Democrazy: Moja Love as channel, Questions of consent & Content.

There is a sense, at least in my own head that, this freedom will only be sustainable if we get into the habit of not using our freedoms for infringing on each others freedoms. Beyond chasing entertainment there needs to be effort to respect, on the part of all those who subscribe to democracy and its intricate use of the law to achieve justice, democracy’s guiding principles. Yes, although i may be considered a pleb by my “learned friends”, basic comprehension coupled with critical legal and sociological analysis has made me realise the law doesn’t equate to justice, (i dare say) per se…

I’ve been enjoying, rather uncomfortably, a channel on DSTV called Moja Love. I’ve been enjoying and engaging with the channel to the point of lodging a complaint with the BCCSA… a media regulating body because i found in my binges, some of their promotional material containing strong language and violence were not appropriately labelled as such before the screening of such promos. I really dont have a problem with the content of such shows and admire the uniquely South African twist to depictions of societal ill pertaining to civil disputes, child maintenance and infidelity.

There has been much debate with regards to critiquing the content from the TV programmes on the Channel and its usefulness to this, ‘our’ society. On one end there are those who rally for the exposure of vile behaviour and delinquents, and the justification to remedy and regulate behavioir through, mostly the use of shame and public broadcast. This is the premise of UyaJola 9/9, a local show whose format is based on the infamous “Cheaters”. Others think its about entertainment value, “it not THAT deep” and that other societies have had similar shows, and so it isn’t “racist” or discriminatory against Africans just because it is mainly Black Africans who are usually featured on the shows.

It IS mainly black Africans who are featured on the SHOWS! Observing shows such as Rea Tsotella, Papgeld and Uyajola 9/9, an easy assumption to make is that not all the people featured on these shows have consented to be on camera. There is often protest, about “being on Camera, or having cameras brought to the issue”. As a working class celebrity, B-grade…I often got invited for interviews, and almost always, without fail, had to sign what was called “a release form”, which was the Production company protecting themselves against possible legal claims.

In simple terms, a release is a signed document that says you have permission to use images of a person, location, or assets such as logos and photographs in your video. Its purpose is twofold: To protect the CONTENT CREATOR from potential lawsuits for claims such as invasion of privacy or defamation.

If the Shows and occurrences we see on Moja Love are real, and not staged for maximum dramatic entertainment value, there seems to be a continuous infringement on Trespass and Privacy Laws. It must be mentioned, video /photography is not necessarily specified in these laws, but law is supposed to be interpreted and so interpretation and application of common sense help us interpret these to find what applies to you dear citizen, now eligible to appear on these shows due to your supposed shittyness as a human being. Any ways, members of the public only have rights when they have secluded themselves to a place where privacy is a reasonable assumption. (Changing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities, or inside a private residence)… and of course privacy is a very personal experience and so without (written) consent, this recording is an infringement of the right to privacy… unless a privacy bill has changed in these times of high surveillance.

Justice vs Law.

I can only Imagine the satisfaction as a result of beating up someone because they have done you some sort of wrong… prepared with bouncers to only stop the altercations as their discretion tells them usually after some violence has been dished out to a human being who considered to be at fault.

There is a sense of justice being done for the complainants, but usually the defendants and posse’s rights are wavered with them indecently exposed and beaten by the complainants who are aggrieved to the point of resorting to a sometimes manacing violence, i dare say with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. And so Justice is a feeling, but the law quite something else… and it would be interesting to have a show about the right to privacy and how the right to film/ record celebrities and the working class is not necessarily the right to publish, especially without consent.

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