After a blah start, ‘The Real Housewives of Johannesburg’ 3 struggles to live up to expectations

OG “Real Housewives of Johannesburg” cast members Lebo JoJo Mokoena and Lethabo “LeJoy” Mathatho.

OG “Real Housewives of Johannesburg” cast members Lebo JoJo Mokoena and Lethabo “LeJoy” Mathatho.

Published May 26, 2023


“The Real Housewives of Johannesburg”, produced by actress Sonia Mbele, introduced Mzansi, is back.

The first season of the show proved to be a success and it was brought back for a second. But season three took longer to return due to several setbacks.

The pandemic and, in April 2021, a physical altercation between Christall Kay and Brinnette Seopela brought production to a halt. There were changes to the cast, with some housewives being let go.

Film producer Tarina Patel, who appeared in season two, claimed that a report that she was fired was just a “publicity stunt” and production simply couldn’t afford her.

Her clap back came after reports that she allegedly rubbed producers up the wrong way after inviting Kay to an event without the knowledge of producers, despite being aware that she wasn’t welcome on the show.

All this drama and the show had not even aired on 1Magic screens, so viewers had high expectations for season three, which finally aired on May 19.

If there is one thing season three of “The Real Housewives Of Durban” proved, it is that drama sells, whether viewers like it or not.

“The Housewives” franchise, globally and locally, has become known as a reality show that focuses on the lives of a group of successful women who come together as a group of friends.

As with most friendship circles, they are not without any catfights.

The first episode of season three didn't kick off with a dramatic bang but rather a lukewarm welcome-back refresher course. So much time has passed since 2019, OG (original) housewife Lethabo “LeJoy” Mathatho has a BBL now.

Mathatho and Lebo JoJo Mokoena are the only returning housewives from season two and production kicked the first episode off by giving an update on their lives.

Mokoena, who in season two was proudly Mrs Gunguluza, is newly divorced and she owns it.

Mathatho and Mokoena didn’t end on a good note at the end of season two but as the only two returning from the previous season, they have come together and agreed to work on their relationship. Only time will tell if they can pull it off.

Mokoena is not the only divorcee on the show – viewers are introduced to Nicole Watson. Her friend Leon Payne ended up stealing the show, though, with his unnecessary drama at her “Four Seasons Flowetry get-together”.

“He is too loud, he is forward,” said new housewife Thobekile Mdlalose during her confessional. Mdlalose, who seems to be on the reserved side but very bubbly during her diary sessions, might prove to be a fun watch or a total bore.

The new season doesn’t feature women who are well-known in high-end social circles but they are hard-working career women.

Take Mamus Koka for instance, who works for her “adopted Mommy and Daddy” and runs their church Bethesda Christian Centre, whose leader Pastor Clement Ibe has been accused of allegedly swindling the non-profit entity of millions of rand.

Koka also rejected claims that her parents have skipped the country.

During the episode, Koka bonds with fellow newcomer Keabetswe Marema. They even share a gay friend, Success.

Hopefully, they won’t feud over him during the season.

“I think Kea is someone I will probably get along with, as long as she understands the assignment,” Koka confessed.

In these friendship circles, friends can quickly turn into foes, and vice versa.

These women know how to hold their ground and won’t be easily shaken, so squabbles are bound to arise. Especially with characters like Payne, who likes to be in women’s business.

As with every Housewives franchise, viewers want to know about the housewives’ careers (or lack thereof), what they are working on, and, of course, an inner look at their lavish lives.

However, viewers also want juicy content: Who is your man, where are you shopping, how much are you spending and where do your loyalties lie in the friendship circle?

As the season unfolds, viewers will see if the first iteration of “The Real Housewives” in South Africa and the continent as a whole will deliver an entertaining season or not. So far, it’s not looking too promising...