Do you know why Nene Leakes has become a cultural icon who single-handedly became the embodiment of meme culture and the very DNA of the popular Real Housewives franchise? According to Carlos King, who was an associate producer on the Real Housewives of Atlanta for the first season, she just had it. He recalled how Nene was livid after being denied access to a party but delivered some of the funniest moments during the filming of the show’s first scenes. So, as far as cheat codes are concerned, is that what it takes to become a successful TV personality?
Well, being funny while yelling obscenities at your castmates was a good start on this particular. The nominees for the DStv MVCA ‘Favourite TV Personality have done different formats, and they’ve each shown us what it takes to become the centre of attention while keeping millions of audiences hooked.
Bringing the material
A comedian who does not deliver one funny joke runs the risk of discrediting his own claim to fame. Where are the jokes? This goes for every TV personality. Think of this year’s nominees, namely Maleka, Manas, Mohono, Mrototo, and Motaung. Each of them brings something unique and special to the table, which forms part of the reason they have become household names. Whether it's current affairs, where the hosts have to be on their A-game when it comes to the latest news, or lifestyle shows, where relating to the latest trends in pop culture comes with the job, these personalities are never found wanting!
Similarly, the nominated personalities have carved out a niche for themselves. It’s in the punchlines, the taglines, the inside jokes they form over time. It’s their style of delivery, their mannerisms and cadence. Some are loved for bursting with energy, while others are loved for being smooth and mellow. Whatever it is, attempting to duplicate their successful styles will not result in the making of their replicas. In other words, every great TV personality you’ve ever known is true to who they are.
As RuPaul often says, “charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent”. You’ve got to bring the show, or else people could start tuning out. One characteristic that is common across all the nominees is their charisma (and yes, uniqueness, nerve, and talent in bucket-loads!) Whether you are having a relaxed conversation with the Big Brother Mzansi Housemates just minutes before Eviction, or you are covering a dangerous political scandal that has upset millions, the ability to bring charm to the mix is essential.
When it comes to television, anything can happen. And while that goes without saying for live broadcast TV, it’s also true for shows that are taped in advance. A guest may drop you at the last minute. A new story could break while you are in the middle of a segment. There are many such scenarios, which require agility from the host or presenter. The ability to quickly adapt and seamlessly switch lanes makes the TV personality hot property.
Loving your craft
It might sound clichéd, but you’ve got to love what you do. Beyond the promise of glamour and fame that comes with being a star on TV, there’s a lot of pressure that does not make it to the airwaves. Wanting to be famous is not reason enough for one to pursue a career in television. The greatest TV personalities know that their passion is the reason they have succeeded in their careers. You’ve got to really, really love it!
These are some of the reasons Maleka, Manas, Mohono, Mrototo and Motaung, who are all nominated for the DStv MVCA Favourite TV Personality award, continue to shine! Vote HERE to make sure your fave gets their flowers.