Getting real with the Ranakas

Picture credit: Supplied
Picture credit: Supplied

After years of being her family's queen of reality shows, Dineo Ranaka has taken a step back to let her family shine.

The Ranakas have styled themselves as an interesting bunch, at times dysfunctional, other times too loud and confrontational, but at the end of the day, they are a family and that's what matters.

Her family's long-awaited reality show The Ranakas - a spin-off of her show Dineo's Diary - premiered on Mzansi Magic last night.

The former radio show host and television presenter told Sowetan that following the huge success of Dineo's Diary, selling the concept of her whole family show to Mzansi Magic was a walk in the park.

"It was a natural feeling. The success of Dineo's Diary required a spin-off. I think people know Dineo but they didn't know her family, they don't know the people who really raised her and where most of her character traits stem from on a domestic point of view," she says.

"I think it is fitting and I have always thought that my family is more exciting than Dineo is on her own," she giggles.

Dineo's Diary had three successful seasons, which the former YFM radio host says opened doors for her to position herself as the queen of reality shows with her production company Brains@work.

"After Dineo's Diary I kind of thought that then the next best thing is to look after the family and if they would be keen to come up with their own show."

Fans of Dineo's Dairy are in for a treat with the new show as every single trick, tantrum, dramatic scene and awe-inspiring moment from the show will come in six-fold as the whole family prepares to take viewers into their home and private lives for the next 12 episodes.

The family is led by the Ranaka's father, a gentle, soft-spoken, charming man and the no-nonsense yet loving matriarch. Then there is Dineo's equally famous sister and Generations: The Legacy star Manaka, Mpumi, her brother Mzingisi and Dineo herself.

"In the beginning not everyone was keen but the majority was very interested and you know how it goes, the majority always wins," Dineo says about luring her family into the idea.

On being a unique family show, Dineo says the family is going for a family-based reality drama series. "The reason why I say reality drama series is because it is like a drama series but the characters are not created, they are real.

"So, you are following different paths and different journeys from different people.

"It's the whole family, so you get a sense of trials and tribulations in families, you get a sense of conflict and sibling rivalry and conflict in marriage between a mother and a father."

Dineo says the difference between her show and international competition such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Braxton Family Values is that her show is African.

"The execution of it is what sets it apart because this is truly South African, and it's authentic. It does not try to be what it is not.

"They [cast] are who they are, they are crazy, they are emotional, they are pleasant, harmless and they are what true South African families are, very accommodating of their neighbours and very loving of each other."

Dineo says the show is only the beginning of her success as a media mogul and the queen of South African reality television.

"I am not even going to lie, I am positioning myself as the queen of spin-offs.

"My thing is that if I have children, my children may bear grandchildren for me.

"That is how I treat the business. Every single show by Brains@work media must give birth to another show."

While she watches her family shine, Dineo says she doesn't know yet when Dineo's Diary will be back on television, but adds that she is in no hurry.

"I really am enjoying the break. I enjoy presenting a TV show where I am not the star of it.

"I enjoy having time to work on other TV show concepts, preparing to pitch for shows like other TV producers," she said.

"I have been blessed with a very solid team, a good business model and a very supportive family, that when the hours are long they are there to help me with the children and stuff so for now my focus is on the production side."

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