By Nikita Gomes Achadinha

While munching away at the delicious breakfast we got served, a presentation was screened showing snippets of what is to be expected. Watching the presentations, one definitely gets a strong indication of who the SABC3 audience is. Shows like Morning Expresso and Top Billing indicate that SABC3 viewers love celebrity gossip and aspire to drive fancy cars and live in luxury homes one day.

With soaps like Isidingo, All my Children, and Days of our Lives still going strong, we can also assume that the audience might be predominantly women or housewives or even career women that look forward to getting home, opening a bottle of wine, kicking off the heels and indulging in the latest scandal on their favourite soapie. My reason for thinking that the audience might be mostly female is also due to the fact that there a number of talk shows that appeal to the female gender too. Oprah and The Power Within are sure to have a number of women sitting with a box of tissues, sobbing at the story of how Oprah met her long lost sister or something of the sort.

You might have been able to tell by the tone in this article that I am not really an Oprah fan or a soppy talk show fan for that matter. But for all of you out there that feel the same way I do there are quite a number of shows that will get you excited and intrigued. CSI, Nurse Jackie,and Nip/Tuck are just a few of the TV series that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat, either laughing your head off or biting your nails.

I am a DStv subscriber and have to admit that I don’t watch a whole lot of SABC3, but while at the presentation I noticed a number of similarities between the public broadcaster’s channel and a few DStv’s channels. For example, SABC3 will now be screening a show called Charly’s Cake Angels which is very similar to Cake Boss that is shown on BBC Lifestyle. Both shows follow the lives of a baker and the cakes that they are asked to make for various functions. I am a Cake Boss fan! The cakes that man creates is remarkable, he has even made a cake for Oprah (we are talking a lot about Oprah lately, promise to stop now). So, let’s hope Charly matches up.

However, there are two documentaries that are making their way onto SABC3 that have me very intrigued and might just convert me to become an avid SABC3 viewer. Riaan Manser, an adventurer, and Bobby Skinstad’s brother, Dan Skinstad decided to kayak around Iceland. Manser and Skinstad were at the screening to explain the show and most importantly, why the hell they decided to go on this crazy excursion!
The trip involved 2 200km of kayaking in freezing cold water, it took them about 6 months and they had a film crew follow them from day 1.

When describing the reason why Manser keeps going on these extreme adventures (he has done a bicycle trip around Africa and kayaked around Madagascar previously) he says, “I wanted to do something exceptional with my life.” Exceptional may be an understatement after hearing what these guys went through on this trip.

Skinstad on the other hand decided to join Manser for very personal reasons. Skinstad has cerebral palsy and despite this has just finished his law degree. However, this was not enough to prove to himself that he was worth something. This negative perception of himself is exactly why Skinstad was motivated to take this trip.

The show is about inspiring people, even the kayak they used on the trip was named ‘Inspiration’, and Manser says that this “is what the country needs”. “You will see me conquer self image issues and I am sure you will conquer your own issues too”, says Manser. Not sure how you feel but I will certainly take time out of my DStv viewing to catch this documentary/reality show about these two adventurous South Africans.

The other I mentioned earlier also involves two male South Africans but these two decide to dig up South African history on horseback. The show is called The Ride and will involve Barry Armitage and his brother-in-law, Joe Dawson, reliving the experiences of historical characters on horseback. Armitage spoke about one of their journeys where they aimed to “debunk the myth of Dick King’s journey”. The show looks at our colonial history and Armitage believes that we have “come this far in our democracy” to be able to do a show like this.

Armitage says the show is about “getting people to think about where they came from, think about their heritage”. For example, he explained that Dick King was known as the ‘Saviour of Natal’ but they wanted to know why. So, to briefly explain the show he says, “[It is about] getting our fingers dirty uncovering the past while riding horses really fast.”

Accepting history just the way it is in our school textbooks is what most of us have done but Armitage says, “History never really tells the truth.” Well, I am certainly looking forward to uncovering it with Barry and Jo. To read up on their adventures go to Barry’s blog.