South Africans, faced with rampant inflation and severe austerity measures, are once again bemoaning their fate, threatening emigration and promising politicians that there will be bedlam at the next elections instead of concentrating on producing those things that make this country great.


Take a step back and answer this question: When the Americans ran out of talent to whom did they turn to rake in billions of dollars?


Of course, it’s those reality shows where people like the Kardashians, who have less talent than the North Borneo hunting gnat, are able to fill out a bikini and then some or a bachelor who the producers would have us believe is sincere in his efforts to find his soul mate on national television, strut their stuff for the cameras. Mind you the dialogue in The Bachelor is breath-taking:

“Come here often.”

“Only in the mating season.”

What has this got to do with alleviating our suffering during these trying times?

Simple, we have to put on our own reality shows that will appeal to a worldwide audience.

If regard is had to the latest US smash hit — Here Comes Honey Boo Boo — then surely …

This is about a blonde, curly-haired obnoxious seven-year-old from the deep south, rural McIntyre, Georgia, whose family have to be seen to be believed. It’s like something out of Deliverance without the duelling banjos and what’s killing me is that we’ve got this kind of talent all over the country — places like “Pitsonderpitmaarwaterasdiemunsipaliteitditnieafsnynie”, population 12 465, surnames two — and yet we allow the Yanks to beat us to it!

This will never do.

What we need is to produce a reality show that strikes a chord with overseas audiences that have had the opportunity of either visiting our beautiful country or have watched us on their news.

In other words we need CANDID HOTEL CAMERA

Every week we feature a couple, preferably from Britain on account of their media trashing South Africa at every opportunity, who are staying at one of the luxury hotels. In their room the television does not tune in to the real news but “the news”, weather (this will be from the South African Weather Bureau, guests will marvel how each day the weather is the exact opposite of what they forecast … but I digress) and advertising produced by our crew and containing everything the couple would expect to find while they are down here.

We then have strategically placed cameras and mikes, borrowed from Big Brother, focusing on the pair because it is their reaction that is the highlight of our show. Producers will have to somehow find an ambulance — try calling one if you think it’s so easy — and a crowbar to prise their fingers from the headboard when it’s time for them to check out.


The trick is then to put on the news but ignore the sensational items that it’s covering:

“Good evening, we start in Daveyton where municipal officials have confirmed that henceforth pedestrians will be required to cross only at robots and then only when the little green man is displayed … (totally ignoring the police dragging an unfortunate taxi driver in the background) … police have confirmed that they will be particularly severe on tourists … ”

“Holy sh*t love did yer see that … ”

“ … this has been a bone of contention for a while now as the recent meeting between pedestrians and police at Marikana (showing in the background) clearly demonstrated … ”

“FFS … is that reception? Evening love could you book us on a flight to Mogadishu … sorry? … it’s not safe here … don’t you watch your news?”


“Hi Linda, have you seen the new Trellidor for bathrooms … ”
“No, when did it come out?”
“Last month — watch this (firing three 9mm rounds into the bathroom door) … ”
“Gee Gloria that is stunning … can you get it in different colours?”
“Of course … but the manufacturers say that at 3am in pitch darkness, colour is not really a concern … ”


“The Pretoria Zoo today confirmed the disappearance of a highly venomous black mamba. The snake was last seen disappearing into the foyer of (name hotel where the wenners are staying) at around 2pm this afternoon. Tourists are warned that any attempt to corner the snake may well prove fatal and that the best course of action is to run … sprint is better …to the hotel’s reception and demand that they allow you to take refuge in the safe with everyone else. Management has confirmed that while breathing in the vault may prove difficult anything has to be better than being bitten by that snake (video of Ebola victim in last throes in the background). The snake, known to reach speeds of 75m/h when irritated, was believed to have been pregnant and guests are urged to avoid the lifts. Snake curator Rusty Potgieter has urged guests to keep the lights on at all costs. He says the black mamba hunts at night and becomes highly aggressive in the dark.

“Alice we won’t be able to make that fecking flight … we’re doomed.”

“In other news regional power utility Eskom has confirmed that the country’s failure to meet their trillion rand budget could well result in power blacko … ”


Cut … package and export.

They’ll love it.


Michael Trapido

Michael Trapido

Mike Trapido is a criminal attorney and publicist having also worked as an editor and journalist. He was born in Johannesburg and attended HA Jack and Highlands North High Schools. He married Robyn...

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