Do you want to wife her, or is she just mistress material? What a loaded question. This October, VIA (DStv Channel 147) is ready to go there on their new reality show, Houvrou Of Trouvrou? (Mistress Or Wife?). The series is the brainchild of producers Izelle Venter, Robert Kaden, Merran Ann Costabel, and the show’s production house, Thank You Kindly Bobby.
Houvrou Of Trouvrou follows eight South African women as they take on “wifestyle” challenges. They are under the eye of host, Christi Panagio, and the three judges: Bauke Hanekom, the Mr. South Africa finalist, etiquette queen Emsie Schoeman, and radio personality Sherlin Barends. The reality show is part Survivor-style reality and part social experiment, as the contestants are given tools and strategic advantages to get ahead in the game. Ultimately, the winner won’t get a ring but she gets R500,000 – cash!
“Marriage is still a big deal for Afrikaans women – despite the consciously unmarried trend – and we wanted to play with that,” says Izelle. “Also, has the list of potential qualities of an ideal wife changed for the modern Afrikaans man? Do Afrikaans women want to adhere to that, and can they do so authentically? The point is not to find these ambitious girls a husband, but rather to get our heads around what the modern Afrikaans trouvrou looks like. Let’s see what the women and our judges think,” adds Izelle. As for that title, she teases, “TV programming must be designed with social distribution in mind. What is a one-liner that will catch the eye of audiences?”
Watch Houvrou Of Trouvrou? Season 1 Wednesdays, at 20:00 on VIA (DStv Channel 147)
Speak now or hold your peace, Izelle
How would you personally feel about someone judging you as a wife?
Where do you fall short of being the perfect Trouvrou?
On most aspects! Being a wife comes easy for me, though, because I got extremely lucky with a patient and lovely husband. I don’t think his standards are very high!
How did you come up with the standards for a perfect wife?
Our content team, a format consultant, and Thank You Kindly Bobby, brainstormed for several hours. It’s a combination of real-life experience, conversations with many role-players, accepted traditional concepts and how we know and love women.
Given these standards, who even deserves a Trouvrou?
A man who gets her! And one who makes her want to be part of this social construct, and a possible happy union.
How were the challenges set up and tested?
The challenges were aligned with the identified ‘’universal’’ characteristics that make women sought-after marriage material. We considered challenges that could illustrate and test these characteristics in a practical, emotional, and mindful way. This is TV, we want to have a bit of fun, so these challenges must be visual and entertaining. The Multi-tasking Challenge (challenge 5 in the series) is a daily reality for me – although most of my balls fall on the floor.
What do you think is the most difficult challenge in the series?
Being an All-rounder (challenge 2). Being a wife or a husband is at times difficult, demanding and even painful. People are ambitious, busy and there is a lot to do. I am sad to say that I can’t braai or change a tyre….but I know who to call, whatever the scenario – I am good at making a plan.
Ready, ladies? May the best Trouvrou win!
Watch Houvrou Of Trouvrou? Season 1 Wednesdays, at 20:00 on VIA (DStv Channel 147).
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