Penny Penny ready to sizzle on screen

Picture credit: Supplied
Picture credit: Supplied

Music legend Penny Penny has decided to open his colourful life to the public on television.

His reality show, Papa Penny Ahee!, will make its debut on Wednesday on Mzansi Magic.

The show zooms into complex and yet fascinating life of the 55-year-old artist. It will be shot at his village home and in and around his Limpopo hometown of Giyani.

Viewers will not only get to understand where the man who was born Eric Kobane gets his flamboyant dress sense, they will also see what makes him tick.

Added to that will be how he manages his polygamous lifestyle and interactions with his extended family, friends and neighbours at Nkuri Sofasonke village.

"I had to do this reality show so that people can know the truth about me. People are always telling lies about me and the wives I have. I am looking forward to the first episode," he shares.

Without giving away too much, Penny Penny says the show will reveal that he lives a very simple life. Viewers will see him as he put on his overalls and shorts going to the fields to plough mealies and sorghum.

"I am a humble and simple person. I relate to all people in the village because I have never regarded myself as a star," he says.

After being involved in the Mzansi Magic Clash of the Choirs reality show as a choirmaster, the father of 17 wants to explore his other talents, especially on television. He wants to act and says he is a great scriptwriter though he never went to school to study for it.

One of his projects is to gather all his siblings for his father's refurbished tombstone unveiling, with his 90-year-old mother by his side.

The music star will be trying to regroup all his long lost relatives for a huge family reunion.

Penny admits that allowing cameras to follow him and laying his life bare to millions of viewers was not easy as they followed his every step for three months.

Since he wants to take his brand to another level, he did not want to let the big opportunity slip away.

He says even his family took time to get used to the cameras around them and enjoyed the moment.

"It is not easy because sometimes they are controlling you. It is not like performing on stage where people are taking pictures of you."

Penny, whose career blossomed in 1995 with the release of his seminal album Shaka Bundu, continues to produce music that entertains masses.

The album is still going strong and was re-realsed in the US two years ago. When it was first released 21 years ago, Shaka Bundu sold more than 250000 copies locally.

He has managed to keep his music relevant and up to date with modern ways of production.

Currently, he is working with DJ Maphorisa to produce disco music that will fuse house beats.

The man who comes from a family of 68 children still sings because music is a calling for him and he cannot run away from it, he says.

"The secret of my longevity is that I love and respect myself.

"You cannot respect people if you do not respect yourself. Most importantly, discipline is important in the music industry."

If you've been wondering how he manages to keep his youthful look, Penny does not smoke nor drink. He loves his pap but watches what he eats. He also takes the trouble to look good. He says he loves bathing.

"Taking a bath will make you look clean and fresh," he laughs.

Before he ventured into music, he worked in the mines and even ran a restaurant.

In 1986, he came to Johannesburg and was fortunate to connect with music producer Joe Shirimani and from there a trailblazing musical journey to greatness began.

Penny Penny also served as ANC councillor in Giyani.