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Talking tough with Kgomotso Matsunyane, whose star is on the Rise

2015-05-27 15:15


After a brief hiatus from the world of chat shows, multi-talented media personality Kgomotso Matsunyane has returned to prime-time television with a 26-episode, Soul City-commissioned talk and lifestyle show, Rise. 

Not the one to keep the spotlight on herself and comfortable sharing the space with like-minded women, Matsunyane co-hosts the show with three other dynamic women: Lebo Ramafoko, Khanyisile Mazibuko and Nyiko Shikwambane – who all add their voices to the frank talks every Monday at 6pm on SABC1. 

City Press caught up with the talented host of Late Night with Kgomotso, co-founder of TOM Pictures, former editor of The Oprah Magazine and a former SABC1 commissioning editor. 

Tell us about Rise as a chat show as well as a social campaign 

The Soul City Institute has started 900 Rise Young Women’s Clubs across the country. These will work much like the Soul Buddyz Clubs. These clubs are initiated and run by club members, with curriculum support from Soul City. To help support the clubs as well as to address issues of lifestyle, well-being and sexual health issues, Soul City started a TV chat show as well as a magazine aimed at young black women between 14 and 25 years. 

What are the aims and objectives of Rise? 

We aim to show the Rise Young Women’s clubs what kind of topics to bring up in their own circles, and how these conversations can be conducted. Most importantly, we bring a diverse point of view and professional support in the form of interviewing experts related to each topic that we discuss. It is difficult for both parents and young people to talk about issues of sex and sexual health, and the show breaks those barriers by treating the older and the younger hosts as equals, and by modelling the conversation that parents and young people can use very practically to advance the conversations in their own homes. If you think about it rationally, parents should be the ones who tell their children about sex, and yet it’s the opposite, where young people find this information from everybody but their parents. 

What elements and features does the show have? 

We’re a classic intergenerational, multi-host lifestyle chat show that is shot in studio and featuring inserts and in-studio interviews. 

With so many chat shows on our screens, what makes Rise different for m the many chat shows currently being aired on TV? 

We have an educational imperative and our mandate is very clear: our chat show is part of a very serious campaign to help reduce new HIV and Aids infection rates among young black women, period. Everything else is secondary. The hosts of Rise are real women who are dealing with real issues of life and, sometimes, death. Our aim is to highlight to our target audience the importance of understanding that all our actions have consequences, and to therefore make better decisions that will lead to better results in the long term. 

How did you get involved with Rise? What are your responsibilities? 

I responded to a brief that was issued in the Sunday papers, went through the interview process and my company One Man And His Dog Films was awarded the contract. I’m the executive producer as well as co-host on the show. 

How different is Rise from chat shows you have been part of? 

Late Night with Kgomotso was a pure entertainment platform centred around me as a personality. Pillow Talk was an adult late-night chat show with Dr Eve and me as co-hosts shot at a radio station. Rise is a multi-generation, multi-host chat show with an educational mandate. 

How difficult is it to be part of a four-women presenting team? Does it not get too much to be sharing the spotlight with so many other women?What does each presenter bring to the show? 

It’s not difficult at all because we come with our unique individual point of view on everything. No two people, however similar, have the same experiences, and the same goes for the hosts of Rise. Sometimes there’s commonality in our views, sometimes there isn’t. My philosophy on show business is that the stage is big enough for all of us. If you get caught in the trap of comparing yourself with every other show you run the risk of forgetting what your core message and intentions are all about. 

» Catch Kgomotso Matsunyane, Lebo Ramafoko, Khanyisile Mazibuko and Nyiko Shikwambane as they share their experiences and their views on pertinent issues affecting women every Monday at 6pm on SABC1.


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