‘Becoming’ cast. Image via Twitter @PhilMphela

‘Becoming’ cast reportedly replaced without warning

Transgender cast members Ramazan Ngobese, Yaya Mavundla and Gugu Kumalo of the reality TV show ‘Becoming’ were allegedly fired.


‘Becoming’ cast. Image via Twitter @PhilMphela

It is believed media mogul Basetsana Kumalo and her business partner Kopano Gelman allegedly fired Becoming cast Ramazan Ngobese, Yaya Mavundla, and Gugu Kumalo without notice.  

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City Press reports that Becoming cast comprising transgender advocate Yaya Mavundla, Gugu Kumalo and Ramazan Ngobese reportedly reached a stalemate in negotiations relating to their pay hikes ahead of the new season.  

The publication adds that two of the cast members learned they were replaced via the publication on Friday (11 November) and were shocked to discover that the production of their show had been completed with brand-new cast members and never received notification that they were being replaced.  

One of the cast members Yaya Mavundla revealed she’s joined another show and would not be returning to season 2 of the show, which airs in February on Mzansi Magic.  

“It’s just unfortunate that I had to hear from strangers about the production managers deciding not to work with us for season 2 of Becoming, especially after they’d reached out to us to discuss plans for it.”  

“I understand that they might not have been able to afford what I deserved [to be paid], but, in order to do things professionally, it would have been great if they’d communicated with us,” said Mavundla.  

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Becoming is South Africa’s first reality television show, which follows the lives of four transgender people as they face many obstacles and find ways to overcome them.  

The four original cast members were Gina Sokoyi, Ngobese, Mavundla, and Kumalo. Mavundla reveals that Sokoyi passed away last year after being hospitalised with Covid-19.  

“I believe that Bassie and Kopano are family women, so if they’re going to tell stories that are centred on families, they should know that whatever decision they take doesn’t affect only [us performers], but our families too. I wish them well with the new season”, said Mavundla.  

Connect TV co-founder Kumalo was not immediately available for comment. Gelman declined to comment on the matter and directed all questions to Mzansi Magic.  

Mzansi Magic publicist Irvin Pooe requested that questions be emailed to him, but had not responded to them by the time of going to print. 

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