They say the third time's the charm, but SABC1's weekly drama, Home Affairs, stole viewers' hearts from day one. This series, which follows the lives of several very different women as they learn new things about themselves and each other, returns to our screens for the third time this Thursday.

Home Affairs is all about women, with primarily female leads being cast. Its producers, directors, writers, production designers and director of photography are all women too. One of the drama's principal actresses, Brenda Ngxoli, is happy about this. She explains, "this is what Home Affairs is about. It's about women, for women, by women.

"I think the purpose of Home Affairs is to be educational, entertaining content and, hopefully, the masses and the youth of South Africa will learn something from it. Whether it's about issues that involve alcohol or taking your life into your own hands, hopefully this will uplift the women of this country."

And the phenomenal females who make up the cast make it easy for viewers to relate to their characters. The original cast includes Nthathi Moshesh (who has won multiple awards for her talent); South African Film and Television Award-winner for Best Supporting Actress 2006, Vatiswa Ndara; Brenda Ngxoli; Jessica Haines; and Lerato Moloisane.

No wonder Ngxoli was excited about returning for another season.

"For the first time in my life, I got to work in an environment where I wanted to ask people for autographs," says the actress about working with these talented women.

But rest assured, she is very proud of her contribution to the series as she explains: "I got to work with people who I adore and look up to. The sky is big enough for all the stars to shine."

And the newest star to shine right next to her is Lee Duru, who has acted in Desmond Dube's skit shows. She swaps comedy for a role that is a tad more serious, and excels at it. Duru enters the story as Crystal Isaacs, a gynaecologist who is in the middle of a divorce.

In the last season, Thandeka (played by Moshesh) was finally reunited with her estranged daughter, Katlego (Moloisane) but a spanner was thrown into the works when tragedy hit the new-found family again - a third party's presence threatened to pull apart the relationship that they had managed to forge.

Katlego's support system and her best friend, Katherine (Haines), struggle to rebuild the pieces of her life before she and Katlego experienced a traumatic mugging.

But on the upside, Miriam (Ndara) seems to be well on her way to recovering from being an alcoholic and finds a job. Miriam's daughter, Vuyokazi (Ngxoli) - who is "an ordinary township girl who seems to be boyish and plays discus" as Ngxoli describes her - finds her voice this season and finally becomes confident as a university student and even seems to be in love.

It's storylines like these that have earned Home Affairs Emmy and Rose D'Or nominations.

More recently though, this drama was nominated for the prestigious Banff World Television Award at the Banff World Television Festival in Canada, which will happen on June 11.

It is clear that the world, not just South Africa, is enamoured with Home Affairs and its familiar characters. No one knows this better than Ngxoli. "Everywhere I go, I get love," she says. "Other people get irritated by it, but I see it as love in abundance. I can go anywhere in the country and people have given me love.

"I'm at the point in my life where I just want to say 'thank you, South Africa' - I am where I am because people have been watching and have been giving me attention, so thank you. Thank God."

  • Home Affairs 3 airs this Thursday at 9pm on SABC1.