any reality show addict when she uttered those words.

Evodia’s daughter Mercy joins her as the tough, outspoken princess. The two together are an intimidating duo that will certainly be carrying the show and keeping it interesting as the petty pair who stir the pot and refuse to back down.

And while some of the stars are already working their magic, the show’s producers need to help the real housewives’ family members with their acting skills. So far, most of their appearances on the show are unconvincing at best, and absolutely terrible at worst.


“You need a lot of servants,” lawyer-turned-businesswoman Christall explained when discussing what’s required to maintain a mansion like hers. Moving on from just how problematic and ignorant a statement that is, it does paint an obvious picture about her persona. It seems she’s already getting under everyone’s skin with her ridiculous antics. But if I was in charge of casting, I probably would have chosen her to do exactly that.

An unanswered question is how Naledi Willers – married to Metro FM’s Naked DJ – is living the high life depicted on Real Housewives. Sure, deejays make some good money, but to live that high a life you need to be raking in cash like that of Black Coffee, Fresh or Euphonik. Hopefully, Twitter will figure out the answer to that one in time.

As for the other housewives, hopefully they’ll make an impression as the season warms up.

Will The Real Housewives of Johannesburg make it to 13 seasons like The Real Housewives of Orange County has? I’m not convinced, but for now: bring on the popcorn.