Media personality Somizi Mhlongo has denied steeling his cooking show idea from a content producer named Hastings Moeng…
The allegations were made public by journalist Eusebius McKaiser on Twitter last week.
McKaiser tweeted correspondence that Moeng is said to have sent to Mhlongo to propose the show back in 2014.
“The description of the show is materially similar to the one now flighted,” said McKaiser.
Following days of speculation and social media commentary, Mhlongo finally broke his silence in an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Saturday.
[FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH] Media Personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung addresses accusations of intellectual property theft for his hit show #DinnerAtSomizis.
— 405 Mornings (@405Mornings) September 19, 2020
Mhlongo admitted that he was approached by Moeng about the cooking show in 2013 but denied seeing any document in relation to Moeng’s proposal.
“It came as a shock that he sent me emails, which I don’t dispute, but I have never opened the document,” explained the Idols judge.
“Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t, I’m not an email person.”
Mhlongo said that he’d only gotten back to using email communication two months ago, after not having email for five years. His management team handles his emails.
“When he approached me, I never even thought I would want to have a cooking show in the first place,” said Mhlongo.
Since the allegations surfaced, social media has been a hive of activity with some people defending Mhlongo, saying the idea was not unique to being with, while others are convinced the cooking show idea is not a Mhlongo original.
In South Africa if you are not a Celebrity, connected or a politician your life doesn’t matter, Somizi stole the Idea of a ordinary citizen but because his connected to the owners of South Africa nothing will happen to him, this Country is rotten #DinnerAtSomizis pic.twitter.com/fTwORWmDmZ
— Lerato Pillay (@Lerato_Pillay) September 18, 2020
I don’t see the fuss about this Somizi saga.
The idea is not original. Siphokazi & Lona Maseko have done something similar.
Serge Ibaka is doing a similar format with his “How hungry are you?”
— SivenathiMbebe (@SivenathiMbebe) September 20, 2020
I’m watching this #DinnerAtSomizis and thinking about his thieving ways. The person who birthed the idea is not even getting a cent. It’s not just politicians that are corrupt, the whole society is. pic.twitter.com/BnZ9Gzs4GF
— Malume ?ﾟﾒﾚ❤️ (@bozzie_t) September 18, 2020
Be very very careful, people will ask you for your written proposals, ask you to submit your short drama scripts, etc just to steal your concepts… I know of many ideas, tv drama scripts and song lyrics that were stolen from my people #DinnerAtSomizis #youpromisetomarryme
— Modisaotsile Dipitso (@mydijaysa) September 20, 2020