Meet the first cast of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg.
Brace yourself. More of “Shut the front door” will be hitting South African TV screens soon.
Puleng Mash-Spies, the woman who made the expression popular on the cooking reality show Come Dine With Me, leads the cast of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg.
The show’s project manager, Archie Tigere, confirmed the show’s line-up of stars exclusively to City Press this week.
The show will be produced by Sonia Sedibe, who played Ntombi on SABC1 soapie Generations.
Mash-Spies, who describes herself as a blue-eyed mother of two known for having red wine for breakfast, will be seen alongside Nazli Delport, the marketing manager of top Joburg nightspots Hush and Kong.
Delport is also an image consultant.
Another of the housewives is Thembeka Johnson, a former True Love and O Magazine fashion and beauty editor who says she’s on her “second and last marriage”.
Another cast member is Lebo Davies, a married mother of two who moves back to Joburg from London for the show.
However, there are two remaining spots to be filled, which Tigere said would be confirmed in the near future.
He would not say whether Sedibe would double as producer and star.
When asked, a coy Sedibe said only: “Watch this space when the show comes on TV.”
The Real Housewives of Johannesburg is already in preproduction and has roped in the services of Sebastian Cordoba, who has directed the franchise in Atlanta and New York.
He was also involved in reality fare like Hollywood Exes and Say Yes To The Dress.
The logo, which features a diamond dipped in gold, the Joburg skyline perched atop it like a tiara, has been approved by NBC Universal, which holds the rights to the show.
City Press understands that the show will be broadcast early next year on DStv.
The show will be recorded all over the city and follows the lives of six women, often with dramatic moments and suspense, as they tackle the roles of wife, mother, career woman and socialite.
Tigere said the Real Housewives of Johannesburg would be different to versions set in other cities because it would “showcase and profile successful women in South Africa”.
“These types of women work hard and deserve to be celebrated,” he said.
Sedibe said the show wouldn’t be an extended gloat session. “There is no crass materialism,” she said.
Tigere added: “We won’t be going into their ‘fat’ bank accounts.”
For fans of the franchise in the rest of the country, the producers are currently casting for the Real Housewives of Cape Town and Durban.
The only confirmed participant is former Miss SA Cindy Nell, who will be leading the Cape Town cast.
Barbie Brazil, a Joburg woman, claimed earlier this year that she had the rights to the show after she registered the patent with the department of trade and industry.
But Tigere said this wasn’t a factor because NBC Universal had dismissed her claims and appointed him the rightful owner of the title in this country.
However, Tigere revealed he had considered Brazil – a former stripper and fashion-boutique owner – for a place on The Real Housewives of Johannesburg.
“I met her and her manager twice, and to get to my final cast I had a stringent casting criteria.”
He left it there.
He dismissed Brazil’s talk of lawsuits, saying if she took legal action she’d be taking on NBC Universal, not himself.
Brazil’s manager, Lelo Bikitsha, said they had reached a resolution where Barbie was to be part of the show “but due to certain differences, she won’t be in it”.
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