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Reflecting on 2013 in the world of soaps, there have been myriad twists channelled into real life. Debashine Thangevelo looks at the comings and goings that left us gasping – sometimes in awe, sometimes not…
Most-talked about death scene: it goes without saying that the killing-off of a principal character is bound to create an outcry. But the writers of Mzansi Magic’s telenovela, Isibaya, didn’t bank on the Twitter outrage and disappointment when they wrote out taxi tycoon Mpiyakhe (played by Siyabonga Twala). .
Serial soap hopper: after he exited Isibaya, Twala joined SABC2’s Venda drama, Muvhango, as Busani Mojalefa. That was another short-lived outing, though, as he is now a thorn in David Genaro’s side as rival badass DH Radebe in e.tv’s Rhythm City. I guess the question is: what’s next for Twala and his restless feet?
Paying a high price: like Susan Flannery, John McCook and Katherine Kelly Lang, Ronn Moss has been a crucial part of The Bold and the Beautiful and its more than 25-year history. How sad, then, that he decided to leave after being asked to take a substantial salary cut.
I’m sure it’s not how he wanted to bid farewell to the soap that was a major part of his career and life.
Curtain call: alas, M-Net’s The Wild, despite its slew of awards and a strong cast and production values, got the chop in March, with SABC3’s All My Children ending last month.
Getting the pink slip: Isidingo’s UK-born head writer, Liam J Stratton, didn’t last long in his role. According to rumours, his appointment wasn’t welcomed by the cast. I guess the situation reached a stalemate and he resigned.
Given the slew of controversies around the soap, I wouldn’t be surprised if more exits folllow.
Meanwhile, Nambitha Mpumlwana, who played Mawande, sealed her fate with her diva antics on SABC1’s Generations.
No work, no pay: while on the subject of Generations, it has been an interesting year for the soap, which also celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In recent weeks, there has been a hullaballoo over salary disputes with several of the principal cast. But creator and executive producer Mfundi Vundla responded by saying the soap was bigger than one actor.
Over-exposed: every year, you come across one person who monopolises the social and entertainment arena. This year belonged to Pearl Thusi.
Aside from making her acting debut on Isidingo – her acting leaves much to be desired – she re- placed DJ Fresh as the next host of Tropika Island of Treasure. Proof that sometimes a pretty smile can help you achieve much.
Turning over a new leaf: Nonhle Thema was the doyenne of con- troversy.
But now that she is a mother, Thema finally appears to have grown up. And she is putting her talent where her mouth is by venturing into acting in Mzansi Magic’s Zabalaza.
Top honours: Winnie Modise, best known as Khetiwe Buthelezi from Generations, founded the Royalty Soapie Awards to pay homage to those involved in the soapie industry.
Though scheduled for last month, the event has been moved to March. I hope this isn’t indicative of financial constraints; that would be sad – not to mention embarrassing – after all that hype.
Talk about chemistry: Aside from Isibaya being one of the most talked-about shows, viewers have fallen in love with Nomzamo Mbatha (as Thandeka Zungu) and S’dumo Mtshali (Sibusiso Ndlovu), who make an adorable couple. And they are talented, too. Now that’s a winning combination.