Veronica Roberts

I am always fascinated by human behavior so watching reality shows is the gift that keeps on giving. The plethora of personalities and high drama is often a wonder to behold. "The Housewives of Atlanta," aired on Bravo television, is one that never ceases to amaze.

The ladies are currently visiting South Africa and the prerequisite fights, backstabbing, pettiness, pretentiousness, all the dirty drama I have come to expect, erupted.

One would think that a bunch of African-American sisters journeying back to "The Motherland," would adopt a new kind of interaction, a fresh perspective and awareness. Invoke the spirit of the Ancestors. No such luck.

Barely off the plane, Sheree and Marlo almost came to blows during a heated argument and Ms. Nene had to jump in to break up the hate-fest.

The women are broken up into two groups: "The Talls" and "The Smalls" and Cynthia seems to be straddling the fence, flip-flopping to each side depending on who is within earshot. The signs of a spineless player, just saying. Walk your talk Cynthia--be your own woman. What is the worse that can happen?

What stood out to me was the utter disconnect of some of the ladies as to the presence of power evident in the place they were. The wealth of heritage, history, generational connectiveness that abounded.

They went on a safari and while the tour guide was trying to show them the beauty around them, the "Housewives" bickered and gossiped, ignoring him and their surroundings. To go on an African safari and completely miss the breathtaking beauty is sacrilegious!

Maybe they would do better at their visit to the orphanage. They did try to interact with the children for a minute and some appeared to genuinely care, but then they returned to the swanky hotel and all was forgotten.

Marlo, who is one of the new additions to the original cast, invited the rest of the ladies to her hotel suite--she is the one who almost gave Sheree a beat-down earlier--and she can, for rumor goes she has a rap sheet longer than her high-priced weave and did time in prison for assault. I don't think this housewife is married but there is much talk of her 80-year-old "Big Poppa" who seems to be keeping her in the lap of luxury for she lives the high life with no apparent job or career. On display in her room were loads and loads of designer shoes, clothes and bags. How she lugged it all the way from Atlanta to the continent of Africa is beyond me.

The disconnect here was stunningly glaring for Marlo didn't seem to see the obscenity in constantly talking about her material stuff when she had only hours earlier visited children who had nothing. Not even parents to love them. Maybe if she had said she now possessed a new awareness and needed to give back more, do a little more like Kandi said, I would have given her a pass. But the entire teachable moment was lost on her.

The women were trekking around South Africa, walking in the outback with 6-inch heeled designer shoes, faux fur, tons of makeup and yards of weave. Ex-model Cynthia was the most practical of them all, sporting braids, sandals and some cute ethnic garb.

Ms. Sheree, who considers herself the classy one, immediately displayed lack thereof by promptly calling Kim, "The White One" who didn't go on the trip, to gossip about what she said Kandi said about the absent housewife. These grown women constantly act as catty teenage girls and it is astonishing to watch. (Just an aside, only 2 of the women are officially married).

Phaedra, the "Southern Belle" tried to act as the lady she claims to be and I must say she got high marks for her behavior on this trip even though the make-up still needs a little excavating.

The medicine man foretold some of the Housewives' futures and I think he has a bit of magic, for Nene didn't like her forecast. By her reaction, I think he hit the nail on the head when he told her she was unhappy and had a good man in her estranged husband.

Sheree didn't like her predictions either, for he told her there were no more marriages in her future--no man would marry her again. To add insult to injury, he told her "The Bones" thought she was too old. I felt that sting all the way down to my toes.

Let's see what other shockers unfolds as the trip progresses.