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SABC1 taking the lead with second seasons of Intersexions and Skeem Saam

Atrocities like Nyan Nyan have been unleashed on the unsuspecting public with grainy presentation that makes one wonder if the digital era was missed by the production house responsible.

Naspers is also in on the act via M-Net which launched the Mzansi Magic channel specifically for the same viewership. They brought the country its first telenovela with Inkaba, an interesting tale, but one that ultimately had too many things going on in the story. Tawdry, poorly-made films became a constant feature on the channel with the Lokshin Bioscope, the South African answer to Nigeria’s zero-budget Nollywood.

Then, out of nowhere, a reprieve was found with the first broadcast of Isibaya – easily the best show on South African television. 

Mzansi Wethu is yet another channel that has now been added to the bouquet. Given the standard of Isibaya, there was hope that some more high-end entertainment was on the way. But alas, thinking black audiences were sold down the river once again with gaudy studio like game shows like Ka-Ching, the dating show Nguwe Na and two “talent” shows Cula Sibone and Bounce suggesting those in charge don’t respect their audience much. 

“We are proud to introduce Mzansi Wethu to the pay-television scene and we are delighted it is available on an affordable package,” says Yolisa Phahle, M-Net director: local interest channels. 

“Mzansi Wethu authentically reflects the day-to-day reality of many South Africans and we trust that viewers will love all the new vernacular programming and other not-to-be-missed shows.”

Any work is good work for television and filmmakers, but some stringent measures should be put in place before sending out condescending material dubbed “authentically reflecting the day-to-day reality” of South Africans. It sounds like the advertising and marketing fraternity paint the majority of this country’s people with one brush.

A new Mzansi Magic soapie, Zabalaza, is the first soapie to be set in the township. The tribal council is still out deliberating whether or not this show is any good. 

“Our mission is to produce local stories for a local audience in a new innovative way,” continues Phahle, “from the very successful run of our first telenovela, Inkaba, to the phenomenal viewer response to Isibaya. 

“Zabalaza will create appointment viewing. It’s a story with depth, which celebrates the use of our vernacular languages in a highly entertaining way. 

Source: The Citizen

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