Rorisang Thandekiso plays matchmaker on ‘Tropika Smooth Fan’

Catch the show at 6pm tonight with Khanyi Mbau, who is the latest celeb ready to have her life explored.

She’s the perfect mediator, the kind who would easily calm a hostage situation. At least, right now, she just needs to be the middleperson between top celebs and their fans – no police work involved.

Rorisang Thandekiso was the perfect choice to host the first season of Tropika Smoooth Fan – a celebrity game show where fans need to answer questions about their favourite South African glitterati.

It’s not an easy task, because Thandekiso is the curator, providing four fans the opportunity to meet their favourite star in a very interesting way.

“I think my trick or my approach to it is spending time with both. I spend a lot of time with the celebrities one on one in makeup and talk about things unscripted. There, you get a sense of where they are, what they find funny.

“But I also spend time with the contestants, tease them a bit, hang out with them and find out where they are from. It’s amazing how much you get to know someone by just knowing where they are from.”

If you’ve watched the show, you’ll know she’s the perfect thunderous energy that is never irritating as she does the nudge nudge, wink wink with the celebs and sets contestants at ease.

On top of that, she’s keeping the energy up on set – an impressive feat considering Thandekiso’s been on a hectic flight schedule to shoot each episode the past few weeks before it airs.

Episodes are shot just a few days before their broadcast on Friday evenings on SABC 1. The show is shot at the same studios as Afternoon Express and Expresso on SABC 3 in Cape Town.

“So people who travel on the ‘gram’ look so cool and at the start I was like, yeah, I’m going to be a gram girl, flying in and out – uhm, it’s not that glamorous,” she laughs.

For the show, she lands on Tuesdays and flies back on Thursdays. During that time she does voice-overs, pick-ups and films the actual episode. But it’s a smooth-running operation now, with only a few episodes that still need to be shot.

So smooth in fact, standing on set Thandekiso even does some continuity. During the filming of a pick-up, she’s quick to point out she should have her tablet in her hands – she had it before.

The show also features mostly women celebs and contestants. “I think it’s important. I don’t think it was intentional, but I think the overall notion of women in the industry – and that we have to take a back seat – is changing.

“For us to celebrate women is important. And it’s all women. I don’t think I represent many of the criteria of what beauty is in the world and here I am, hosting a show,” she says.

Luckily, there’s a bit of a break coming up for the fire-cracker host when the show finishes early next month. Next year, she’s moving more behind the scenes.

Catch her at 6pm tonight with Khanyi Mbau, who is the latest celeb ready to have her life explored.

Mbau opens up about her life – her career beginnings on SABC 2’s soap Muvhango in 2004, The Scoop and The Big Secret – to what she has learned and even her favourite snack. It’s unmissable.

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