Durban - A high-end South African reality show featuring stunning, well-heeled women with spunk wouldn’t be complete without Durban-born socialite Sorisha Naidoo in the cast.
The Sunday Tribune can reveal Naidoo, the wife of billionaire businessman Vivian Reddy, is the newest cast member of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg reality show, which is expected to hit TV screens later this year.
“Some people think I’m a rich, spoilt woman with 500 credit cards at my disposal, but they will get to see the real me,” Naidoo said of the weekly, hour-long shows that will run for 13 weeks.
And if some viewers expect the show to dig up “dirt” on Naidoo, they shouldn’t get their hopes up. The producers of the show will only broadcast what the cameras capture.
“Nothing will be doctored,” Naidoo has been assured.
The Real Housewives series has been very popular in the US since it was first aired in 2006.
Broadcasting giant NBC Universal holds the rights for the show that profiles the daily lives of affluent women, juggling the role of wife, mother and social butterfly on top of being a successful career woman.
Local producer Archie Tigere has secured the show’s South African licence that will feature six Joburg women.
For now, Tigere will only confirm Nazli Delport, Puleng Mash-Spies, Kendra Saunders and Naidoo are in the cast.
Naidoo said she was “nervous and excited” about her stint in the public eye.
She has been a radio station DJ and TV soapie star, but with no script for guidance she sees Housewives as a “daunting task”.
“What if I say the wrong thing? I can’t take it back. But I will be myself.”
With three businesses based in Joburg which see her travel between her uMhlanga home and a Morningside place, cameramen are expected to catch every bat of Naidoo’s lush eyelashes.
“Archie said my living in two provinces would be refreshing for the show,” she said.
Never averse to the social spotlight, she nevertheless took some convincing to join the show.
“I was approached to appear on other reality shows, but I turned them down. When Archie called about this show in August, I also refused.”
But his persistence and professionalism won her over.
“Archie has both feet on the ground and I like that.
“He reassured us the show was not meant to be scandalous or dig up dirt. It’s about successful women who’ve made it big in a man’s world, which is the main reason I signed up.”
Tigere said he had sought women who were fun to work with, led an interesting life, had succeeded in the eyes of the public and had money.
They did not have to be housewives – they could be divorced or single, as long as they were colourful. He shortlisted 18 and cut that to six.
“Unlike other reality shows, there's no voting, elimination or winners. Real Housewives focuses on profiling the cast. We will get up close and personal, zeroing in on their daily life.
“The show will be unscripted, so you will never know what to expect. I just hope our cameras are focused at all times.”
But he warned: “They will cross paths every now and then. And if you put six women in a house, fur may fly.”
Real Housewives is Tigere’s first reality show in South Africa, though he has produced shows in Britain. He said it was an honour to be entrusted with the NBC Universal foray into the market.
“The fact that NBC Universal trusted me with the production is humbling. We also hired a director (Sebastian Cordoba) from the US to ensure we don’t compromise on quality.”
There has been speculation that DStv will broadcast Real Housewives, but Tigere would not be drawn on the subject.
But he said he was excited about the show that was set to change the face of reality TV in South Africa.