Saturday, November 6

Wherefore art thou Mahendra?

Just before the rugby starts this evening - click here for The Daily Maverick rugby correspondent's preview - a viewer has called in to the studio and asked whether the presenters are wearing ties in Springbok green or Irish green. Given that it's the SuperSport studio, I think the answer is pretty obvious...

A more pressing concern is just what has happened to our Mahendra? The outrage over his suspension in February seems to have died down, but he is still absent from the SABC3 news. When will the king of ties return to his rightful throne?

Monday, February 22

Mahendra in spat at SABC?

Our favourite newsreader is making the news:

"The SABC was on Sunday tight-lipped over a newspaper report that it has suspended its popular 19:00 newsreader, Mahendra Raghunath..."

This is quite troubling. What can be done to save our cultural icon and natural successor to the Cruywagen throne?

Read further.

Saturday, February 7

Mahendra´s shoulder pads

Have been embarrassingly slow on the uptake, since this column was written in November, but stumbled across the following by Lev David in his Quiet Riot column for the Mail&Guardian, and was cheered to find another reference to Mahendra in popular culture.


I'm not going to complain about the dorky one-liners. Or the pervy lip-twist. And, frankly, I don't see why a man in an enlightened society shouldn't be allowed to wear shoulder pads.

I'm not complaining at all. I'm just worried about the guy.

We can't hear it, but there's somebody playing death metal and shouting through his earpiece: "Louder, Mahendra! Louder!"

Mr Raganath, you're scaring us.

Click here for the rest of Lev´s irreverent column about what needs to be changed at the SABC.

Saturday, November 29

Mahendra on Youtube!

Following in the Spitting Image tradition, and based on Zapiro characters, a team that includes the cartoonist himself, satirist Ben Trovato, Lauren Beukes of Moxyland fame, and playwright Welcome Msomi (co-executive director), is working on a tv show called Z-news (pronounced Ze News, as in The News). Here's a clip featuring the Raghunath and former president Thabo Mbeki:

The show has a lot of potential and Mbeki's voice is well imitated. The Raghunath's voice, though, is a bit clipped and staccato, and the script for his news articles is also quite flat.

The clip is from a pilot for a tv show, probably not SABC. Check the Youtube account for a clip of Mbeki doing Gaynor's "I will survive" for Idols.

Thursday, August 28

... and in other news

Famous Mahendra's Ties blog has still been unsuccessful in securing funding for a television for main writer RK. While our technicians are working on this technical problem, we bring you some photographs of our favourite reporter. On the left, Mr Raghunath as MC at some Ifa Lethu do. Top right: Raghunath, The Motivator (Motivators International).

Our own Raghunath should, of course, never be confused with Mahendra Singh Doni, cricket player for India.

Tuesday, August 12

Tie tripping (not)

What between the Raghunath´s erratic schedule and my own, I haven´t seen much of the man lately. I did, however, manage to spy him on Sunday night.

After a pretty psychedelic weekend at Oppikoppi, I was anticipating being truly fully hey shoo wowed by his tie, but it was disappointingly straight for a change. Dull gold and white stripes, that didn´t play with my eyes. C´mon Mahendra - where is the festival spirit?!

In an interesting aside: I did notice that the credits at the end of the news appeared in yellow and white, as opposed to their customary white only. Do you think the production team is matching the credits to Mahendra´s tie de jour?

Wednesday, June 25

Riaan steals the limelight

Time to confess my dirty little secret. The first time I ever thought about newsreaders and the ties they wore, it wasn´t Mahendra who was the man in question. It was Riaan. Riaan Cruywagen. I spotted a newspaper article about Riaan´s choice of tie - he had inadvertently (?) worn one in ANC colours. I don´t recall if this happened pre- or post-1994, but it was around that time. Dear Mahendra rarely faces this problem: pink, purple and peachy tones aren´t generally political colours. Unless he´s trying to tell us something about his sexuality?

Anyway, back to Riaan. I was presently surprised to find a documentary about him, Don´t Shoot showing at Encounters. I liked the way the filmmaker tied his newsreading career to the transition in South Africa, although some of Mnr Cruywagen´s responses to questions were a little too slick. ("I don´t write the news, I read it".)

But I am alarmed to find that die Cruywagen seems to be maintaining his popularity over our friend Mahendra. His fan club even suggest that: "Riaan Cruywagen knows the news before it happens". Whatever. If he does, that is hardly professional - and he claimed in the doccie that professionalism is his byword.

We all know Mahendra is a consummate professional - after all, maintaining his appearance and selecting just the right tie is way more important than any content he actually has to read. What do you guys say to a doccie on Mahendra at next year´s Encounters? We have a filmmaker, a scriptwriter and a PR whore in the house after all. Let´s do it!

Please note: Don´t Shoot shows as part of the Why Democracy? series at Encounters. You can still catch a glimpse of Riaan in Jozi this Saturday at 2.45 or in the Mother City in July. Don´t Shoot shows with Iron Ladies of Liberia - a wonderful doccie about Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. If only all heads of state were female Mahendra might be reading a very different news each night!

Friday, June 20

Mahendra does it again!

Last night Mahendra was wearing a charcoal suit, and a golden-yellow tie with nary a stripe to be seen. His tone of voice was customarily upbeat: only the Raghunath can speak about Tendai Biti facing a possibly death penalty as if he were speaking about a picnic in the park.

Tuesday, June 10

Mahendra the voice

Sitting here working, with my back to the telly, I thought that SABC had replaced the 7 o'clock news with WWF. But it was Mahendra looking rather dandy in his Sahara desert sand suit, Johnson & Johnson's baby pink shirt and blue tie with thin purple and pink diagonal lines announcing the headlines in true wrestling style. WATCHOUTeTV!

Thursday, June 5

Mahendra loses sparkle

Watching the news isn't a fun experience Particularly not in South Africa. That's why I tend to rely on Mahendra's ties to bring some sparkle to the occasion.

However, tonight Mahendra was wearing a monotone dark-blue tie, a light-blue shirt, and a grey jacket. Boring. And it certainly didn't take my mind off the xenophobia in South Africa, or the situation in Zimbabwe.

Come on Mahendra, you need to up your game!