The Big Secret
BET Africa (DStv 129)
There’s no denying that Khanyi Mbau, although multitalented, is controversial. But this time around you’ll get to meet a gentle, caring and sincere Mbau as the host of the new 13-part reality series on BET, The Big Secret. Mbau helps the show deliver compelling stories of participants who reveal big, dark secrets about themselves. In order to free themselves of the emotional burden they have carried, hiding their secrets from their close friends, family and/or lovers, they turn to Mbau to confess.
“Secrets trap people and stop them from progressing with their lives,” Mbau says about the show.
“The Big Secret is a platform for guests participating to free themselves emotionally and finally live the life they were destined to.”
The show gives you a sense of hope as the confessors build up courage to face their biggest fears – on television. While it’s a little weird that it takes a celebrity and a TV crew to help someone be honest with the people around them, the support Mbau offers and the tact and sensitivity with which she handles their stories makes this quite inspiring. You watch people unburden themselves and reclaim their lives.
In the first episode we meet Arnold Maziko, who has been keeping a secret from his family for 30 years, leading to him living a double life. With Mbau’s help, the 44-year-old music producer tells his mother and older brother that, while living with his father after the rest of the family left following the divorce of his parents, Maziko was left feeling vulnerable and unsafe.
Maziko reveals the trauma he experienced when his brother’s friend raped him when he was 14. As a result, he was left feeling confused about his sexuality and he began to identify as bisexual. His ageing mother is left confused by what he’s telling her. With the help of his brother and Mbau’s warmth, Maziko is given the perfect amount of support to tackle what comes after sharing a painful story.
Topics that come under the spotlight on the show include identity fraud, addiction, rape and HIV status.
The build-up to the disclosure of the secret in each episode is sensational and will leave you with warm feelings for the participants and Mbau.
To her credit, she manages not to overshadow the difficulties of the confessor or the show. This might just be some of her best work.