CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT. PRODUCING. TEAM MANAGEMENT. PROMOTIONS. MENTORING. LOGISTICS. PRESENTING. COUNSELING.
The Ready for Marriage Reality TV Show
SUMMATIVELY NARRATED BY Master Chimbala
Ready for Marriage is a reality TV Show that ran 6 seasons in 10 years between 2007 and 2017 on Muvi Television channels. Five of the six seasons of the show were conceptualized, produced and presented by Master Chimbala.
The original concept, produced and presented by Augustine Lungu (late) sought to present a chores-based competition among contesting women who are brides calendared for weddings with their fiancés. Each participating candidate would undergo delivery of house chores and tasks related to marriage, home-care, parenting and other general community responsibilities, as enshrined by societal norms.
I ran the second season of the show in 2010 shortly after which commencement we encountered the demise of the highly celebrated Augustine Lungu. With the hardworking team, I championed the continuation of the show up-to its climax during which the show acquired grand viewership and public interest.
In the following year 2011 I launched the most popular and unexpected version of the show dubbed, Ready for Marriage Extraordinary (R4M Extraordinary) which featured 18 sex workers seeking personal transformation and life empowerment. This R4M season shook waves of talks, conversations and ignited the biggest TV noise in Zambia, spilling to other countries in Africa and around the world. Instead of 12 weeks the show ran for 16 weeks during which over 350,000 text messages were shared by viewers across Zambia. Foreign media reported on the happenings of R4M Extraordinary including BBC, France24, Radio2000, and several media platforms in Netherlands, USA, Canada, Germany, South Africa and more. All the candidates were provided with counseling, skills training, prizes, empowerment money and entrepreneurial guidance.
The forth R4M season dubbed, ‘Amplified’ featured 10 couples, thus man and woman fiancés. During this venture a couple was due to carry the trophy at the end of the competition. We also encountered the feature of a high school girl featuring as a contestant, together with her highly ‘spiritual’ 22 year old lover. The duo was hugely supported by all their parents, who by then had traditionally already married them. Their participation was tolerated to nurture a necessary conversation towards pushing girls to education long before they can settle in marriages.
The fifth season was called Unbelievable, befitting the fact that it carried onto TV 34 men claiming to be ‘virgins’, as demanded by the season of the show. When the show was advertised on TV several men applied to participate in the show. But then word went round saying the Producer had procured a ‘virginometer’, a machine which would test all candidates to confirm whether they had never engaged in any sexual intercourse. Some guys dropped off the contestants’ list. Much is to be concluded about that ordeal. A protracted national mourning derailed the timeline of this show, but it displayed the interesting pieces of the concept.
A repeat of similar candidates characterized the 6th season of the reality TV show named R4M Reloaded – featuring former sex workers drawn from across the country.