WHEN you think about reality TV, any number of negative thoughts come to mind. You might think of some celebrities who lure you into their fictitious lives and how they inspire you to be like them.
It is very rare to be able to relate to these shows because most of them are built on a false foundation, which is why it is refreshing when a good one comes along. And that good one is e.tv’s Rolling With Trevor Gumbi, which airs on Sunday.
We all know Gumbi (pictured) as the wide-eyed, smirking comedian who’s been quite successful to date. And yet, his life has also been rocky both personally and professionally. In what will probably be the most honest Rolling With... instalment, we’ll see Gumbi as we’ve never seen him before – and perhaps never look at him in the same way again.
“I was approached by e.tv with the idea and was more than happy to oblige. I actually have plans to do a reality TV show with my family,” said an ecstatic Gumbi.
e.tv has trimmed its Rolling With... series from featuring a celebrity for an entire season to just one episode.
Dr Malinga spoke previously about how he had wished he, like Zola and Kelly Khumalo in the past, had also had an entire season dedicated to him. Gumbi felt much the same, although he remained grateful for the fact that the project was happening in the first place.
“Shooting it was practice for hopefully getting a full-length season in the future. Nevertheless I am happy that we are doing this,” he said.
With only one episode to offer viewers a sneak peak into his life, it is obvious that Gumbi had to put into it as much as possible and, hopefully, covered much ground in telling people who he really is.
“Luckily, the day they came to shoot I had a lot on so we had a lot of material to work with. They basically followed my lifestyle,” the comedian explained.
That said, Gumbi still insisted it wasn’t enough. “I will need a lot longer to tell you the story of my life,” he said.
Given that people were coming into his personal space, especially since celebrities generally value their privacy, it was intriguing to hear how much room he allowed the camera crew to have.
“We had had conversations about how far we would go. I have made mistakes in my life and I want people to learn from them. I don’t want people to say I am a hero or any of that, but I want them to say that they, too, don’t want to make the same mistakes. I let the cameras in as much as possible so that people know the real me,” he said.
Gumbi said that at times the presence of the crew had an interesting effect on some of the people around him.
“I noticed that rolling with cameras, people around me started acting differently. It was weird. We would walk into a grocery store that I walk into every day and now all of a sudden, the tellers want to speak to me. I then think to myself, ‘but you never speak to me, what are you doing?’ I just gave a straight look, seeing through them,” he said.
The most genuine part of this episode will be when Gumbi talks about some of his all-time lows, which brings him to tears.
“It wasn’t part of the plan, but when I think about certain situations I realise what I messed up. As much as we all try to deal with our issues, we never really face up to them. There is a lot that I have had to face up to and that hits me hard. If there is one thing I want to be, it is a good father,” he said.
Rolling With Trevor Gumbi airs on e.tv this Sunday at 6.30pm.