By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article publishedJan 21, 2021

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Johannesburg -This time next week, viewers will be tuning into a brand new lifestyle show that will allow South Africans to see their homes with new eyes.

Media personality and realtor Thato “TT” Mbha will host Mzansi Cribs Makeover, a show that will celebrate and give back to ordinary South Africans who have made an extraordinary impact on the lives of others.

Each episode will see someone get nominated for a home makeover because of their effort to help others.

“When I got into real estate, I realised there are a lot of agencies that are doing different things. I got into it because I saw the gap, especially around the black community. I came in and learnt the ropes to do something that will better the community.”

Mbha used to watch a lot of the US and Australian home makeover shows and always wondered why South Africa did not have its own version. It has been five years since Mbha first put a proposal to paper to get this show running.

“Funding was a problem. It is not easy to get money for a show like this. Over the years, I created different proposals and ideas to corporates and knocked on many doors to the point where I gave it up for a while. I thought to myself the reason why nobody has done it is because no one believes in such.”

But there was something inside him that would not let him give up. He continued to push with a kitchen makeover idea he pitched in 2018.

“But my bubble burst again, and I thought then that it was not meant to be.”

Mbha still tried his luck with another show, Pimp My Space, where he collaborated with Edgars Home.

The show ran for eight episodes on YouTube.

“We got people to show us their spaces that we could pimp for R10 000. After that, I realised this could work, but R10 000 was not enough.

“I went back to my original concept of the kitchen makeover show and … to focus on all the rooms in the house. The idea was still to get someone who has done well in their community and nominate them to get their homes made over.

“I started again to knock on doors and got rejected until I knocked on OUTsurance’s door, and their team loved it. Once they were on board, I went back to Builders Warehouse, and they were keen to come on board.”

Mbha still wanted to secure more sponsors to try get as much money as possible for the home makeovers.

“I went to Private Property and presented them with the opportunity that allows them to also do good for the community. That’s how I got everyone in, then we approached Mzansi Magic, and they were ready to work with me again.”

Mbha sent out a call to action on social media last year for entries. People were asked to send a one-minute video of who they were and why they were nominating nominee as well as to show the space the person lived in.

“We had over 15 000 entries, and we could not keep up. We looked at the criteria and narrowed it down to 13 out of all those entries.”

It has been a five-year journey that has finally come to fruition for Mbha, and it still amazes him.

“I was encouraging my followers to never give up on their dreams because some dreams take longer than others.

“The idea is to never allow other people to define your dreams. It can take 10 years, it can take a year or two weeks. Our destinies are not the same.”

Shooting of the 13-part renovation show took place over November and December.

Each episode sees the team spend three days on the makeover of one home/room with a budget of R50 000.

“If someone were to ask me to describe the show in one sentence, my response would be: we are bringing dignity to these families.

“That is what this show is about, leaving the space in a way better condition than it was when we found it. It is different families with different stories.

“People have lost jobs and loved ones during this pandemic. They have lost faith and hope in life.

“Here is a show that is dedicated to those people who deserve a break in life.”

Mzansi Cribs Makeover starts next Thursday at 9.30pm on Mzansi Magic.

The Star