As a Content Producer, I have already learned about all the misconstrued assumptions people hold about the broadcasting world.
For one, whenever I tell folks I am a Content Producer and Scriptwriter, they still ask, “So, what do you do?” I tell them that I compile content, which I turn into the scripts that presenters say on air. Confused, they ask, “So, those presenters are not saying what’s on their minds?” Then I chuckle!
While this is a silly misconception or lack of knowledge about the industry, there are other serious daunting issues, like the fact that broadcasting’s cat-fights and dramas are always played out in the public for everyone to see. Each knockout is captured, and to retaliate, the other one hits below the belt and gives the media the juice they need. It’s toxic and messy.
This, unfortunately, leaves a bad name for the industry, especially among women. “Women simply cannot get along,” most will say. This notion is, sometimes, fueled by the media because some claims of rivalry can often be unfounded, concluding to just pure lazy journalism and over-sensationalism.
Unfortunately, sometimes, the smoke that the media blows towards fans and ordinary people is often telling of the fire within entertainment. Yep, amidst its vibrant nature, the entertainment industry is one that we have all been warned against. It’s littered with heavy glitz and glam, drugs, hook ups and break ups occurring faster than the contrast of day and night. Those in it often praise its perks, lament over its fakeness and laugh or cry about speculations that make headlines every single day.
This “IT” girl hates that one, while this other one is now sleeping with that one’s boyfriend. And, although we, as the general public, like to act like ‘these people are so immoral and wild,’ entertainment is just a microcosm of the real world. It’s a window through which we see what’s going on out there. A reflection of our own daily nuances.
That said, recently – there has been an incredible paradigm shift. There is a collective energy making the rounds, and it has become very common for the most successful people right now to celebrate each other’s milestones. This is so important because it shows industry key players on one side and perpetuates a deep sense of patriotism. It could be that it’s always been there, but in the past, the story behind the story was left to the media because celebrities didn’t have the power of their own narrative through mediums like Instagram.
There is definitely a greater narrative at play when we see Somzi Mhlongo, Anele Mdoda, Unathi Msengana, Thembisa Mdoda, Basetsana Khumalo, Noeleen Maholwana Sangqu, and others at Minnie Dlamini’s wedding, partying all together and celebrating South Africa’s diamond in her new endevour. Yes, those screen grabs of video chats between Minnie and Unathi are so important, so are the shout outs Anele makes to her sister’s achievements, not forgetting the role of people like David Kau in comedy and Black Coffee in music.
This is definitely related to the idea of passing the baton and opening up the industry where one can. A good example of that is DJ Fresh, who seems to have been key in helping launch many careers in the music industry. Indeed, I have lost count of how many musicians I have heard saying “DJ Fresh actually made a point to play my songs in his show, and that’s how people got to know me.” Apart from his great music and legendary voice on radio, this is what also makes DJ Fresh ever more relevant in our industry – his maturity and understanding that lifting another DJ doesn’t diminish him. This realization is pivotal for anyone in a position to prescribe something to the public, and who knows that if s/he says we must look out for so and so, we definitely do.
I am not suggesting that influential people have to be friends – that one is their prerogative. Their support of each other motivates and strengthens the rest of us in the smaller industries we might occupy. It also speaks to the idea that when one shines, we all shine and that instead of being bitter about another person’s achievements, it is better to celebrate them and get the lessons you may need from them to attract what is already coming your way.
This type of collectivism is a dire need everywhere; particularly among black people because white privilege and male privilege are already heavy burdens in all industries. People will treat us how we treat each other. If ten celebrities come out to congratulate their colleague in an achievement, viewers are more likely to follow suit.