Photo: Somizi / Twitter
Yes, SomGaGa can cook, but critics say our entertainment industry has failed young talent as the same old faces are on screens.
Photo: Somizi / Twitter
This past Sunday, Idols SA judge, actor, radio DJ and entertainment powerhouse Somizi Mhlongo announced the arrival of his new cooking show, Dinner at Somizi’s, saying it had been picked up by DStv’s 1 Magic.
Social media met the news by calling for fresh new faces also to be given a chance, with many calling for the South African entertainment industry to be opened up.
Somizi has flooded fans with his cooking escapades on his Instagram profile so there is no doubt he loves to be in the kitchen.
However, some fans took to social media to say that food influencers Luyanda Mafanya of CookingWithLuyanda and Neo Nontso of DineWithNeo would have been better for the job.
These comments lead to the challenge, do we celebrate Somizi’s cooking show or debate when the industry will finally open for young talent?
As mentioned in a previous article about Recycling Talent, Somizi has had an abundance of opportunities since he was introduced to South Africa on the films Scavengers in 1987 and Sarafina in 1992.
At the start of what we thought was a 21-day lockdown, South Africans attempted to replicate their favourite fast foods by following recipes by food bloggers and influencers Luyanda Mafanya and Neo Nontso.
Between them Mafanya and Nontso have almost 300 000 Instagram followers, so they clearly have a following.
An example in the case of television shows around food is much-loved culinary expert Siba Mtongana.
South Africa’s first encounter with her was on her self-presented cooking show on Food Network Siba’s Table.
South Africa grew to love and adore Siba as we saw her relationship with her husband, Brian, blossom and as she brought in their extended family members to try out her new recipes.
From her television show start she since also has appeared on M-Net’s Wedding Bashers and Chopped South Africa.
Television casting directors seem to be convinced that casting celebrities in fictional roles, or casting celebrities as presenters up the ratings. Social media critics accuse them of not having time to build an audience for a new face.
However, social media influencers, as well as qualified young actors, can bring in a large audience if they are right for the role and given the chance.
This is evident in Netflix’s Blood & Water which featured two new young faces in the lead roles. Ama Qamata and Khosi Ngema are fresh faces on South African television and were received well by the South African audience. The first series went so well that Netflix has commissioned season two.