Somizi deserves his own cooking show
When the news broke that Somizi Mhlongo is getting a cooking show on 1Magic, I was pleasantly surprised. Surprised because it’s something I never thought the channel would do, especially since it’s on the premium bouquet of DStv.
I was, however, pleased that Somizi got the show because it meant one thing - we will be guaranteed great content. At least I hope so.
The show, Dinner at Somizi's premieres on Friday, July 10 2020 at 7pm, sees Somizi open his home for a series of candid conversations with family and friends around some fun, light hearted and mature topics, all while they make a lovely meal.
So I was a bit taken aback by people’s outrage about the choreographer and personality getting a cooking show. They wanted younger foodies and social media food influencers and chefs to get the show. “It’s time to open up the industry” rang out all over various social media platforms.
Then there were those who complained about Somizi not being a trained chef, which therefore means he is taking opportunities away from them.
It’s all well and good to think someone’s food looks gorgeous in pictures and yet there’s no soul in the food. How many times have we watched the many food shows available, and then tune out because you either do not relate, find the host of the show to be frightfully boring and while the recipes look great, they also do not look like they are delicious.
People forget that TV needs to be entertaining and even more so a cooking show. It takes more than just food to make a cooking show interesting. There are many factors that we have to consider when it comes to tuning into a cooking show.
Personality is one of the most important things. Does the host of the show have what it takes to keep an audience entertained and glued to their screens? Are they able to get the viewers interested in what they are talking about, in this case cooking? Those are things that I can almost guarantee that Somizi can do. Easily so.
He is a proven TV personality. He can carry a show - two in fact - reality show Living the Dream with Somizi and Idols South Africa. I’m not an avid viewer of both shows, but when I have watched them, Somizi keeps me entertained. And that’s what 1Magic wants. An entertainer who appeals to many people and also happens to cook.
Writing about food and the culinary industry has exposed me to many chefs and honestly, not many of them can hold a conversation, are interesting enough or cook food that will appeal to a wider audience. It’s all great making Instagram and food magazine worthy food - but do people want to eat it? Is there a story behind the food that makes you appreciate or even know more about the person? Rarely ever.
For years, Somizi has been boasting about his culinary skills. Many people who have had his food have confirmed that he can cook. What I appreciate the most is that he will cook food we know and love and I’m sure his guests will be sharing their favourite food and secret family recipes.
It’s also a chance for the affluent South Africans of other races to appreciate South African cuisine beyond the usual Seven Colours and Dombolo/Jeqe conversations.
I expect that he will go deeper and talk about just how good we have it in South Africa, food wise. I am looking forward to conversations he will have on the show that will get us to appreciate our cuisine and cuisine from the different parts of the continent.
It’s not just about food. It’s about entertainment and Somizi will do just that - entertain us.