WATCH | Steve Harvey on 'Family Feud', moving to SA, Trump and land expropriation
Steve Harvey didn't hold back
US megastar Steve Harvey says coming to SA is like “returning home” and the star tells TshisaLIVE that he has come sharing love, hope, business opportunities and a bit of “Hollywood gold dust”.
Steve is in the country to launch an African version of his hit TV game show Family Feud. The local series will be hosted by the star and will feature families from Ghana and South Africa. Shooting will start in October and it will hit screens early next year.
The game show sees two families compete to give the most popular answers to surveyed questions, often with hilarious results. It has been on air since 1976, with Steve hosting since 2010.
He said the idea for the show came to him in a vision.
“God gave me a vision. God places everything he wants from me in my imagination. When I get an idea, I act on it,” he added.
“I am trying to tell my family to go home”
Steve has been to South Africa before but said he has been blown away by his visit to Johannesburg. He will be living in the city for several weeks while filming later this year, but told TshisaLIVE he could see himself and his family possibly moving here at some point.
“I am trying to convince them to go home, that is the problem I have. My son has already told me that South Africa is what he wants. My daughter loves it. My son loves it.”
Steve will be working with local producers and crews on Family Feud, and said he has been impressed by the talent in South Africa.
What he thinks of Somizi, Mo Flava, Thando Thabethe & DJ Fresh
Name dropping Thando Thabethe, Somizi, Mo Flava, DJ Fresh and others, Steve said it was time for the “Hollywood dust” from America to be shared with SA talent, but he doesn't believe our artists have to move across the sea to get it.
“Why would you have to leave your home country to make it? It is just not being done the right way. Everyone keeps living in their own pocket, someone needs to unify the whole continent. If you go to Hollywood right now, there is a line. That line is long. I say, why not maximise your potential here.”
“I just fell down and touched the wall, and I could just feel something on me”
For Steve the visit to Africa is both “spiritual” and deeply personal, as he tries to connect with his ancestors from the continent.
“America is my home. It has been good to me, but I wanted to see my homeland. This is my homeland. We were taken from here, it wasn't a yacht trip, we were robbed. So for me to come here and walk this land was special. Ancestry.com can't help me but when I visited a slave castle in Ghana, someone I was related to was in that very room because I felt him, it was very spiritual for me.
“I just fell down and touched the wall, and I could just feel something on me. I knew it was real because my oldest son was in the room with me and he turned around and faced the wall, and he couldn't stop crying.”
Steve has a plan to find his ancestors one day by releasing his father's picture and trying to find a match.
“The way that I am going to find out who my father is, is when I come here I will release his picture and find some tribe or village that looks just like him.”
“One of the problems we have with the leader of America today is that he doesn't know what it is to struggle”
Through his charity foundation, the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, Steve hopes to make a difference to the lives of young Africans. He believes his years in poverty as a young man have shaped him and made him more aware of the needs of others.
It is something he believes the current US president Donald Trump does not possess.
“Poverty has helped me appreciate money but it has also made me be understanding. I have been in every economic level, that is why I have a heart for all people. I have been there. I know what it is to want something so bad, you can't sleep... that has shaped me.
“Probably one of the problems we have with the leader of our country, America, today is that he has never been poor, he doesn't know what it is to struggle. You govern a nation full of people who are struggling, so you make policy and decisions and comments that are not beneficial to people who struggle. You know why? It is because you have never struggled. What do you care?... When you are governing a country that has massive amounts of poor people and you have never been poor, you can't relate.”
“I want to be free now. I don't want to be free when you decide I should be free.”
He has watched this inequality not only in America but also in South Africa after apartheid and says he is a firm supporter of the policy of land expropriation without compensation.
“I am an African American... I understand that struggle. You come, you take everything from these people and then you want the people not to want it back. It is amazing when people in power say, 'be patient, we are working on it'. How would you like to be patient? I want to be free now. I don't want to be free when you decide I should be free.
“Now how you are going to accomplish that? I don't know. I know that drastic things are being done over here. Sometimes you have got to get people's attention. I just hope it gets worked out.”