It has been a decade since Mzansi Magic became a part of the fabric of South African life and changed the course of South African television forever.
The channel has since taken reality TV to a different level and some of the shows, on the mediation aspect of conflict resolution, reality shows, like Utatakho and Please Step In, have endeared themselves as shows that resonate with the day to day struggles of mzansi viewers.
Unlike days gone yonder as stated above, the methods of negotiation and mediation are employed albeit the community or jury is the wider South African family, who express their views on social media. The mediators are professionals skilled with both African and foreign skills of conflict resolution.
“My personal life experiences and training have aided me in understanding family dynamics and created a heart of empathy,” says Please Step In Family & Relationship Counsellor, Angie Diale. Psychologists, Psychiatrists, family and relationship counsellors and life coaches have opened the door through television to allow our countrymen to embrace the opportunity of opening up old wounds that are obstacles to a fulfilled family life. Over the years the show has helped in understanding how to love thy neighbour as you love yourself, to truly forgive, accept failures and mistakes on this beautiful journey called life.”
Please Step In is a relationship show focussed on helping family members resolve a collective issue and revolves around families looking to resolve their challenges and problems with a particular member of their group.
Another popular Mzansi reality show, Utatakho - which is hosted by duly sensitive and empathetic Nimrod Nkosi - journeys with men and women on their path to find their biological fathers.
The show helps deal with the joy and pain that comes with unravelling their genetic background.
“For me Utatakho is firstly about the right a person has to know where they are from thus have the ability to pave the way forward the best way they can,” Nkosi says.
“Now, being part of a ground breaking television project that helps people establish their sense of belonging through forensic DNA, is nothing short of an honour. Many seasons later, the show has helped many people, and this has been the greatest feat of my career.”
While the times have changed, Mzansi Magic has seen to it fit to offer a helping hand through shows like Utatakho and Please Step In, where intervention and mediation have helped many families for over a decade.