DJ Zinhle on navigating social media scrutiny in ‘The Unexpected’


Popular and beloved artist DJ Zinhle’s reality show The Unexpected returns this weekend, and the multi-talented artist continues to build her empire. 

In the first season of the BET: Africa show, DJ Zinhle was pregnant with her second daughter Asante. Viewers got to see her relationship with partner Murdah Bongz, her growing accessories business Era by DJ Zinhle, her close friendships with Pearl Thusi and Moozlie, and raising her daughter Kairo Forbes. 

A similar format is followed in the new season. After we previewed the first episode of the second season. The Citizen spoke to DJ Zinhle who says discussions were had with her family, as they play a bigger role in the second season. 

“The biggest discussion is that we don’t want to fake anything and be generic as possible. The TV show [production] had a big challenge of weaving themselves into our lives.” 

The businesswoman says they had to work around their schedules.

“We are those people who are very demanding about how we would shoot this. My family is now understanding the value of this show and has brought us closer as a family,” she said.  

In The Unexpected we see Zinhle basically growing a business empire, and how much her businesses, Boulevard and Her Majesty has grown, as she opens more stores for Era and has a stationed business office as she settles in that environment. 

Because she has decided to be so “real” on The Unexpected, Zinhle will tackle the downsides of fame. The scrutiny that comes from the media, fans and social media commentators.

Her name often trends on Twitter for good and bad reasons, however, the Siyabonga hitmaker does clap back at her haters – but this can be draining. 

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“I had to go to a space where I switched off from social media because it was starting to affect my mental [health]. I was becoming more anxious. Viewers will see the obvious effects of social media on the show.

“But, there was a time I told myself to delete the app [Twitter] and get off social media because we are at the stage of our lives where we are building something special. I can’t let my mind be affected by other things, I am accountable to so many people,” she said.

She further explains that viewers will get to see the raw side of her processing the conversations around her life and how this is such an emotional roller coaster for her. 

Another top button issue for some stars in reality TV is deciding whether or not to show their younger children on camera. DJ Zinhle’s daughters Asante and Kairo are filmed, a decision which was not hard for her. 

“I try not to complicate my life and do things that feel natural to me. I respect people who keep their children’s privacy, I really don’t have issues with my children being shown. If there is ever a time I feel uncomfortable I do conceal them and hide them. But, I really want to live an open and easy life.” 

DJ Zinhle says she is trusting the universe in protecting her children and all the moves she is making are with good intentions. 

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There were reports earlier this year that DJ Zinhle and Murdah Bongz got hitched. So when we asked for clarity on this, she said the the show will finally answer these questions. 

“I think people always feel like they want to figure me out and they think they know me. It has been quite interesting to watch online when people say ‘Zinhle could be married and we wouldn’t even know.’” Just like everybody else, we will have to wait and see. 

She is open for more seasons as long as the partnership with BET continues to be “mutually beneficial” for both parties. 

DJ Zinhle says her show has allowed her to be herself and The Unexpected isn’t the stereotype attached to reality TV – that it needs to be dramatic for audiences to enjoy.

Season two of DJ Zinhle’s The Unexpected premieres on 6 August, at 7.30pm, on BET Africa on DStv channel, 129.