By Gen Terblanche22 August 2023
Are you ready for the audacity in these Showmax reality shows?
How very dare you! August is all about our love-hate relationship with people who break the rules and act the fool. They’re our slick talkers and slay queens, living loud in the spotlight. Now, brace yourself as a new season of This Body Works for Me lands, and Showmax Original talk show Unfollowed sits down with SA’s most cancelled celebs this week. Find out more about these two shows, and then read on for a taste of This Body moments that had us gasping at the audacity.
What happens to a celeb who’s been cancelled? Each Wednesday from 23 August, Showmax Original series Unfollowed takes us to meet South African stars who are wrestling with life after social media death. From Lady Zamar to musician Jub Jub and comedian Tol A$$ Mo, they’ll share an intimate hour of truth, one on one with news anchor and journalist Thembekile Mrototo.
The season comes in scorching hot with Phat Joe accusing Thembekile of not doing his research, giving an insider look at how he’s made rage bait work for him, and revealing that he had an inside source during the Caster Semeya debacle. Lady Zamar reveals the real reason she was willing to burn down her career to confront her alleged abuser online. And on the flip side of that story, Tol A$$ Mo rails against trial by social media, how he feels attacked by “feminists”. It’s the shocking and provocative show that South Africa’s going to be fighting about!
Watch Unfollowed S1 with new episodes each Wednesday from 23 August.
Showmax Original documentary reality series This Body Works for Me allows demonised and dehumanised adult entertainers to speak for themselves. The first season passed the microphone to Bubbly, Gina, Nelly, Primadonna, Samke, Wandi, and Xoli.
They got frank as they compared notes about their common experiences in the adult industry, discussed body image struggles, and shared the truth about how much their work earns and what it costs, financially, physically and emotionally. They spoke honestly about how their work impacted their families. And they allowed us inside their home lives, away from the camera, to see them in other roles as wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, and women just living their lives. And they lit up at one another in fight, after fight, after fight.
Watch This Body Works for Me S1-2, with new episodes every Tuesday.
PS: Bubbly, Gina, Primadonna and Wandi are returning for Season 2, and we’ll meet three more entertainers, Diamond (a stripper from Alexandra), Dione Xanthe (an OnlyFans model) and Lebo (a trans woman from Tembisa).
As reality fans our standards for shocking behaviour are high. We’ve seen everything, including that moment when Aviva Drescher slammed her prosthetic leg down on the table in a restaurant and announced that it was the only fake thing about her in The Real Housewives of New York City Season 6. But Aviva can take her leg and hop home, because here are just eight This Body Works for Me Season 1 moments that had the audacity. If you’d like to steal a phrase and say, “I don’t like peace; I like problems, always,” read on before you tune in for Season 2…
Content warning: This Body Works for Me is rated 18SNL. Now is your chance to say “sies”, and cross the street.
1. Sneaky leakers
Samke reveals that her OnlyFans account really took off after one user had the audacity to name and shame her by leaking her private OnlyFans video to self-proclaimed Black Twitter President ChrisExcel (real name Azola Christopher Tabene. He uses a headshot of Bianca Coster as his profile pic). The show then scrolls through the entire ugly Twitter (X) conversation this sparked as ChrisExcel piled on his own audacity by exposing Samke’s mother’s identity, speculating about Samke and her mother having a threesome with a man, claiming that Samke’s “stepfather” (her mom’s rich boyfriend) got her pregnant, that Samke has three kids and hides one because he’s “an embarrassment”, and holding up Samke’s body for public ridicule.
Samke reveals that ChrisExcel then approached her ex-boyfriend to ask for more private details about her life. Samke reveals the heartrending, human side of her experiences with her mother, rape, abuse and abandonment in episode 18.
2. Lingerie party beatdown
Wandi knows things might get a little outrageous when she throws a dinner party with a sexy lingerie dress code. Rudeness is the guest of honour for the evening. Xoli laughs at Wandi because there are no flowers on the table. And Wandi seems horrified that Nelly hadn’t shaved downstairs, dunks on Samke for covering up like a rich aunt, tells Xoli to shut her mouth, and wonders why Bubbly didn’t hire a makeup artist before calling her a two-faced Xhosa girl.
That’s just the starters. The main feast kicks off when Gina and Nelly confront Primadonna for sharing a private video that she’d shot of them, which got Nelly and Gina fired from their strip club. Before you can even say “b***h*, these ladies are giving each other wine facials.
3. Daddy issues
Primadonna and her mom have a loving, supportive relationship, clouded by Primadonna’s issues with her father, and her mom being torn between the two of them. Primadonna reveals that her father has kicked her out of the house, and that he took out his every irritation on her and her mother. “Everything irritated him. Whether it’s a glass or us watching TV, he would start swearing at us and calling us prostitutes,” she explains. Primadonna’s mom pleads with her not to give up on him, and Primadonna starts crying because she really does love her father, but he’s “difficult”. She attributes her inability to back down from a fight, or to apologise when she’s in the wrong, to him.
In an interview, though, Primadonna reveals he wasn’t just difficult. “My father used to use me as his punching bag. Whenever he got frustrated, he used to come to my room to beat me and so I was tired of living in fear,” she says. It’s the audacity of abusers who use the word “prostitute” as a stick to beat women and girls with, no matter how they’re living.
4: “Stripper Stuka”
At Xoli’s birthday brunch, after Wandi tells the ladies all the dirty details about Nigerian musician David “Davido” Adedeji Adeleke’s twig and berries (which is a whole ‘nother audacity in itself), Gina casually addresses Bubbly as “Stripper Stuka there…” and asks her whether her tattoo is a poke-and-stick prison tattoo. Bubbly cheerfully claims that the pole dancer on her upper arm represents her grandmother. But she’s an out of towner. Even Wandi is shocked that Gina would have the audacity to imply that Bubbly was in jail.
In her talk-to-camera segment, Gina reveals that she always asks people about their bad tattoos to ask them why they walk around like that. Confronting someone about something they can’t change on their body within the next five minutes and then, on top of that, calling everyone’s attention to it? Bombastic side-eye.
5. The Jonah Hill of it all
Wandi’s sugar daddy boyfriend Ace calls her because he wants to talk about their future. “There are things I want you to work on first. A lot of things I see on the internet that I don’t like about you. And I need you to stop them. Most especially regarding the porn issue,” he announces. When she points out that that’s how she supports herself, he asks her, “How much are you making to tarnish your image?”
This is a man who’s voluntarily in a transactional relationship with Wandi and paying her R2 000 per month to help her with her basic physical upkeep. Wandi has to question if he even wants her to be part of his future, since they’ve never discussed plans before, so he proposes that they have a family together. Wandi is 21 years old, and when this doesn’t seal the deal, he tells her that he wants her to open an account for him so that he can buy her a house, or pay her R100 000 in instalments (since, at one point, he seems to think she’s making R100 000 a day). The audacity of this man who’s trying to buy a woman … while judging her for having other men in her life who want the same thing!
6. The great unwashed
Samke calls Wandi for a one-on-one meeting to clear the air between them in this episode. She has a list of complaints and she’s prepared to get petty before addressing the real issue…
- Wandi told her to shut her mouth at the lingerie dinner party. Check.
- She seated her at the end of the table. Check.
- When she invited Wandi over, Wandi drank her wine, then lied about it, then paid her R100 for the wine. Check.
- Wandi used the heater and electricity is expensive. Check.
- Wandi used her special lady toys without permission … and returned them unwashed. Hold up, this just became a Sex and the City episode!
How does Samke know? Let’s just say they don’t pass the sniff test. But Wandi claims that the machinery she used was plastic wrapped and returned in pristine condition…
There are fireworks when Primadonna and Gina join Wandi and Xoli at the reunion show with their host, radio personality, DJ and podcaster Sol Phenduka. Sol gets utterly steamrollered and he eventually resorts to calling in security when Primadonna and Gina take off their shoes and go at it after Gina tells Primadonna, “You have the ugliest body that I’ve ever seen in my life … you’re the target market for child pornography”. Say it with us, “The audacity!!!”
A final shout out goes to the audacity of certain online commentators who accused the show of “grooming” impressionable young girls to become sex workers. The series is rated 18SNL. And if teens and young women find anything glamorous about sex work in it, we’d be shocked – for an eye opener, try the start of episode 14. Perhaps the real question we should be asking is why they’d prefer the level of public exposure, abuse, victimisation and disrespect that these women have endured, over what life offers them as “respectable” girls.
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