Johannesburg - Local soapie Isibaya has managed to secure an incredible 19 nominations for the inaugural Royalty Soapie Awards.

Despite being a newcomer to the soapie scene, Isibaya has dominated this year’s awards, which take place in Durban in three weeks.

The show has become a mega-hit with soapie fans since hitting TV screens last year.

No other soapie has managed to scoop as many nominations.

Airing on DStv’s Mzansi Magic, it has been nominated in all the major categories.

These include outstanding lead actor and actress; outstanding soapie of the year; outstanding supporting actor and actress; and outstanding newcomer

.

Produced by Desireé Maarkgraaf and Angus Gibson, Isibaya is set against the backdrop of the taxi industry, and focuses on the brutal feud and battle for wealth and power between the Zungus and the Ndlovus, rival taxi-owning families in the Tugela Valley.

The two powerful families threaten to tear apart the relationship of the two young lovers, Sibusiso Ndlovu (played by S’Dumo Msthali) and Thandeka Zungu (played by Nomzamo Mbatha).

The century-old battle started with cattle, then the taxi industry, but because of the few resources in the valley the brutal feud takes place in Egoli (Johannesburg), the city of gold, as the Zungus try to rebuild their fortune.

It stars an ensemble cast which includes Siyabonga Twala, nominated for best lead actor, as well as Thembi Nyandeni who has been nominated for best lead actress.

Other soapies that have been nominated include The Wild, which has been nominated for 12 awards, and Binneland

with 14.

Aside from cast members, all the major players are being recognised at this year’s awards.

Actors, make-up artists, writers, producers, directors and costume designers will receive recognition.

All the winners will be decided by a judging panel, aside from the category of “most popular soapie of the year”.

This will be determined by South Africa’s soapie fans, who have the chance to vote and determine who goes home the worthy winner.

The Royalty Soapie Awards, which was founded by Generations’ Winnie Modise, will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) on March 8.

Project director Sindile Xulu said they were looking forward to the awards.

“The range is wide and the list leaves no doubt that South Africa has great talent to be celebrated and honoured. It is now all systems go for the awards.”

Fans can vote for their favourite South African soapie by SMSing 33017.

Saturday Star