The Cook A Long launches on Netflix

Monalisa Chisango.

SOUTH AFRICA-BASED award-winning Zimbabwean producer Monalisa Chisango said her latest project— The Cook A Long, which halted production due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has finally been launched on Netflix.

The production comes after her recent production—The Real Housewives of Durban (RHOD) broke records on Showmax in 2021.

The Cook Along is a reality showcasing the food found in South Africa, with its cast comprising Patrick Seleka, creators Winnie Serite, Wesley Masilo Makgamatha, executive producers Winnie Serite, Wesley Masilo Makgamatha series producer Monalisa Mupambawashe-Chisango, series director Wesley Masilo Makgamatha and DOP Nico Nyoni.

In an interview with Standard Style, Chisango said she was happy that the production was launched on Netflix.

“When the pandemic hit, we had to halt production of The Cook A Long. We have now completed the filming of the show as the lockdown regulations eased. We worked remotely as there was a restriction on numbers of people who could be on set. Also some projects that had been confirmed prior Covid-19 got cancelled. Many people were without work for months so it was not easy,” she said.

“So many words come to mind like, grateful, excited, inspired. Every time when you work on a production you can’t predict how the audience will receive a show. Yes we knew we had a great show but nothing prepared us for the overwhelming response. Till today we feel the love and support. Within 48 hours of going live on Netflix the show started trending.”

Chisango said The Cook A Long is a reality show that showcases the food found in South Africa and the beauty of the country. In each episode of the show, they travel to different provinces in South Africa.

“Another important element of the show is that it presents competition as celebrities have a Cook-off to determine who the better chef is. For years I have had the privilege to work with Wesley Masilo Makgamatha who is also the series director of Young Famous and African, so when he approached me with The Cook A Long a format he created together with Winnie Serite, I loved everything about the show,” she said.

“For a long time as African content creators, we have reproduced international formats, so The Cook A Long is a proudly African format. We get to export our continent, our stories, our culture to the rest of the world.

“Our mandate was to deliver a product that would speak to an African audience. We were very intentional on the crew we picked for the show. The crew has years of experience on international formats. The show is so authentic, it celebrates farmers who ensure that we have fresh produce in our homes.”

Chisango, who has produced shows for SABC, E-TV, Africa Magic, Zambezi, Mzansi Magic, Showmax and now Netflix said she intends to work on at least one show annually

“I intend to work on at least one show each year in Zimbabwe. I have two productions that are very close to my heart as we push the Zimbabwean narratives to the world,” she said.

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