Moja Love unscripted content 'disrupts' TV

The growing weekly viewership of black-owned television channel Moja Love continues as the new kid on the block tells explosive stories of communities in South Africa.

Described by some on social media as "weird", the channel has been tagged as the "disruptor of commercial entertainment television", according to head of unscripted content manager Bokani Moyo.

Moja Love, on DStv channel 157, is known to evoke uncomfortable emotions from its variety shows - ranging from baby daddy drama, minors getting married, families fighting over their homes and slay queens - living their best lives.

Moyo confirmed that the channel viewership stands at 6.7-million weekly, a rare feat for a project that started just over a year ago.

"Our goal is to create authentic content that is authentic to our lived experiences as producers and the community of a black-owned company that is managed by young black women," Moyo said.

Moja Love was officially launched in February last year by Siyaya Media Network and DStv.

Moyo added that working with a lot of young people played a significant role in narrowing down the shows that make it to the small screen.

"We are driven to deliver stories that were previously only spoken about in hushed tones, based on the 'what will people say' or 'let's not talk about it' factors," said Moyo.

There is a method to their madness because the channel hosts focus groups prior to a show being taped to bounce off ideas with various communities in SA.

"With a show like Isencane Lengane we went into KwaZulu-Natal, did a focus group, found out how prevalent are teenage marriages in KwaZulu-Natal which is very normal.

"That's something that people like us in Joburg don't know about," she said.

On a weekly schedule, the top five shows are Rea Tsotella, Uthando Noxolo, No Excuse Pay Papgeld, Ku Kithi La and Traditional Wedding.

"We are confronting those social ills so that we can rise above them and bring them to the surface, so that we can move on.

"We can't talk about freedom when we have got emotional baggage ... when the men in our community are so angry and beating us up every day," said Moyo.

In a few weeks, new shows will be added to their schedule. These include Zodwa Wabantu: Uncensored and Uyajola:99 hosted by musician Jub Jub.

Zodwa Wabantu told Sunday World she felt comfortable shooting her reality show about her unorthodox lifestyle.

"We have never had our stories told in our own way. It's beautiful and it's changing the game," she said. "These are the stories that are happening in the townships which happen behind closed doors, the channel exposes that in its entirety," added Zodwa.

Slay queen on the show called Village Girls, Dineo Mare, said: "We feel very privileged because not every other channel tells it the way it [Moja Love] does. It's raw. We can relate to it because it's our lives. "

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