TV REVIEW: Dineo Ranaka is Yim’ Lo's secret

Show: Yim’ Lo

Channel: Mzansi Magic (DStv 161)

When: Tuesday, 20:00

Mzansi Magic has a new reality show. Unfortunately, it’s very similar to one that already exists – The Big Secret with Khanyi Mbau. Exactly the same premise! In Yim’ Lo, host Dineo Ranaka aids people who are seeking to reveal a big secret to their loved ones.

This seems to be a new trend in TV now – shows that reveal deep dark truths. Another trend is South African TV producers simply churning out slightly different versions of the same thing. In their defence, shows take a while in getting to production. In that period – it could be months or years – another person could pitch the same idea to another network all before your show is green lit.

There are countless local shows that fall into this category, including Chivas Venture and Hangman; and Married in a Flash and Married at First Sight.

In terms of Yim’ Lo and The Big Secret, Yim’ Lo is definitely a better show thanks to Ranaka. Mbau seems to go into “Big Celeb” mode when she’s on camera, whereas Ranaka is more relatable.


A plus for Yim'Lo is that it’s short and not filmed too badly. Ranaka, who is no stranger to scandals, seems well suited to the role and shows actual concern and compassion. Her approach to hosting is far less annoying than many others’.

Dealing with reality television, one must always be weary of scripting. Yim’ Lo, like all reality shows, has some scripting, but it’s never too obvious. The people on the show seem sincere and so do some of the double lives they lead. In one episode, Fefe, a young woman who sings at church on Sundays, has to tell her friend and mother that she twerks for money. That’s light in comparison to issues like cross-dressing or being secretly married.

Either way, I’m not sure why a person would want to disclose a secret of grave magnitude on national TV. How would you even be sure that people are reacting to your news in a sincere way or whether they’re censoring themselves due to the cameras? How do the Yim’ Lo crew announce themselves without causing shock? It is entertaining but I would recommend calling your loved ones and disclosing truths off camera.