Mampintsha and Babes Wodumo cancelled their reality show just before it was set to air. DRUM finds out why they put a stop to the series
IT WAS one of the most highly anticipated series set for local TV. Impilo: Mampintsha West Ink was meant to lay bare the lives of Mampintsha and Babes Wodumo, revealing how he built his record company over the years and shedding light on his relationship with his girlfriend and protégé. And in the promo of the show hosted by Jub Jub, viewers got more than they had bargained for as Babes and Mampintsha were seen arguing in a car as she accuses him of cheating.
South Africans were gearing up for the docu-reality series, but now it may never see the light of day. As fans will know, on the eve of its premiere, the couple pulled the plug on the show, slapping lawsuits on their celebrity friend Jub Jub and the TV channel that commissioned it.
Mampintsha and Jub Jub had reportedly agreed Mampintsha would co-produce the series and edit it before it was released. But when the West Ink Records boss saw the promo clip Jub Jub posted to social media, he decided to go to court to stop the show from being broadcast.
“As your entertainers, and sometimes inspirers, we always strive to keep you seeing us in a good light. However, as human beings, we accept with regret that we will fail you at times [sic],” Mampintsha wrote on social media. “We noted with great concern your comments and expressions of disappointment at us. We wish to assure you that your disappointment is of great regret to us, as we only seek to entertain you.”
The show has been put on ice pending a court case, but the three-part series was a missed opportunity for Babes and Mampintsha – who’ve both lost fans following a string of controversies – to redeem themselves in the eyes of the public. Yet the latest storm is not the nail in the coffin of their once-glittering careers, says celebrity publicist Sheila Afari. “South Africa is a very forgiving nation,” she says. “However, the real damage is on an industry level where there’s growing talk of them being unreliable. The latest move to cancel their Moja Love show is another example that will make people think twice about working with them.
“And that’s where they may be shooting themselves in the foot for future industry relationships, which are often linked to earning potential and bouncing back from this is hard.”
‘We only seek to entertain you’
WHAT YOU’RE MISSING
The show was set to be screened on Moja Love but has been shelved until the outcome of a court hearing on 2 April. But DRUM has seen the first episode, which sees Jub Jub follow the couple as they shoot a music video for Babes. What starts out as a regular day soon becomes a disaster as cheating accusations are flung around, drinks are thrown and phones are smashed. Babes is filmed frantically searching for a flat iron for her signature pink wig while her clothes are all over the couple’s room. After failing to find it, she uses a clothes iron for her hair and asks for a drink.
She’s seen chugging Jägermeister, but it’s only once they leave their home that things start to get heated. An evidently intoxicated Babes is seen in the passenger seat of a car as she calls for Mampintsha, telling him she loves him and asking for a kiss. When he makes a joke about her head being too big to fit through the window, she laughs it off. But at the shoot location, Babes becomes frustrated when she’s expected to style herself and do her own makeup, accusing Mampintsha of not checking on her. Once the shoot is over, Babes, Mampintsha and Jub Jub head home together. During the drive, Babes continues to shout at her man, accusing him of “cheating with girls in Phongolo” and “being stupid enough to take pics with them”. Jub Jub stops the car and tries to calm the situation. At this point, Mampintsha is looking through his phone before it’s grabbed out of his hand by Babes. Their altercation soon becomes physical with Babes throwing punches – one of them landing on Jub Jub’s face.
Despite repeated attempts for comment, Jub Jub didn’t return our calls. Babes and Mampintsha also refused to comment.
STOPPING THE SHOW
Explaining why they turned to the courts for help, Mampintsha says the negative publicity around the documentary hasn’t only affected them but also their fans, friends and family members.
But Babes’ father, Bishop Welcome Simelane, has washed his hands of his daughter. “I don’t know what happens in her life anymore,” he told us in a previous interview. “That life of partying is not godly – it’s deadly.”
The couple lost friends and family with their antics, yet they still have some support in the industry. DJ Tira says he’ll still work with them, even though Babes and Mampintsha failed to perform at Fact Durban Rocks concert in December because they got to the event late.
“It affects the relationship you have with a person because you have promised a certain experience to people, so when an artist does not pitch it is not only disappointing but negative too,” DJ Tira says. “I still want to give them a chance, they are my friends and sometimes I feel for them.”