Popular musician & TV show host Zola performs in Cape Town. File photo. Image by: MARK WESSELS.
Controversial kwaito star Bonginkosi "Zola 7" Dlamini has laughed off claims that e.tv has dropped him.
He has told his detractors to look at his viewership figures to see why 2011 has "been a great year" for him.
Dlamini's 13-part reality TV show, Rolling with Zola, ends on December 18, a day after Kenny Kunene's reality show, So What, is flighted for the last time on the same channel.
Dlamini's show boasts impressive figures when compared with Kunene's, and Hlelo and Ntando Masina's Blame It On Fame. According to the SA Advertising Research Foundation, Rolling with Zola attracted more than 1.7million viewers last month - it hit 2 019 333 at the beginning of the month - whereasSo What was watched by 1.4million viewers and Blame It On Fame attracted 1.1million. The latter ended on November 28.
"The response from the public was absolutely amazing," Dlamini said yesterday.
"I have honoured the contract, so did the channel. So I think it's so sad when people who don't understand TV say the show has been canned."
He said he might do more work with the channel next year, but not on the same show.
In September, e.tv's group head of content, Monde Twala, launched the three shows amid much fanfare, saying: "We're keeping up with the trends and extending our genres to reality TV shows that celebrate our own celebrities."
Yesterday, he said the channel was scouring the local entertainment scene for the next celebrity to fill Zola's spot.
He said each season a new celebrity would head the Rolling With series.
The new celebrity, "who has an interesting life story to share", will be announced in the first quarter of next year.
The channel is in the planning phase with the Masina twins for a second season of their show.
"South Africa fell in love with the twins in the first season and the target market wants more," he said. "The channel is pleased with the show and its appeal in showcasing real up-and-coming celebrity lives."