A Very Bonang Year shows the inspiration the media personality gained from her international network as well as through connecting with her fan base via social media.
For those familiar with the phrase the common Tswana/SeSotho phrase “Hae du!,” it has come to invoke very specific imagery; imagery of media personality Bonang Matheba hopping on yet another plane and travelling to yet another destination for the heck of it.
The star’s travels became so frequent fans just began to assume she was globe-trotting for the heck of it. However, as we will come to find out tonight on SABC1 at 6pm, all that continent hopping was for work as part of the star’s global expansion plans.
For years, Bonang has spoken about her dream of introducing the world to her work and last year she went for it, filming every second of her journey to show people exactly what goes into the business of being “Queen B”.
“I just wanted to show the business side of it and a more grownup Bonang,” she says.
According to the star, as time goes by, her interests and personality are changing and she feels it is necessary for fans to see this.
Each episode is just under an hour “so we crammed as much as we can into each episode and we’ve done pretty well”.
“I think after two [weekends] people will feel happy. And if not, I always listen to my fans. They always direct me in the way that they want me to go. It might continue on SABC1, we might move it to YouTube, who knows?”
Although she says A Very Bonang Year is about bringing her life as a businesswoman to the fore, Queen B has always been about her business.
From Baby Star handbags to House of BNG, the star has always had her sights set on business.
“I’m very tenacious and I am a big risk-taker. I’m also very ambitious. I believe in myself and I believe in taking risks,” says Bonang.
“Ambition moves you from dreaming about something to actually getting it done.”
Not only did she traverse the world, introducing international audiences to Bonang but, she also set up a home base of sorts in New York.
“For me, that’s the most frightening aspect of the entire thing. Moving to another country, moving into a different culture, meeting new people… but that’s also the exciting part of it.”
Part of her motivation for doing this is showing her own team that she too is capable of pushing herself to improve on a regular basis.
Considering what a machine “Brand Bonang” has become, it shouldn’t be surprising to find out that she has branched out and found herself management teams and glam squads in almost every city she goes to.
“I’m a big planner, luckily I have an American team,” says Bonang.
“I have a team in London and Dubai as well. So I don’t take my whole team with me, I just take what is needed.”
In the trailer for her show, Bonang is shown as having to set someone straight about what exactly it is that she does. Much to our surprise, she was enthusiastic about introducing a new group of people to brand Bonang.
“I found it quite refreshing, funny enough. What I did find is that people know very little about South Africa and the African continent in general.”
“What surprised me is that they were every very interested. You know, in America, they might not know you but because you’re doing something different that no one else is doing, the interest is there and that’s the part that really excited me.”
She believes this is also because she is primarily a TV presenter and has built her fame on the basis of that which is something that is very rarely seen in the US entertainment industry.
Catch the much-anticipated premiere of tonight at 6pm on SABC1 with part two to be broadcast the following Saturday at 6pm.
There will also be a rebroadcast on SABC1 on Monday and 10 August at 2pm. more people to her work, Bonang went on a whirlwind international press tour of sorts that saw her landing interviews on acclaimed platforms such as The Breakfast Club.
That resulted in her gaining a lot of new African American fans as well as a fan base of people who are of African descent but now live in the diaspora.
It also introduced celebrities such as Charlamagne, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Marlo Hampton and Porsha Williams, Eudoxie (Ludacris’ wife) and YouTube sensation Jackie Aina into her network.
According to Bonang, this new network has encouraged her to level up.
“This has had a huge impact on my work and how I present and produce my work.”
She’s so proud of her product that she is convinced that when people watch her docu-series, they’ll see that the production and storytelling are different to her previous projects.
To Bonang, A Very Bonang Year is a true reflection of the inspiration she says she has gained from her international network as well as through connecting with her fan base via social media.
“My personality is the reason why Bonang is Bonang and I will never change. People love me because I’m so very South Africa.”
– The Citizen