Friday, June 17, 2022

TV REVIEW. Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ is the sterling Star Wars character study you've been longing for.


8 TV's  
 
 

by Thinus Ferreira

The 6-episode limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ is sterling Star Wars: In short, these are the episodes you've been looking for.

With Ewan McGregor back as now a Jedi-in-hiding on Tatooine and Hayden Christensen reprising his role from the Star Wars prequel films as well (the angry Anakin now turned to the dark side as Darth Vader), Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Star Wars character study that's emotional, beautifully done, and a perfect fill-in-the-history gap between Star Wars Episodes III and IV.

As if The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett were practice-makes-perfect precursors to doing Star Wars as episodic television, Obi-Wan Kenobi shines as near-perfect prestige television in the streaming age.

The return of Obi-Wan with Ewan McGregor simply living and fully embodying the role, is emotional TV watching and more than everything a Star Wars fan could ever want. The first two episodes are filled with foreboding, beautiful realism for an exotic galaxy so far away, nostalgia of what you remember and is instantly back from the prequels and then more.

Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like the best Star Wars TV series yet, with iconic characters back for a well-deserved and functional curtain call, and with director Deborah Chow flexing her Star Wars muscles from The Mandalorian to push the envelope with ease even further.

In a physical setting, as well as a metaphysical circumstance, of loss, desolation, disconnection, regret and hiding, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ thrives. These are dark times in the galaxy - how apt that that world so far away resonates with echoes of our own world in 2022.

The masterful Obi-Wan Kenobi is very special Star Wars - as TV it functions with clear affection as a story/film in a kind of Episode 3.5-bridge between the prequels and original trilogy. It's cinematic, surprising, emotional, unexpected, sorrowful and sad with a dash of hope. 

Living in a world lost, Ewan McGregor's iconic and solitary character can't be his authentic self. He has to physically and mentally hide who he really is. Meanwhile, he's hovering-watching over Luke Skywalker - already noticing the same spirit of adventure and Jedi-potential in the 10-year old there was in his father, Anakin.

(Little surprise: There are still pockets of beauty, gleaming technology and joy in this galaxy: It's not just a 10-year old Luke on Tatooine you'll see. There's also his 10-year old bun-haired twin sister on Alderaan, as well as several other surprise appearances of old and well-known characters.

The Inquisitors as Jedi hunters are a more than apt menacing addition to the story. "What happened to you - you were once a great Jedi?" asked a character in the first episode. "The time of the Jedi is over," Obi-Wan intones with a tired voice. 

But yes, he does rise to the occasion, eventually, for another rescue mission, and one last fight.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is on Disney+.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

MultiChoice: Despite erosion DStv Premium subscriber segment remains important.


by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice says its top-end and most-valuable DStv Premium subscribers which saw ongoing customer erosion for a fifth year in a row remain important and that it's adapting to try and lower churn in this segment as customers cancelled because of affordability, emigration and a content slate not matching changing viewer needs.

MultiChoice meanwhile has set itself the target of spending half of its annual general entertainment budget on local content produced in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa by 2024, as it discovered that its content line-up for its mid-market DStv subscribers has been unhelpful in retaining them.

Speaking to investors on the company's annual investors call, following the publication of its latest financial results for the year ending on 31 March 2022, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said the company has been "reviewing its dependence on the Premium base by actively growing the mid and mass-market customer base".

During the period, the company's DStv Premium subscriber base again shrank by 4%.

By the end of the published financial year, MultiChoice had 1.4 million DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus subscribers in South Africa, with the Randburg-based satellite pay-TV service continuing to see its subscriber growth now coming from its mass-market focused, lower-tiered DStv packages.

The decrease in DStv Premium subscribers, and increase in lower-tiered DStv customers, as part of the overall DStv subscriber base mix, means that MultiChoice's blended average revenue per user (ARPU) once again dropped further from R277 to R269.   

Premium DStv subscribers are leaving for video streaming options like Netflix SA and others, saying that DStv Premium no longer offers enough value for the high consumer price point.

"The past few years saw an erosion in our Premium base due to pressure on affordability in a tough economic environment, a rise in emigration, and a content slate that was perhaps not optimised for the changing demographics of our customer base," Calvo Mawela told investors. 

"Given its absolute contribution, Premium remains important and retention has been a key focus of our recent strategy. Our efforts are paying off and this year saw a welcome deceleration in the rate of decline from 8% last year to only 4%."

He said "another key part of our strategy for the South African business which is maturing at the high end is the launch of new products and services to grow ARPU (average revenue per user) over time".

Calvo Mawela told investors that MultiChoice's "content teams will continue to invest behind our local content strategy where we are targeting to spend half of our annual general entertainment budget on local content by the 2024 financial year."

"The year ahead will not be without challenges. High inflation is likely to affect consumers across our markets and some may have to reprioritise their spending in the short term. At the same time, people are likely to spend more time at home, which could be a positive for us," he said.


Lots of consumers under pressure
"We have always said that we think DStv Premium will get to a stage where it stabilises because everybody that will be on Premium, will be at the higher end of the market that will like to have all video entertainment at a given point in time," he said.

"We believe that we're getting close to that stabilisation point where we'll have the high end sitting on Premium, and marginal increases in pricing will not affect them that much."

"In the mid-segment, as we've reported, we are seeing a lot of consumers under pressure as a result of unemployment, and people having lost their jobs and that is an area that we think is still going to be a pain point in the financial year," he explained.


DStv content line-up unhelpful
Calvo Mawela told investors "what we are beginning to pick up as well in the middle segment is that our content line-up as well has not helped in this regard, especially towards the end of the financial year".

"We think it will be a pain point but we are actively working hard to make sure that we retain as much customers as we can."

"Mass market will continue to grow; we don't see any problems there. We think the product demonstrates value and people love our product very well and we have not seen a slowdown in decoder sales in South Africa in the mass market."

⭕️🔺🟥 How far will you go? ⭕️🔺🟥 South Africans can now enter Netflix's Squid Game reality competition show as 456 global players try to win $4.56 million.


by Thinus Ferreira

Run when the dolly's eyes are closed! South Africans can now enter Squid Game: The Challenge, with Netflix that is turning its global, hit drama series about a brutal and apocalyptic reality contest into a real-life reality series with 456 contestants and one winner who will get $4.56 million (R72.9 million). No contestants will die. 

Netflix has announced that its Korean drama series Squid Game, currently in production on a second season, is being spun off into a global reality show with the biggest prize money for a show ever - $4.56 million (R72.9 million).

The horrific drama series in which 456 players who are all in big financial trouble compete in deadly children's games inside a deadly reality show, became Netflix's most-watched show ever after its debut in September 2021, with over 1.65 billion hours viewed globally.

The 10-episode Squid Game: The Challenge will be produced in the United Kingdom with 456 players from across the globe who will compete against each other in games based on the series, plus new additions, with the show's format all connected to the origins of Squid Game and with players put through their paces in a series of tough games testing their strategies, alliances and character as they are eliminated round after round until just one is left.

People worldwide can enter, including South Africans who are older than 21, have a passport and who will be able to travel to the UK for four weeks in early-2023 for filming. 

People who want to enter can go to SquidGameCasting.com and must upload a 1-minute video in landscape mode, telling the show about yourself, why you want to be on Squid Game: The Challenge, what your game plan would be and what you would do with a huge cash prize if you won. Two recent photos must also be uploaded and contestants must be able to speak English.

Squid Game: The Challenge is co-produced by Studio Lamberts, with Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, and Toni Ireland as executive producers, as well as John Hay, Nicola Hill, and Nicola Brown from The Garden which is part of ITV Studios, as executive producers as well.

"Squid Game took the world by storm with director Hwang's captivating story and iconic imagery," says Brandon Riegg, Netflix vice president of unscripted and documentary series.

"We're grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment. Fans of the drama series are in for a fascinating and unpredictable journey as our 456 real world contestants navigate the biggest competition series ever, full of tension and twists, with the biggest ever cash prize at the end."

"Recruitment is open now at SquidGameCasting.com. For this round, the Front Man is in search of English-language speakers from any part of the world."

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

TV RATINGS May 2022: Blackouts, analogue switch-off wipe millions from South Africa's TV ratings in May.


by Thinus Ferreira

South African television shed a shocking over 4.2 million viewers in prime time during May as TV ratings tanked because of Eskom's Stage 4 electricity blackouts, combined with the ongoing switch-off of analogue TV signal transmitters.

South Africa's TV ratings - as the country starts to move from autumn into winter - were supposed to show a slight increase as cooler weather and an earlier sunset keep more TV households indoors.

Yet the country's most-watched shows during prime time on SABC1, SABC2, e.tv and MultiChoice's DStv were damaged by massive viewership drop-offs during May as Stage 4 Eskom load-shedding kicked in at 17:00, lasting until 22:00.

Uzalo and Generations on SABC1 as South Africa's two most-watched shows plunged by a combined 1.6 million viewers during May. Uzalo shed 687 950 viewers, falling from 6.4 million in April to 5.7 million viewers. Generations - The Legacy lost almost a million viewers: 928 965 fewer viewers from 5.56 million to 4.63 million viewers in May.

SABC2's most-watched show, Muvhango, lost a whopping 876 721, plunging from 3.28 million to 2.4 million viewers in May.

e.tv's two most-watched shows also took a hammering: Scandal fell by 454 506 viewers from 5.27 million to 4.82 million viewers, while House of Zwide lost 69 030 viewers from 4.58 million to 4.52 million viewers.

The channel's timeslot switcheroo of Imbewu and its risque new local telenovela The Black Door brought further bad TV ratings for e.tv's for both shows for a second month in a row, with Imbewu shedding 531 656 viewers, falling from 2.86 million to 2.32 million viewers, and with The Black Door plunging 217 964 viewers from 2.44 million to 2.23 million viewers.  

SABC3 turned in its second-worst ratings performance of the year, topping out at just 518 197 viewers at most for an episode of the BBC's Serengeti natural history series and everything else down as analogue signal switch-off keeps taking further TV household number bites out of the channel's potential audience. 

To note: SABC3 is the SABC's TV channel most-affected by the ongoing Sentech analogue TV signal transmission switch-off.

On pay-TV, Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) saw Gomora sag by losing 150 368 DStv subscribers from 1.27 to 1.12 million viewers, while The Queen shed 325 234 viewers from 1 077 302 to 752 068.


Some uppers among the downers
On SABC2 the Afrikaans weekday soap 7de Laan showed slight improvement during June, up from a low 897 739 viewers to 1 040 016 viewers in May.

Morning Live on SABC2 also remained buoyant, improving from a great 482 301 to 492 423 viewers in May. 

On e.tv its South Africa Tonight news at 19:00 was marginally up from 1.67 million to 1.7 million viewers in May, while the 20:00 e.tv News bulletin which went through a retrenchment process in May decreased slightly from 1.92 million to 1.75 million viewers in May.

The cancelled Durban Gen rose slightly from 2.75 million to 2.82 million viewers during May.

Warner Bros. Discovery's TLC channel does gay pride content in June 2022 but just for South Africa.


by Thinus Ferreira

Warner Bros. Discovery will be celebrating Pride month with a line-up of gay-related content from today until 26 June for its TLC channel (DStv 135) in Africa carried on MultiChoice's DStv but just shown in South Africa.

Following complaints from governments in other African countries in previous years, Warner Bros. Discovery is self-censoring, with the LGBTQIA+ related programming on TLC only shown in South Africa, and kept away from DStv subscribers in homophobic African nations like Kenya, Nigeria and others with replacement programming.

Warner Bros. Discovery says it's "celebrating the channel's diverse talent with a rainbow of TLC favourites, new shows and specials, highlighting lesbian, gay and transgender voices". While the content will be accessible to DStv subscribers in South Africa, it won't be seen by viewers watching TLC in other African countries.

When asked if Warner Bros. Discovery has concerns that there might be complaints about the gay-related content being shown on TLC in countries like Kenya and Nigeria, Warner Bros. Discovery told TVwithThinus in response to a media query that it is "aware of the sensitivities in these regions and therefore TLC Pride isn't scheduled to air in these countries".

In October 2015 Discovery Networks International was forced to pull the reality series I Am Jazz about a transgendered teen's struggle and life journey from TLC across Africa just before it was to begin broadcast following government censorship in Nigeria that impacted its screening across the entire continent.

In May 2016 NBCUniversal International Networks was forced to pull the second season of I Am Cait, a reality show about the transgender Caitlyn Jenner – formerly known as Bruce Jenner - from E! in Africa after complaints and a DStv TV-ban in Nigeria.

In July 2016, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, now Paramount, said it would be censoring an episode of The Loud House on Nickelodeon and won't be broadcasting it on its linear channel on DStv in Africa since it featured animated gay dads.

In June 2017 Kenya's Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned 7 kids cartoon for bogus reasons like saying one character "has a dick for a head", and that in another two characters of the same gender went on an (unseen) "implied romantic vacation", ordering MultiChoice Africa to remove Loud House, The Legend of Korra, Hey Arnold, Clarence, Steven Universe, Adventure Time and Star vs the Forces of Evil from DStv because of "homosexual themes".

In November 2017 Kenya banned the Disney Channel show Andi Mack because it featured a gay teenager, keeping it off television for the entire Africa, including South Africa.

M-Net (DStv 101) which has different regionalised channel feeds for South, East and West Africa has also kept certain internationally acquired content away over the last decade from DStv subscribers and more conservative audiences in East and West Africa, like American Gods and the transsexual model agency reality series Strut shown to viewers in South Africa without complaints.

About its Pride June programming stunt, Warner Bros. Discovery says "from 13 till 26 June, viewers can enjoy brand new shows like Kenny and Armando: Love is Love, showing the love story of 90 Day Fiancé couple Kenny and Armando so far; and My Pregnant Husband, which shows how couples experience the joy – and challenges - of a transgender pregnancy".

"Viewers can also tune in for a selection from one of TLC's most well-loved shows, Say Yes To The Dress; a show that celebrates love in all forms, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation".

This is TLC's Pride programming line-up:

Say Yes To The Dress, 13 - 24 June weekdays, 12:00
Kleinfeld Bridal, a Manhattan-based salon that is arguably the world’s finest, is celebrating love in all forms, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Over 250 consultants do their best to cater to the brides’ wishes in preparation for one of the most memorable days of their lives.

I Am Jazz, 13 - 24 June, weekdays, 22:55
Although assigned male at birth, Jazz is a transgender female and has been living as a girl since kindergarten. Jazz's parents, Jeanette and Greg, and siblings Ari, Griffen and Sander have stood side-by-side with Jazz as she's battled discrimination, hate speech, online bullying and other misconceptions associated with what it means to be transgender.

Nate & Jeremiah: By Design, Wednesday 15 & 22 19 June, 9:25
Balancing their roles as design experts and dads, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent show how to turn a money pit into a masterpiece. The designer husbands help clients learn from their mistakes by rescuing them from renovation nightmares.

Dragnificent! | 17 - 24 June, weekdays, 19:00
Alexis Michelle, Bebe Zahara Benet, Jujubee and Thorgy Thor, four of America's favourite drag queens, come to the rescue of those in need of a major change for an upcoming life milestone. The queens help people reimagine themselves inside and out and reveal their transformations in time for a special day.

90 Day Journey: Stephanie & Erika, Sunday 19 June, 18:00
After four months of dating online, YouTuber Stephanie travels to Australia to finally meet photographer Erika. They hope to deepen their connection in person, but things are complicated by the fact that neither woman has come out to her family.

My Pregnant Husband, Sunday 19 June, 19:00
Ari and Caitlin and Myles and Precious experience the joy of a transgender pregnancy when Ari and Myles, the men in their relationships, become pregnant. The couples must conquer unique obstacles when the person carrying and birthing their child is a man.

Kenny and Armando: Love is Love, Sunday 26 June, 18:00
Kenny and Armando, well-known from the hit-series 90 Day Fiancé, met on an online support group for fathers. Kenny has decided to leave his family behind and move south of the border to be with him. Being a gay couple in Mexico, however, could pose a much bigger challenge than Kenny could imagine. Kenny and Armando: Love is Love shows their love story so far.

Ayo Ajala upped as MultiChoice Nigeria chief operating officer.

by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice Nigeria has promoted Ayo Ajala as MultiChoice Nigeria's chief operating officer (COO) from April 2022.

Ayo Ajala who joined MultiChoice Africa in 2004, previously worked at the African pay-TV operator's Africa division in various positions and was group executive head for human resources at MultiChoice Africa since 2019.

MultiChoice Nigeria, in a statement it issued a month and a half after his appointment since April, says Ajo Ajala as MultiChoice Nigeria COO will now "oversee customer functions and the business operations of the Nigeria business and ensure that processes and systems are sufficiently robust to support the company's growth".

"A self-proclaimed people champion, Ajala's knack for understanding people and focusing their strengths where is most suitable, is a critical aspect of his success story, even as he continued to gain cogent and extensive experience in human resource management in particular and the multi-dimensional requirements of business operations on a wider spectrum."

Ayo Ajala has a bachelor's degree in engineering from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, an MBA from the University of Sunderland and a certificate in human resources development from the Edinburgh Business School.

He also completed the Vision Achievement programme with the Pacific Institute and the Harvard Business Programme with the Naspers Group and recently completed the senior leadership programme at the Duke Business School (Fuqua School of Business).

Monday, June 13, 2022

Sarafina to dance again on e.tv on Youth Day for 30th anniversary.


by Thinus Ferreira

To celebrate 2022's Youth Day in South Africa and the 30th anniversary of Sarafina! starring Leleti Khumalo and Whoopi Goldberg, e.tv will roll out the red carpet for cinema showings on Wednesday and broadcast the musical drama film on Youth Day on Thursday.

e.tv first broadcast the Anant Singh produced and Darrell Roodt directed Sarafina! 20 years ago with the movie which was filmed at Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto, telling the story of the 1976 Soweto student uprising in the country, with a local and international cast including Whoopi Goldberg, John Kani, Leleti Khumalo and Miriam Makeba.

Sarafina! will be in South African cinemas again on Wednesday this week, with e.tv doing red carpet showings at Nu Metro in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, before broadcasting Sarafina! on Youth Day on Thursday on e.tv at 15:05.

"Sarafina! has remained an audience favourite and an important film in South African cinema. We are proud to partner with Videovision Entertainment to bring Sarafina! back to e.tv to celebrate this milestone," says e.tv content specialist, Marisa Hendricks.

Sarafina! had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 30 years ago and was released shortly thereafter at cinemas in South Africa.

Anant Singh who recently attended the Cannes Film Festival again, says "It was a truly nostalgic moment for me when I was walking on the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals where I met officials of the festival who could scarcely believe that it was 30 years since the momentous world premiere in Cannes".

"My journey with Sarafina! began 35 years ago when I saw the play at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg."

"I was moved and felt that I had to make a film about this amazing play. I was able to secure the film rights from Mbongeni Ngema and the rest is history."

"The important aspect for me was that Sarafina! was based on the watershed event of 16 June 1976 which changed the course of South Africa's history. Sarafina! was made shortly after Nelson Mandela was released from prison and we were fortunate to have had his support to make the film and have him as guest of honour at the South African premiere of the film."

"Today, 30 years later, we are delighted to be sharing our film, which perpetuates the contribution of the heroes of 1976 to our democracy, with the viewers of e.tv."

The Real Housewives of Cape Town to start on Mzansi Magic on 10 July with a cast of 7 women.


by Thinus Ferreira

M-Net has revealed a cast of 7 women who will be part of The Real Housewives of Cape Town which it is abbreviating as "RHOCT", with the show, produced by Trace Studios, which will start on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) and not on MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax, on Sunday 10 July at 19:00.

The Real Housewives of Cape Town, also done according to the NBCUniversal Format franchise, will be the 17th international edition, and the 4th in Africa, following The Real Housewives of Durban, The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Lagos.

Beverly Steyn, Rushda Moosajee, Loveline Abinokhauno, Thato Montse, Camilla McDowell, Kutazwa "Rooksy" Gqirana and Lulwando "Lue" Tukwayo are the seven women in Cape Town who are being filmed for The Real Housewives of Cape Town.

The franchise is distributed internationally by NBCUniversal Formats, which is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

"We look forward to premiering this exciting new addition on Mzansi Magic, which will no doubt keep our audience hooked and will undoubtedly be of the premium quality our viewers have grown accustomed to," says Shirley Adonisi, M-Net director of local entertainment channels, in a statement.

"This may be a global franchise, but our spin on it is very much South African. The storylines explored on the show, and the cast's lives are as authentic as they come. As a channel, keeping up with our viewers' tastes and preferences is important, and this is evidence of that."

Mzansi Magic released biographies for the seven women:


Beverley Steyn
Born and bred in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Beverley is an entrepreneur and businesswoman who moved to Cape Town five years ago. She describes herself as highly disciplined, passionate and creative.

A property owner and investor with interests in commercial, warehouse and residential property, she loves planes, yachts, fast cars and a luxury lifestyle. Designer labels are her weakness, and she collects diamonds, which are also her birthstone. Beverley believes that anything is possible in life and refuses to stand back for anyone.



Rushda Moosajee
Professionally and fondly known as RushTush, Rushda has an impressive social media presence and fitness empire – she has a global following of over 70 000 and almost 3 million impressions per week on Instagram alone.

She is a qualified personal trainer and online coach and is the mother of three boys. She is focused, passionate and incredibly ambitious. Always comfortable standing on her own, she doesn't need acceptance or validation from anyone as she follows her heart.

Rushda may be tiny and reserved and always selective about who she allows to get close, but she can pack a punch – in more than one way. In her own words: "I'm not one for drama, but I will always stand up for what is right."



Loveline Abinokhauno, aka Mrs Leo
A blogger and momfluencer who is also a successful entrepreneur (she owns a concierge and events company called La Prive Concierge & Events), Mrs Leo is also a proud wife of 14 years and mother to three girls and one boy.

Multifaceted, she has achieved a lot in her customer service career: she has worked as a recruitment consultant, personal assistant and social media manager and is always working on expanding her experience and qualifications.

Originally from North West, she is an advocate for sisterhood and uses her social media platform to connect with women across the globe.



Thato Montse
Entrepreneur, strategist, designer, thinker and wine connoisseur, Thato has a Garagiste winemaking diploma and is a member of BLACC – the Black Cellar Club.

Her love of wine led her to create her own brand, Thato Wines, which has just recently been picked up by the Spar franchise.

Thato's aim is to reposition wine as something to be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone – not just old, white men. She is on a mission to simplify the complicated world of wine and uses her knowledge to host a lifestyle series called Wine with Thato.

She describes herself as controversial, authentic, unfiltered, unapologetic, fun and explosive.



Camilla McDowell
Humanitarian, creative, vintage car collector, beekeeper, entrepreneur and public speaker, Camilla is family-focused and has earned her seat on the throne as The Queen of Constantia.

This flower fanatic and antique expert is highly adaptable and at home everywhere, from the luxury high-end designer stores to hidden gem local thrift shops. Camilla understands that there is more to opulence than just the price tag.

Making an unforgettable entrance at every social gathering she attends with her roaring vintage Rolls Royce Moonshadow, opulence and luxury seep through her veins, and she has nothing to prove to anyone.



Kutazwa "Rooksy" Gqirana
Born in Gqeberha and now a proud Capetonian, Rooksy describes herself as a go-getter and hustler.

When she sets her mind to something, she is sure to achieve that goal. Rooksy is a lover of beautiful things, especially interior decor. Through her company, Style Boutique SA, she sells the latest trends in fashion for both men and women. Rooksy is at home in the kitchen and loves baking and trying out new recipes. She would love to have her own cookbook one day.

A few words that Rooksy would choose to describe herself are enthusiastic, adventurous, dutiful, loyal, respectful, selfless and family-oriented.



Lulwando "'Lue" Tukwayo
The glamorous and stylish Lulwando is originally from Khayelitsha and is a property entrepreneur, digital creator and mom of three.

A qualified chartered accountant, she has a passion for working with community-based organisations that address issues of GBV and is the founder of an NGO called Wings to Learn.

Fun, free-spirited, and fiercely independent, she says: "I speak my mind. I can be misunderstood, but I've learned to embrace that."

2022 Woordfees TV to run again as a DStv pop-up channel from 15 July, MultiChoice making it available to more South African and Namibian subscribers.


by Thinus Ferreira

After a successful debut in October 2021 as a local arts TV channel, as TVwithThinus reported in April, the Stellenbosch Woordfees will once again be running as a MultiChoice pop-up channel on DStv in July 2022, this time from 15 July for two weeks and with the pop-up channel made available to more pay-TV subscribers in South Africa and Namibia.

With the theme of "Wild", the 2022 Toyota SU Woordfees, will showcase a selection of programming from 15 to 28 July for DStv subscribers in South Africa and Namibia on DStv channel 150 (as well as GOtv subscribers in Namibia), while the physical arts festival will be taking place from 10 to 16 October in Stellenbosch.

MultiChoice is also making the 2022 Woordfees DStv pop-up channel available to more subscribers.

Last year only DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus subscribers had access, but in July the DStv pop-up channel is being made available to DStv Compact and DStv Family subscribers in South Africa as well.

In Namibia, DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers. In Namibia, GOtv Max and GOtv Supa subscribers will also get access to the 2022 Woordfees TV channel on channel 27.

Speaking about the "Wild" theme, Saartjie Botha, Woordfees festival director, says "Wild is authentic and essential for the kind of art that challenges everything and opens doors to new perspectives. Nothing is wilder and more liberating than the imagination, and our pent-up creative energies are ready to gush forth after two years of limbo".

Gideon Khobane, MultiChoice Group general entertainment executive, says the pay-TV operator is "proud to again be associated with Woordfees TV - not only does the channel allow us to bring entertainment relevant to our customers, it also aligns to our commitment to support and grow local content".

"By giving our Afrikaans viewers access to the Woordfees festival through the channel we are able to support arts, culture, entertainment and literature by broadening the audience of the already popular festival."

The Woordfees TV schedule will again give DStv subscribers a selection of most of the genres that are usually part of the live festival, ranging from the Easy Equity books and writers festival, drama, contemporary music with the Toyota Big Five concerts and Standard Bank jazz set, classical music, the Savanna stand-up comedy series, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes lifestyle programme, and Media24 discussion series, as well as Strauss & Co visual arts programme and dance. 

The Standard Bank agriculture series will also be part of this year's line-up, while rebroadcasts of some of the most popular 2021 TV festival shows will be shown during slots outside of prime time on the channel.

In addition, new programmes of the 2022 Woordfees TV channel will be available on DStv Catch Up. All of the narrative content and pre-recorded discussion programmes on the DStv pop-up channel will have English subtitles.