R250k kids’ party, glamour, outbursts: inside new ‘momfluencers’ reality show
Five glamorous Jozi moms navigate the challenges of parenting
In the City of Gold, where status is everything, one “it mom” has taken children's birthday parties to new heights by throwing a lavish R250,000 bash to celebrate her son turning one.
Nunurai Mudarikwa, a planner of upscale events, is one of five posh Johannesburg mothers who will feature in a new reality show, The Mommy Club, which follows glamorous Jozi “momfluencers” navigating the challenges of parenting.
The swanky safari-themed party — which will take centre stage in the premiere of the eight-part Showmax series — featured a mobile bar for the adults, popcorn, slushy and sweet stations, a massive cake, countless balloons, floral arrangements and a deli. The birthday boy was kitted out in Burberry.
The show also features former Real Housewives of Johannesburg star Mpumi Mops; fashion business guru Tshego Manche; author and motivational speaker Happy “HerMajesty” Simelane; and beauty pageant owner Ratile Mabitsela.
Mudarikwa told the Sunday Times the cash she splashed on the recent party, held at a park on the residential estate where she lives, was worth it “for the amount of people who attended and the detail that went into it”.
“I can't really say that I spent too much money. I know if I was going to do this specific party for someone else, it would cost much more. As I'm in the industry, I got industry prices for everything.
“Initially we invited about 100 guests, including parents and children, but in the end we had 130 people. The R250,000 included the food and of course lots of alcohol. Because I'm a décor person I had to make it really detailed and beautiful.”
She threw the party when The Mommy Club was in its first week of shooting and invited her fellow cast members.
“The safari theme was all me. I thought let me do it now before my son can make his own choices.”
She said her businessman husband — who is not part of the show — bought a Burberry outfit for their son to wear for the party.
For Mudarikwa her foray into television has been a baptism of fire. “This is my first time on television. It was hectic, I can't lie.
“Initially I was very nervous. In my head I thought someone will come with one camera and there may be two or three people. But the crew was so big. Sometimes when they brought the full crew it would be about 18 people. I had signed up for it and so I had to get comfortable,” she said.
Viewers will see the five women go about their glamorous lives along with their brigade of nannies and their kids' antics.
“I guess there was a bit of a clash of personalities on the show. You put five strong personalities in one room and it's bound to happen,” Mudarikwa said.
Manche, a mother of three and founder of Motherland Shapewear, is also excited about her television debut.
“We are all very opinionated, business orientated, different women. Of course when a group of strong women come together, you will butt heads here and there.”
Manche says despite motherhood, viewers will see that they can still be glamorous and enjoy successful careers.
“It doesn't mean if you are a mom, you must let yourself go.”
She is certain mothers from all walks of life will identify despite them living in exclusive homes, driving flashy cars and wearing designer clothes.
“Apart from the glamour, we are relatable because we are mothers.
“It doesn't mean that if you are wearing the fancy clothing and looking good you don't have the challenges of motherhood.”
Manche has a nanny and au pair to help care for her children, all aged under four.
Zinzi Velelo Alake, the executive producer who also produced This Body Works For Me and true-crime anthology Imibuzo, said she chose “these mommies because they are all fabulous, hard-working black women who have it all”.
The idea for the show came from her own experiences of motherhood.
Alake, who counts herself as an “average mom”, said she was inspired to give herself some attention after seeing the five moms in action on their social media platforms.
“The day I created the show, my daughter was three months old. I was on my bed, breast-feeding while scrolling through Instagram. I saw all these women and I thought what are they doing right that I'm not?”
The show premieres on June 27.
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