I hate Top Billing. It’s like a training video for the middle class. With so many poor people in SA having a TV show like Top Billing is like making Pamela Anderson flash her boobies at starving infants. It’s like eating a hamburger outside a Mosque at lunch time during Ramadan. But it’s more than that. It’s the celebrity vibe it feeds off.
The kak thing about Top Billing is that it pretends that all that schmaltzy cheeseyness is normal – in their world we all have smiles whiter than Lindiwe Mazibuko’s politics. Khanyi Mbau fakes orgasms and Top Billing fakes everything else. Being a celebrity in South Africa is like that.
First you got to understand that there are only five ways to get loaded in SA: 1) marry Jacob Zuma, 2) sell botox to Helen Zille, 3) work hard, 4) get a tender, 5) become a celebrity. Becoming a celebrity is piss easy. You don’t even need to have talent, especially if you get to act on Backstage.
The problem is getting to the top of the B-list. Only the fakest make it there. No creases, stretch marks or personality disorders allowed (unless you are Joost or Hansie. then your celeb buddies will let you off: “shame, you poor suffering cheating scumbag”).
They are lying bastards. All of them. Of course celebs in SA know that we think this so they all have charities they like to tell us about. If you ask these spineless leeches if they feel ashamed of all this glitz and glamour they’ll angrily tell you they spend every evening helping AIDS orphans. And for every 1 minute of orphan time they want 5 minutes of Top Billing time. The selfless struggle for publicity… Michael Mol, the Patron Saint of Creche Wall Painting.
That’s why I like Khanyi Mbau. She’s honest about being shallow. If Khanyi Mbau was any shallower Baby Jake could use her as a swimming pool. In fact I think she deserves an award for being so honestly fake. Julius Malema should nationalise her. She’s the best Gold Digger we have.
These ous don’t get that the things they say and do are shaping South African popular culture. Directly. Politicians have political power. Capitalists have economic power. Celebs have social power. They will whinge and moan that they didn’t ask for it… but that’s a big fat lie. The moment that camera is out they fight like lemmings to get in front.
The trouble is we are very shallow and would rather hear a coked up diva than a real expert – so celebs get the airtime. We need to stand up and say ‘Dear Bonang et al, we don’t want relationship advice from you’. ‘Dear DJs please don’t write letters to the government.
Do what you are qualified to do – press play, pause, and pour vodka for Mara Louw’. ‘Dear kwaito stars, we know you worked hard to make it… but please don’t think your opinion on business means anything’.
The problem is that they make being shallow aspirational. Why do people called ‘Milkshake’ and ‘Euphonic’ get hero status ahead of our doctors, teachers, and police officers? What do we aspire to be? That’s the problem with celebs. They think they’re Die Antwoord, but they’re not. That’s why whenever I see Jeannie D on Top Billing I ground myself by imagining she is holding in a fart, or that she is having a kid with DJ Ready D. They are naming her ‘Sunshine’… D.
Chester Missing is LNN’s political analyst via the eNews channel