If democracy is America's greatest export, reality television may be its worst. The granddaughters of former South African president Nelson Mandel appear keenly aware of that fact, but have decided to agree to star in a new reality TV series in early 2012, reports Deadline Hollywood. But they insist, it's not one of those low-brow Americanized reality dramas. “We’re definitely not the African Kardashians,” said one of Mandela's granddaughters at a news conference today in Johannesburg. “This is about three women breaking away from the Mandela legacy to find their own feet,” the show's director Graeme Swanepoel added.
Other than that, details are thin on what the show will be about. It does not have a title. Nor does it appear that the producers have secured a deal with a broadcast outlet. South African paper Mail & Guardian reports, "The show will be produced by South Africa's New Vision Pictures and Out of Africa Entertainment and US producer Rick Leed." But they are promising the show wouldn't be some kind of cheap celebration of the granddaughters' association with South Africa's most famous leader. "The show will be about our lives as young, black women… We’re not wearing ‘I’m a Mandela’ T-shirts,” promised Swati, granddaughter of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. And to drive the point home, producer Leed insisted, "It's not going to detract from the dignity of Nelson Mandel."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.