Tony’s Column 23 Jan’18

. 23rd January 2018

TonysColumnAt a dinner party some time ago, one of the guests asked me a very good question.

Now remember this is my opinion and many others may well disagree with it. I can only plead my opinion is borne out of many years of experience both in South Africa as well as other countries in show business.

Here’s the question: – Why is it countries like Australia give the world big pop stars, presenters, actresses, comedians etc, yet South Africa can only offer one or two to the entertainment world.

Wow, what do I say to that without being rude and critical; with the best intentions and honesty this is my personal opinion and answer.

Our whole entertainment system is immature and lacks support. Yes there are pockets of success but no continuity and an incredible lack of dedication. It has worsened since the mid-90s when there was a modicum of stardom acceptance and appreciation.

We can of course look to world stars like Trevor Noah and Charlize Theron, but let’s not kid ourselves they were low key until they went to America.

Let’s use Trevor as an example. Why did he have to go to America to become a top notch talk show host. Therein lies part of the problem the TV networks DSTV, E-TV, and SABC 1,2,3 could have started a talk show with Trevor as host, why didn’t they?

Simple they couldn’t recognise to create a show or its potential, they only know how to buy shows from overseas that somebody else has created. Sadly the fault not only lies on one side it lies with both sides.

Personally as a talk show host myself (once) I gave up on them. They couldn’t recognise a proverbial p…up in a brewery. A talk show is the cheapest TV show you can put on. We have dozens of famous people passing through Cape Town every month and guess what they do not have to be paid to appear they view it as a promotional opportunity.

I hear young girls saying I am going to be an actress never to be heard of again. Why? Again they think it’s easy to become famous if they are good looking, forget it pure dedication, perseverance and self-promotion must augment talent. Same goes for males as well.

We need proper agents who recognise talent and honestly have the capability of placing talent, not get rich quick peddlers who make you pay for a photographic session never to be heard of again. Finally I must say this is the rude part. Certain sections of our society are and were in the past spoilt brats who feel entitled to be famous, to you I say get real and earn it the hard way serve your internship then learn to be professional. In the world of reality and hard knocks stop whining. “There is no entitlement in show biz”.

Most South Africans in all spheres of show biz would not last 5 seconds overseas where the competition is fiercer. Thus we have a second rate entertainment industry.

My apologies to those who really are talented and deserve a break. I salute those entertainers who really do try in South Africa.

Category: Tony's Column

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