Faith Nketsi’s no-holds-barred approach only extends to her show
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In Mzansi, celebrity-driven reality shows have become huge draw cards for channels and streaming platforms.
One has only to look at the hype around “The Real Housewives” franchise to gauge its popularity.
Closer to home, “Life with Kelly Khumalo”, which was given the green light for two seasons, was a huge success.
In fact, it even walked away with a Golden Horn at this year’s Saftas for Best Structured Soapie Reality Show.
Other popular offerings include Dineo’s Diary as well as its spin-off, “The Ranakas”, “Dinner at Somizi’s”, “Boity: Own Your Throne”, “Kwa Mam’Mkhize”, “Madam and Mercy” and “DJ Zinhle: Unexpected”.
Yes, some of these offerings faired better than others.
But they all had one thing in common – the sheer star clout meant they had an audience to tap into as well as a base to grow.
Being a fly on the wall in the lives of the rich and famous is entertaining, for sure, but there is an aspirational aspect to it too.
That said, it baffles me when some reality stars put the brakes on sharing too much in an interview.
Is it a case of them maybe being too young to truly understand and appreciate opportunities to push their brand and, in so doing, themselves?
Or maybe, there is a belief that I don’t need to say much. My show speaks for itself.
That latter statement, though, is partially true.
When you are a reality TV star, fans develop an insatiable appetite to know more about you. Privacy becomes a pipe dream.
This is where the Kardashians, who are celebrated as the royal family of reality TV, have really set the benchmark.
They make sure they keep fans glued to the screen by teasing them with dramatic nuggets of information in their social media as well as interviews.
They simply don’t sit back and ride on the coattails of their name. They work for their publicity.
Now, I recently got to interview the Queen of Twerk - Faith Nketsi.
She is back on MTV Africa for the third instalment of “Have Faith”.
The production value of the series is first-rate. Having caught the first episode, I love how they capture the 20-something influencer, model and businesswoman.
Truly, she’s gorgeous. She carries herself with panache, and she isn’t shy to flaunt her sexiness, albeit in a tasteful way on the show.
When I asked her about her initial reaction to doing Have Faith, she admitted: “Yeah, I was quite excited, weird enough. I’ve always wanted a reality show. As soon as MTV approached me, I already had an answer before the sentence was even finished.”
Of course, having cameras on you constantly does take some getting used to.
She laughed: “I feel like the whole first season, I was very shy. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wasn’t used to all the cameras around me.
“In the second season, I was a bit eased up. But I was still very mindful that so many people are going to watch this, and now I feel like, with the third season, I’m much more relaxed.”
She added: “I feel like I’m a lot more mature. I’m a calm person, all the time. Even with the other cast members, everybody is at a different stage in their lives. I talk about the stage I’m currently in.”
In the first episode, Nketsi’s mother, who is also business-minded, tries to teach her a few traditional things in the kitchen, but Nketsi isn’t keen on it.
She is confident about marrying a rich Zulu man and having people do such things for her.
As for her highlights so far, she admits to season one being a blur and, in season two, it was being a godmother to BFF Kim Kholiwe’s baby.
While she gave the production carte blanche on what they could shoot, she had one rule.
Nketsi pointed out: “I hate lies. That was off the table for us as cast members.”
When asked if fans look up to her as a role model or perhaps inspiration, she replied: “I don’t want to blow my own horn.”
As for what viewers can anticipate from this season, she offered: “In my professional space, I feel like there really is a lot of challenges I address on season three.
I mention a lot of times that I am an entrepreneur. It’s not really as easy as people may make it seem.
“So, I really showcase the challenges when it comes to my businesses and how I’m trying to navigate through all the mess.”
And that was all she would say even when I pushed her to be a little bit more specific.
But she wanted to keep mum and have the reality show answer those questions.
So after all of that, I feel like we barely scratched the surface in getting to know Nketsi. Oh well, maybe next time!
“Have Faith” season 3 airs on MTV Africa (DStv channel 130) on Mondays at 9.30pm.