Sizwe Dhlomo shares what he believes makes black TV shows ‘successful’

18 August 2021 - 13:00 By deepika naidoo
Sizwe Dhlomo has shared his thoughts about 1990s TV shows with black cast members.
Sizwe Dhlomo has shared his thoughts about 1990s TV shows with black cast members.
Image: Instagram/Sizwe Dhlomo

Media personality Sizwe Dhlomo has shared his views on the visibility of black people on television, saying without white validation it is difficult to make it big in the global market.

It all began after the star was chatting about black representation in TV series from the 1990s in the US on his show the Kaya Drive on Kaya 959. Many of his fans tuned in to the show with their thoughts about the visibility of black people on TV.

Though some noted that not many mainstream TV series had a single black actor in the shows, there were 1990s TV shows with predominantly black casts which did well with audiences, including as Moesha (starring Brandy) and In The House (starring LL Cool J).

However, Sizwe was quick to point out that even though these shows were popular among black people, they weren’t as popular as The Cosby Show from the 1980s.

He said collecting a fat cheque comes from global licensing, and if your show isn’t able to capture white audiences, it doesn’t stand a chance.

None of those shows did as well as The Cosby Show. The money is in syndication and if you don’t capture the white market globally, forget it,” said Sizwe.

The star has taken to social media to air his views on the ever-popular topic of the 1990s.

In an interview with MacG’s podcast, the star noted apartheid was the bedrock and foundation of all issues in the country, adding that the issue in the post-apartheid and post-colonialism SA is leadership.

“If we take it from the 1990s, the people who got into power weren't ready to lead the country. They were ready to lead us into a revolution and being liberated but not ready to govern.

“Those guys spent most of their years in jail. What did they know about leadership?”

He said past leaders thought they were doing what was best for the country at the time and that is evident in the kind of deals they struck.

“However, we can’t blame them because we have got nothing but to be thankful. Our duty as the newer and younger generation is to take the fight forward.”