Monday, June 18, 2018

Azania Mosaka taking over SABC3's weekday talk show, Real Talk, from Anele Mdoda; first guest will be Bonang Matheba.

Azania Mosaka is taking over as new presenter of SABC3's weekday talk show, Real Talk, replacing Anele Mdoda from Monday 18 June.

Anele Mdoda abruptly bailed on the talk show, produced by Cheeky Media, after her return to the show following a break earlier this year, during which Azania Mosaka was the sit-in replacement.

Cheeky Media has a contract until October with SABC3, with Anele Mdoda's exit that left producers scrambling to find a replacement.

Monday's first guest with Azania Mosaka as the new talk show host will be Bonang Matheba.

There's no explanation yet for why Anele Mdoda abruptly decided to jump ship after less than two years as SABC3 talk show host. Following a sudden break in April with Azania Mosaka who filled in, Anele Mdoda says Real Talk is no longer part of her "career ambitions".

The show's ratings however tanked following huge damage to both Real Talk and Anele Mdoda's credibility, trust and brands after January's scandal in which it was revealed that payment was made for people to appear on the show, essentially turning it into an infomercial - something that was never disclosed to viewers.

The secret pay-for-play happening on Real Talk breached the SABC's editorial policies and the South African public broadcaster apologised and said it will implement changes to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

The damage to the show's credibility under viewers was however done and also reflected negatively on Anele Mdoda, who said she wasn't aware of payments being made and was just an employee. Viewers immediately started to tune out.

Despite a later timeslot move since February to 18:00 on weekdays when a larger potential viewing audience is available, Real Talk's viewership tanked.

While Real Talk still pulled a low 441 795 viewers for its most watched episode in January to claim the 13th place on SABC3's Top 20 most watched list for that month, the sinking show completely dropped out of the Top 20 list in the months since.

Speaking about Azania Mosaka stepping in to replace Anele Mdoda, SABC3 channel head Aisha Mohamed says "we trust that her contribution and enthusiasm will add value to the SABC3 brand as well as take Real Talk to new heights".

Azania Mosaka says "programme managers have believed in me and I dared to do it and this challenge will be no different".

"By taking on this unexpected opportunity of hosting Real Talk, I aim to engage in conversations that encourage people to dream, motivating young girls and young women as we reinvigorating the audience while reminding them of their hopes and aspirations."

Yusuf Stevens, Cheeky Media managing director, says "Azania is joining an award-winning team and we are very excited about what she will be bringing. Having worked with her briefly before, we know that her humility, passion, empathy and grace will be well-received by our audience and we look forward to putting the 'real' back into Real Talk. Azania was born to be in front of the camera."