THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Uhm, apologies for asking this, but where's the white people in the 6th season of Tropika Island of Treasure on SABC1?


Either white people don't drink Tropika, didn't enter, weren't chosen or considered good enough, or through a statistical miracle were never a lucky entry drawn - cause there aint any of them in the 6th season of Tropika Island of Treasure on SABC1 which starts tonight for six episodes.

A few other strange things also happened on the way to the island. I asked SABC1 earlier in the week about these, but got no answers.

At the end of the 5th season in 2013 - the one which went ahead with the broadcast and included Reeva Steenkamp after she was shot and killed by Oscar Pistorius - Tropika Island of Treasure put out a press statement, with Stimulii announcing that the end of the 5th season "marks the end of a five season sponsorship of the series by Tropika".

Tropika of course is a Clover brand.

Stimulii also said that the 6th season of Island of Treasure "is headed to the Seychelles".

Strangely, Tropika is back as the advertiser-funded production's sponsor. And the show isn't taking place in the Seychelles as promised but in Mauritius.

Pearl Thusi is the presenter.

The six chosen contestants in the 6th season of Tropika Island of Treasure are Boitumelo "Diamond Seakatsie, Thando "Tdo" Hlophe, Mohau Pitso, Oratile Mokgwetsi, Athisen Cooper and Natacia Mokoka.

There would be a national outcry if one of the three public TV channels of the public broadcaster had a reality competition show which had no black contestant. Yet the inverse is done and allowed.

It's so unseemly and tacky to have to remark on something like this as a TV critic - with the 5th general elections which took place on Wednesday, South Africa is 20 years into its democracy.

There should be space for everyone; there is space for everyone.

A public broadcaster in its programming should reflect that and represent everyone as part of an inclusive approach to depicting diverse multi-cultural plurality - especially a channel important as as big as SABC1. It shouldn't be necessary to have to go: Where is the Indian woman? Where is the white man? Where is the black woman?

It's embarrassing.