Lebo M dispels 'womaniser' perception in new reality series 'Lebo M - Coming Home'
In a few days time, “Lebo M - Coming Home” will be available for streaming on Showmax.
That the legendary producer, composer, arranger and performer would agree to a reality show surprised even him.
Since he was in Taiwan, we chatted over Zoom earlier this week.
He joked: “It’s been lovely. I landed, got the hotel and I’ve been in quarantine for 14 days. I’m seeing life through my windows, thank you very much for asking.
“This is the new norm. You have to laugh it off and live with it. I got a couple more days here. I’m out of my ‘prison’ on the 27th.”
After telling me about the great care he is getting in mandatory quarantine, the conversation shifted to his upcoming reality series.
When asked about what prompted him to do one - and now - he laughed and said: “I’m still curious myself.”
Lebo M added: “I’ve been asked to do this for so long. And, never in my wildest dream, did I ever think I would be anywhere near this type of thing.”
Of course, the adventurous side of him relented.
He continued: “Teddy (Geldart), who is the executive producer from Dopezuluboi Productions, and a couple of other people really cornered me with a beautiful angle.
“I still think it’s a conspiracy between Teddy, some of my family members, who used to joke about how my family are a reality show, and my office.”
Lebo M says he was sold on the angle of the reality show offering some lightness after a very traumatising year thanks to the arrival of Covid-19.
“Teddy said, ‘Wouldn’t it be lovely that we are a beautiful light story that brings people joy and creates this whole topic around family and family dynamics?’ He said people will be talking about this in bars, in churches, in their bedrooms and in their living rooms,” Lebo M shared.
When Geldart mentioned that he could be a part of helping to heal the nation, well, he couldn’t really say, “No!”
“How’s that for an angle,” Lebo M asked, before breaking into a chuckle.
There was another selling point to the arm-twist and guilt-trip, too. The show was pitched as a celebration of Lebo M’s 30 years in the industry.
He shared: “We are approaching 30 years since my first movie, The Power of One, in March next year.
“So its a celebration and highlighting all of those milestones. In a bigger way, my biography comes out in March. This is a build-up to all of that.”
For viewers, however, this reality show offers a closer look at Lebo M, a man who is revered for his work in Hollywood and in South Africa, but is most arcane when it comes to his personal life.
In fact, he has spent much of his career as the subject of sensational headlines where his love life is concerned.
He clarified: “For over a decade, there’s been this perception that’s been put out there.
“Yes, it appears that I have a huge family because I am a public figure. But only one part of my life has been discussed, publicly, in South Africa and that is my marriages, which is no more than the average person.
“I cough and say, ‘Hello’ to a lady and I make headlines, only in South Africa. I know guys who are on wife number six and one with seven wives, at the same time.
“I have six children, I lost one. Again, not unusual. My wife, Angela, has two children. I wanted 15, I wanted an orchestra.”
Lebo M feels that all those misconceptions will be put to bed when viewers get to see him at home with his family.
He laughed: “I’m having the longest interview in my life, basically. Hopefully, we will be an inspiration in highlighting family issues.
“Now you will see me in my normal environment, with my kids, having a normal argument, normal laughs and dealing with hardcore family issues, which 90 percent of families have.”
Lebo M is also looking forward to audiences getting to see his creatively-inclined kids.”
The 10-part series includes Angela, his third wife, his 90-something mother; and four of his children: Lulo is his five-year-old daughter with ‘Generations: The Legacy’ star Zoe Mthiyane.; Letti is his nine-year-old daughter with Angela. And Mthunzi and Ketso are Angela’s teenage children from previous relationships.
Before the interview ended, he revealed: “Next year, we have a whole range of projects, domestically and globally, that are focused on 30 years of Lebo M.”
A legend comes full circle but the journey is far from over!
Viewers can stream “Lebo M - Coming Home” on Showmax from December 2.