Housewives of the Winelands – Have they gone too far?

Housewives of the Winelands

By Renate Engelbrecht

Tuesday, May 09

I’ve been pondering what I might write (and if I should write anything at all) about the latest episode of kykNET‘s Die Real Housewives van die Wynlande. I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps it is something we should be pondering on…

Honestly, my first reaction was shock. Are there really women, well-known in their communities, who speak that way – not only in general, but about and to other people? Women who portray themselves as influential ladies who entertain conversations like the ones on the latest episode? Is this a true reflection of their lives, or is it pure entertainment with the aim of stirring up some or other debate?

The trouble is, the latest Housewives edition might just be the final straw, stirring up a debate that many of us aren’t prepared for. Have you seen the article by Dr. Braam Hanekom on Netwerk24, asking the question: “What about the true housewives of De Hoop?” Could this reality series – which has everyone talking – encourage further division among South Africans? Or is it something we should merely see as light entertainment on a Thursday evening?

Amy Housewives of the winelands

The Real Housewives of the Winelands’ Anita has many dumbstruck

If someone tells me they don’t want to sit next to a fat person on a plane because there might be the possibility of an odour, it leaves me dumbstruck. While I might be at a loss for words, comments on Suitcase & Chardonnay’s previous post about The Real Housewives prove that people share the same sentiment, but they are much more verbal about it.

Anita swimming in her pool at the lodge

Anita sure said a whole lot of things in the latest episode of Die Real Housewives van die Wynlande. While some of her comments clearly come from a place of honesty (and perhaps even from a place of pain), I must admit that most came across as downright distasteful and disrespectful. She might go about doing whatever she wants when she wants to (as she claims is her right) but many people seem to disagree with her ways. Aren’t we taught to consider other people’s feelings when we say and do things in life? Especially when your life is being aired on national television.

In the latest episode, Anita talks about her parents and we learn that they passed away in her pre-teen years. She pretty much blames growing up without her parents for her mostly uncensored and rather concerning sayings and comments.

That said, she did later state that she is working on herself…

Cosy bushveld fire gone south

Around a cosy bushveld fire, the nails came out on Thursday’s episode. Amy asked why Anita finds it so hard to be a team player and everyone else’s eyes had shock written all over them. Anita explained that it isn’t about not being a team player, but rather about the fact that she does whatever she wants whenever she wants to, and no one can stop her. 

Amy on the Housewives van die Wynlande

Candice was also thrown under the bus, so much so that she started crying. Karen felt that some of the women – Candice in particular – were ungrateful for the Hoedspruit weekend she invited them on. She is part-owner in a luxury lodge in the area and as part of her divorce party (don’t get me started on divorce parties), she invited them to join her on safari. While Candice was excited about the trip, WiFi and work was all she could think about. Claiming that she was under extreme work pressure, she seemingly neglected to thank Karen for the great gift of a bushveld breakaway and her lovely room. 

Candice room number

Housewives, mind your manners

In the end, it all comes down to manners. Whether these wealthy women from the winelands have any, is clearly up for debate following the latest episode. 

What are good manners and where do they come from? Well, most people would agree that you learn good (or bad) manners from your parents. They are the people you look up to and learn from, from a young age. They teach you to say please and thank you and how you should behave in front of other people. While we all have different parents with different views, there are certain things that are generally accepted as good manners. And, if we don’t learn it from our parents, we most certainly learn some basic manners from our teachers.

Saying thank you for a free weekend stay in the heart of the bush, is something that should come naturally. Not making fun of people who are overweight is another. So is working elegantly with a champagne flute. You’d think the Real Housewives of the Winelands would at least know that. Good grief! 

Do I sense a sense of entitlement?

Without falling in the trap of generalising, it has come to my attention that more often than not, a sense of entitlement (which frequently comes with wealth) makes one forget about manners and elegance. By elegance I don’t mean dressing up in your best attire and walking like a princess on the prom. I mean there is an elegant way of working with people, talking about people and talking to people. 

Karen

Empathetic communication

I believe there is something like elegant communication. And, since The Real Housewives of the Winelands have agreed to displaying their lives on national television, they evidently agreed to communicate with South Africa and beyond. With such a huge platform to communicate from, one would think that they would go about it more carefully and with more empathy. Especially towards the rest of South Africa – you know, like the “true housewives of De Hoop” as Dr. Hanekom refers to them, who work tirelessly to make ends meet.

My stance is: While there is a place for honesty in any conversation, the way you say it can make or break the moment (and the relationship). I feel very strongly about having empathy. In fact, I believe that is one of the things that keeps people from living only for themselves. Knowing how to put yourself in another person’s shoes is a valuable skill we should all aspire to. It teaches you to live less selfishly.

You are you, and that’s truer than true

Dr. Seuss’ quote, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you” rings true. We are all our own person. I believe we should use our uniqueness for good. Not to continuously endeavour to prove that our uniqueness allows us to live like we please. The drive to prove the latter is the one thing that seems to make the Housewives all appear alike. They are wealthy and when it comes to empathy, there seems to be little to none. Not only toward each other, but also toward the world out there.

While The Real Housewives of the Winelands might all be involved in some or other charity, their latest behaviour makes one wonder if that’s not just another way to try and prove their influence instead of truly making a difference.

Follow ‘Die Real Housewives van die Wynlande’ on kykNET (DStv channel 144) on Thursdays at 20:00.

3 Comments

  1. Deseree

    Honestly, I haven’t watched a lot of the series as I was also dumbstruck to hear the language use. I find it disgusting and would never in my life speak to or about someone in that manner and the fact that Amy Kleynhans has now stooped to the same level as the others was shocking. Biggest load of nonsense. I will not support kyknet ever

    Reply
  2. Brian Loxton

    Which one of the ladies said that she is sorry for saving joined the group.

    Reply
  3. Petra

    I cannot believe how bitchy Candice turned out! She keeps interrupting Michelle . I am starting to feel sorry for Michelle. I do remember she spoke about Michelle’s emotional state. Mariska, you do give snide remarks. My favourite is Anita.

    Reply

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