Filmmaker Sonia Mbele is facing backlash for failing to compensate the cast of Real Housewives of Johannesburg several months after the completion of filming.
The Glitzy American Franchise
The Real Housewives of Johannesburg is a captivating South African reality TV series chronicling the lives of affluent and glamorous women residing in Johannesburg. Serving as an international instalment of the renowned American Real Housewives franchise, it stands as the pioneer set in Africa, having aired three seasons since 2018.
Season 3 Overview
The third season of Real Housewives of Johannesburg (RHOJ) debuted on May 19, 2023, and spanned 13 episodes until August 25, 2023. Featuring an all-new cast, including familiar faces like Lebo ‘Jojo’ Mokoena and Lethabo ‘LeJoy’ Mathatho from the previous season, the cast members for this season were Keabetswe Marema, Thobekile Mdlalose, Nicole Watson, and Mamus Koka. The season portrayed their triumphs and challenges in both personal and professional spheres, offering viewers a mix of drama and glamour that earned a commendation for authenticity, diversity, and entertainment value.
Sonia Mbele Yet To Fulfill Payment Obligations
Despite the acclaim, behind the scenes, the Real Housewives of Johannesburg cast is grappling with financial turmoil. Reports indicate that Sonia Mbele Films, the production company behind the franchise, has not disbursed payments to the cast.
“No payment for Real Housewives of Johannesburg cast [one week] before Christmas, and there is no Yuletide cheer for the cast of RHOJ season 3, produced by Sonia Mbhele’s company. The cast has not been paid their outstanding salary for shooting the season, which aired on 1Magic this year. Some outstanding invoices go as far back as July 2023.” – Entertainment reporter Phil Mphela.
Phil Mphela further disclosed that Sonia Mbele Films is awaiting outstanding payments from the broadcaster, emphasizing that the Real Housewives of Johannesburg budgeted at R13 million. While the third season’s initial proposal was R15 million, Sonia Mbele Films acknowledged receiving R12 million but indicated an outstanding balance of R600,000+. The cast has only been partially compensated, with an ongoing pursuit of the remaining salary from Sonia Mbele Films.