Monday, March 31, 2014

Case Study No. 1334: Nelly Mokhonoana/Nightshade

Librarian by Day + Gladiator at Night
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Tags: nelly
Added: 3 years ago
From: jdkbkk
Views: 124

[scene opens with a male news anchor for the BBC series "The World Today" speaking directly to the camera]
ANCHOR: We're gonna go straight to South Africa for this week's Millennium Diary ... Nelly Mokhonoana is a twenty-three year old with a double life. She's one of South Africa's first Black state librarians, but far away from the world of books, she's also a model and was South Africa's first female Black Gladiator.
["Nelly Mokhonoana, Librarian by day Gladiator by night" appears on screen, then cut to a young female librarian (curly brown hair, bright yellow pantsuit) shelving a copy of "Wild South Africa" while speaking directly to the camera]
NELLY: Hello there, my name is Nelly Mokhonoana. I'm twenty three years old, and one of the things that I do ... I'm a librarian working in the state library, Pretoria. Stay with me, and see how exciting it gets.
[she winks at the camera, then cut to her pushing a bookcart through the library]
NELLY: This is one of the things that I have to do for my job. Going through the shelves ...
[she takes a book off one of the shelves and places it on the cart]
NELLY: Looking for the particular books that I will need.
[she continues pushing the cart through the library, then takes the books to her desk and begins leafing through them]
NELLY: [in voice over] I particularly like this part of my job, because it says something about the importance of education in my beloved country, South Africa. Especially given our past with regard to the system of apartheid, where Black people were never given good opportunities. We need education for our success in the new millennium.
[cut to Nelly exiting the library]
NELLY: Work is over, things now are really gonna hot up!
[she gives the camera a thumbs up, then cut to footage from the "MTN Gladiators" television show, as Nelly (now wearing a blue and yellow one-piece bikini) poses and dances for the crowd]
NELLY: [in voice over] "Gladiators" is a very popular TV game show, that involves lots of games. That involves lots of fitness.
[cut to footage of Nelly performing in the "Joust" game (where two people face off using pugil sticks), as she knocks the contestant off of her perch]
NELLY: [in voice over] Things like mountain climbing, joust, gauntlet, and many other games, which are very interesting and appealing.
[cut to a closeup of Nelly, as she dances in celebration while Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" plays in the background]
NELLY: [in voice over] From very young kids up until the adults.
[cut to Nelly being set up for the "Wall" game (where contestants have to scale a rock-climbing wall before the trailing Gladiators can grab them and pull them off)]
NELLY: [in voice over] I'm mostly involved with the mountain climbing, which involves a Gladiator chasing a contender up a fifty-meter mountain.
[the whistle blows, as Nelly chases the contestant up the wall, eventually grabbing her by the ankle and pulling her off (as their harnesses keep them suspended in mid-air while the crowd cheers)]
NELLY: [in voice over] I'm really competitive. I always want to get my contenders down, but you get these awesome contenders who are just too good. They just run up that mountain and leave you behind, hanging there and giving you a run for your money.
[cut to Nelly in the gym, using the exercise bike]
NELLY: [in voice over] It actually projects the physical side of me, which is really an opposite of what you get in the library.
[cut to another shot of Nelly on the exercise bike, as she turns to the camera and smiles]
NELLY: To keep up with those heavy books, you really have to sweat very hard!
[cut to footage of Nelly using other exercise equipment]
NELLY: [in voice over] This is a new era. As we know, in the period of apartheid where Whites and Blacks were never together doing things together, so now because there's democracy, we are given opportunities as well to do everything together, like going to school, university, and also in the working situation, as well as the gym.
[cut back to footage from "MTN Gladiators"]
NELLY: [in voice over] Each and every Gladiator is given a name, and mine is Nightshade. It's very inspiring to realize how much support I get, from my parents, from everyone. From my friends.
[cut to Nelly giving high-fives to the crowd]
NELLY: [in voice over] This might seem to be another TV game show, but to me it means something more than that. This can be seen as a step forward, to a more integrated South Africa, with a variety of cultures and language and background, that leads us into the new millennium.



MTN Gladiators was a game show produced by MTN for SABC3 in South Africa from 1999 to 2001. Following South Africa's initial participation in the second International Gladiators and Springbok Challenge YouTube tournaments in Birmingham, England, the format developed a cult following in South Africa. In 1998 production finally began for a domestic series, eventually airing in 1999.

The show (based on the original "American Gladiators" concept created by Dan Carr and John C. Ferraro) pitted contestants in a variety of physical events against the 'Gladiators', who would attempt to prevent them from achieving maximum points on a variety of games. After this, the two contenders would race each other on the Eliminator, an assault course containing climbing, balancing, and cargo nets. The contender with the most points received a half second head start for every 1 point they were in front by.

The show was originally presented by Glenn Hicks - executive producer of the first four series - and Ursula Staplefeldt. Following Glenn's departure from the show in 2000, he was replaced by James Lennox when it was resurrected for its penultimate fifth series in 2001.

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