Forever Young
From left, Lungile Radu Thomas Gumede Siyabonga Ngwekazi, the stars of reality TV show Forever Young.

M-Net’s special interest channels cater to two broad markets – the Afrikaans market and the black market. Mzansi Magic, which targets black viewers, is the flagship channel on the DStv Compact bouquet. Another channel, Vuzu TV, is South Africa's first interactive television channel, based on the American E! Entertainment Television channel.

With the tagline “Get Busy Living”, Forever Young is a new entertainment reality show currently in production for Vuzu. Shooting began in December 2011; there is as yet no wrap date as the producers want to keep it as current and relevant as possible.

The production house is Clive Morris Productions in Randburg, while publicity is being handled on behalf of Vuzu by Nomphelo "Lelo" Ndzimela of M-Net: Special Interest Channels (SA).

“We are very excited about this production,” says Nomphelo. “Forever Young follows the lives of three well-known young TV stars and celebrities: Lungile ‘Lungsta’ Radu, Thomas Gumede and Siyabonga Ngwekazi. The nature of the series is to profile these three aspirant individuals as they live their lives in the fast lane. Each episode is 30 minutes long, and the series will run for over 10 episodes.”

Lungile Radu first entered the hearts and lives of Africans as part of the Channel O team, earning him the nickname “Lungsta”. Since then, Radu has appeared on It’s For Life, and took over from Taps Mokoena as the host of Fear Factor South Africa for the second season, which aired in 2007.

Also in 2007, Radu made his screen acting debut in the leading role of rich boy Sibusiso Vilakazi on the daily drama Rhythm City. More recently Lungile has hosted the hugely successful Channel O show, Goal Diggerz, a perfect fit for this avid runner who has notched up two Comrades marathons.

Radu is joined by Siyabonga Ngwekazi, another highly experienced South African entertainer. Ngwekazi has been an MC and television presenter for Vuzu, a radio personality and is also an up-and-coming fashion designer. Over the years, Ngwekazi has hosted everything from Street Journal to The Real Goboza, V Entertainment and Top Shayela.

Last but not least Thomas Gumede, who successfully combines acting and comedy. Gumede has had several acclaimed dramatic roles including that of Siphiwe in A Place Called Home, Bay Of Plenty, Backstage, Home Affairs and Soul City.

Shot both in and around Johannesburg as well as in Brazil, the production team obtained most of their equipment from CAM-A-LOT as well as some from Digital Film. Cameras of choice include the Panasonic HPX250 and the Canon 5D. The production is shot in HD.

“Post production is being handled by the Digital Cut,” says Nomphelo. “We anticipate that the series will be completed by 18 April. In the first episode viewers are introduced to the trio of guys and the people around them, as they make plans to go to Brazil where the drama and fun is only just beginning. Expect to see full-on conflict, sometimes between the guys themselves, and also great heights as Lungile, Siya and Thomas make a play for success in the fashion and entertainment world.”

Catch Forever Young on Vuzu, Channel 123, on Friday 9 March at 19:00. The programme will repeat the following day (Saturday) at 16:30 and on Wednesdays at 21:00 and Thursdays at 16:30.