Singer and actress Kelly Khumalo hosts Love and Matrimony, a show that gets stars to reveal their intimate secrets. Picture: Anna Kamolane
Johannesburg - Gauteng's very own television channel, GauTV, is making waves in the entertainment and TV industry.

Officially launched in 2015, the channel is blazing a bright new trail to take prime spot on the airwaves.

The channel’s producers say that since its inception there has been a great demand for new, innovative and relevant content that has never been seen before.

GauTV hopes such changes will make the channel become one of South Africa’s pre-eminent television and entertainment offerings.

The channel now boasts programmes such as I Design, which focuses on educating viewers about fashion and giving new designers a platform to showcase their talent and products. Assertiveness homes in on social issues in a talk-show format.

For inspirational and spiritually uplifting local and international gospel music, viewers can watch Thalassa Gospel. Vibe Zone, an entertainment show, features an eclectic mix of local and international music, while EVE, a talk show, “allows individuals to speak their minds, leaving them recharged, refuelled, blessed, energised and full of faith”.

African Inborn documents the history of South African tribes, while Face to Face “focuses on profiling leaders from all walks of life to account to you, face to face,” says the channel.

Criselda Dudumashe hosts Positive Talk, a current affairs programme.

In June last year, the station got tongues wagging and viewers glued to their screens when talk show Love and Matrimony, hosted by singer and actress Kelly Khumalo, debuted. The show is a riveting exploratory tract that gets stars to reveal their intimate secrets.

But it was not until February this year that the channel blossomed to wider prominence when it launched I Was in the Closet at a star-studded event in Melrose Arch, Joburg.

According to the channel, the show’s debut on GauTV was unprecedented.

Hosted by Dr Teboho Moema, it focuses on the LGBTI community.

“We are hoping that it will finally send a clear message that when all the walls and boxes dividing us as human beings are removed, what remains is just human. From every walk of life, humans have the same needs to live in a community where they can be loved and accepted for whoever they are.

“The whole show is a safe space for people to share their stories and all the nuances of how they came out and what they experienced. Others shared how they even had families rejecting them but eventually patched up those broken relationships,” said Moema.

Head of News and Current Affairs Thabo Mashao said it was important for them as a channel to know their target audience.

“The biggest challenge for any television station is staying relevant and innovative. You cannot focus on one and leave the other; they are both important. Should we get this right as a station, the opportunities are endless.”

The channel, which covers greater Gauteng, has since grown in scale and popularity on certain viewership rating metrics.

GauTV’s schedule now includes news, sport, soapies, movies, drama series, factual and documentary programming, lifestyle and religion, as well as kids’ viewing.

Mashao describes it as “a mixture of local programming from different municipalities and townships and the modern high-powered lavish Sandton lifestyles in various languages, including English, Afrikaans, Setswana, Sepedi, Tshivenda, Xitsonga and isiZulu”.

Victor Phume, founder of Zallywood, who produces GauTV, says: “We aim at entertaining, educating and informing by showcasing fresh new talent alongside established household names and telling the unique stories of the people of Gauteng."

Training and developing youth, says Phume, are absolutely mandatory for the station and everyone who represents it. “Seeing young people that we work with grow in their respective fields - no amount of money can buy that,” he says. 

“I knew our biggest resource that we needed to move forward was the people to implement my vision. And that has been a winning formula for us.”

The Star