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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Emo Adams on filling Johan Stemmet’s shoes and knowing when to say ‘no’ [VIDEO]

Adams is host of new show Oppi Noot. as the name suggests the show follows the same recipe as Noot vir Noot, which he’s hosted since 2019.

In a recent interview while on a media run to promote the new Bad Boys movie, Will Smith spoke about the difference between being good and being great.

“The difference between good and a great is underestimated by most humans. You can be talented and good; you can wake up and be good,” said Smith

“If you’re not doing 70-hour weeks on your craft…that is such a hard thing to communicate to people, and it’s even more difficult when people are talented,” the Hollywood star said in a sit-down on the 7PM in Brooklyn with Carmelo Anthony & Kid Mero podcast.

I thought of Smith’s words after speaking to TV host Emo Adams.

He was headhunted by Noot vir Noot’s host Johan Stemmet when the veteran broadcaster was contemplating retiring from being host of the long-running (33 years to be exact) Noot vir Noot.

But before being a household name, the 46-year-old Adams was a stage manager who was at the right place at the right time after one of the actors in a show by David Kramer went AWOL- Adams stepped-in.

A Psychology drop-out after his folks couldn’t afford the fees for his completion, Adams went into theatre to make ends-meet, working as a stage manager- a glorious title for being the person mopping the floor, ironing actors’ costumes.

“After the rehearsal [David Kramer] was like ‘do you want to be a stage manager because I think you should be an actor’. He basically offered me the role,” shared Adams.

The multi-talented entertainer is in Gauteng on a media run to promote his new TV show, Oppi Noot, as the name suggests, the show follows the same recipe as Noot vir Noot, which he’s been hosting since 2019.

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‘I knew the weight of the person’

Stemmet asked Adams to be the new host of Noot vir Noot, but there was reasonable apprehension from the latter.

“Around late 2017, Johan Stemmet reached out and dropped little nuggets that he’d like somebody to take over and he then indicated he thinks I’m that person,” said Adams.

“I declined a few times because I know the weight of the person. I’m also in a position where, I would rather not disappoint his audience because there are people who have grown up with this man.”

Large shoes to fill

Adams compares taking over from Stemmet with an Afrikaans newsreader having to step in the shoes of veteran TV journalist, Riaan Cruywagen, or a broadcast journo on Cart Blanche trying to replace the late Derek Watts.

The father of four eventually accepted the enormous opportunity two years later in 2019, and even while in the job, he still dealt with the inn-conflict of not wanting to mess up the opportunity or Stemmet’s legacy.

Noot vir Noot was a difficult thing because you are taking over from a legend who’s been doing this for 30 to 40 years, so automatically there will be a comparison. It’s either you’re going to get ‘it’s not like Johan Stemmet’ or ‘he’s exactly like Johan Stemmet’.”

Adams has been hosting SABC 2’s longest running TV show for five years now, working together with Stemmet, the show’s Executive Producer and Director.

Adams quotes words Stemmet told him about making good TV:

“Happy people make happy television. This means if the feeling and the vibe on the floor is happy, it will translate onto the screen.”

The two are constantly having conversations about improving the product.

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Oppi Noot

Such is Adams’ performance that Johan Stemmet Entertainment Enterprises roped him in for their new show, Oppi Noot.

I sit with Adams, ironically, on the same Wednesday that Oppi Noot made its début on KykNET.

“Actually, I think when they had a host in mind, they almost designed the show around me, which allows me to do my crazy and utilize all the talents I have,” shared Adams.

“The difference though, is that Noot vir Noot is for the everyday guy that has music knowledge. Oppi Noot is for singers. So, for aspirational singers, go to Oppi Noot. I actually think it’s actually smart because it’s a very cool platform without the pressure of Idols, where all eyes are on you,” Adams explained the disparity between the two shows.

“All the games we play are driven by songs. So, when I ask you a Black Eyed Peas song, you can’t tell me, oh, it’s Black Eyed Peas. You have to sing it,” Adams says, giving a practical example belting the Black Eyed Peas’ hit track.

The Mitchells Plain-born entertainer has remained consistent in his craft for a number of years; Adams is one of the seasoned entertainers who have managed to stay away from tabloids, helping him maintain his clean image.  

“I think my career has gone where it is because of my respect for my audience. I don’t think it’s about trying to maintain a ‘clean image’. For me it’s always just about me respecting my work. My band members know, we wear suites, even if the sun is baking, because this is the respect the audience deserves.”

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