A new reality television show aimed at changing the perception of how people view drag queens, is about to hit South Africa’s screens in the form of Betty Bangles en die Dossers, led by one of the country’s most popular drag artist, Betty Bangles.
With a stroke of a lip liner, the tightening of a corset and the careful teasing of his latest wigs, Johannesburg-based hair stylist Bernard Buys (37), transforms himself into the fabulous and daring Betty Bangles.
The show will be coming to South African screens on the 7th of July 2017 on VIA, channel 147 on DStv at 9pm with eight episodes. It’s edgy, exciting, a first of its kind on South African television and is sure to raise a few eyebrows among the more conservative South Africans.
“We are a channel that celebrates and depicts lifestyle choices including from unique communities that form the South African social kaleidoscope and so we chose to commission this out of the box new reality show starring Betty Bangles,” says Pat van Heerden, head of content at Via!
The Afrikaans reality show will be based on everything Drag. Betty Bangles, one of South Africa’s top drag artist, the presenter and personality of the show is on a mission to find her top 3 contestants to give them a chance to win the title of Miss Gay Mardi Gras Southern Africa. But first, she had to go through a process of elimination to find her top 3 drag queens, improve their craft and send them on a trip to the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts FestivalTM in Knysna.
“Filming Betty Bangles en die Dossers was filled with lots of laughs, tears and surprises,” says Hermi King, the show’s Executive Producer. We are excited to bring a show like Betty Bangles en die Dossers to the South African audience. The show is the journey of 3 new to the scene drag artists that get coached and polished by Betty Bangles. Betty Bangles call on a few of her fabulous celebrity friends to help judge and inspire the contestants. The end goal is to see if one of the 3 apprentices can win the Miss Gay Mardi Gras Southern Africa 2017 in Knysna. It has been an incredible journey to meet these wonderful people. I have such respect for their effort and dedication.”
Celebrities & special guests that appear in the show are; Chris Martin a.k.a Cleo (Drag Artist), Ryno Mulder a.k.a Starr Wood, JJ Schoeman, Casper de Vries, Gavin Prins, Armand du Plessis, Bianca Le Grange, Heidi du Toit from Hollywood Costumes, Demi Leigh Nel Peters, Tobie Jooste, Queens of Wigstock – Olivia Mae, Victoria Styles, Jett Joans, Charnè. The show will also follow the reality of Betty and Bernard’s daily life.
“There was a drag show and I remember how mesmerised I was by those drag queens on stage. I just thought to myself how fabulous it will be to continue my love for acting with sequins and feathers,” asserts Betty Bangles.
Getting to know the guy behind Betty Bangles is Bernard Buys, a friendly and easy-going guy with a heart of gold. He grew up in a conservative town called Potgietersrus in Limpopo. He currently works as a hairdresser for a well-known salon in Clearwater Mall, West of Johannesburg. But there is more to Bernard than what meets the eye.
Betty Bangles is a fun and outgoing personality who performs in a show at Beefcakes on Fridays and is a co-host of The Casper Radio Show on CliffCentral. Her accolades do not fall short of being fabulous, the most recent being the face of Pink Loerie Mardi Grass 2016.
Betty Bangles wants South Africa to understand and appreciate the art, effort and talent that goes into drag.