’Isibaya’ redefined viewing for Mzansi Magic. Picture: Facebook
’Isibaya’ redefined viewing for Mzansi Magic. Picture: Facebook

’iNkaba’ and ’Isibaya’ redefined viewing for Mzansi Magic, which turned 10

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Aug 26, 2020

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Mzansi Magic is one of the most popular channels on DStv.

Today, it is the home of leading homegrown telenovelas and reality shows.

On Mzansi Magic celebrating its 10-year milestone, channel director, Nomsa Philiso, said: “Mzansi Magic launched on July 12, 2010, to increase local production and exhibit South African acting and entertainment that resonates with Mzansi viewers.

“Through the introduction of Mzansi Magic careers of actors have been built and cultivated, producers and screenwriters have increased.”

Mzansi Magic channel director, Nomsa Philiso. Picture: Supplied

When asked how the channel, which is broadcast in HD, has grown in the past decade, she added: “Our telenovelas have reached nearly 1 million viewers per show. 963 original South African shows have been created for Mzansi Magic.

“10 years of Mzansi means 17 859 shows, movies and event broadcast on the channel. Programming from the channel is now available on Catch Up for those audiences that are unable to tune in to premiering episodes.”

For viewers, who have missed earlier seasons or current episodes of some of the channel’s content, it is also available on Showmax.

“Living the Dream with Somizi” remains one of the top-performing realities on the channel. Picture: Supplied

Philiso added: “Mzansi Magic has kept true to its reason for existence while keeping up with trends and expanding on its diversity of programming.

“We are the champions of opening up the industry, originators of Black Twitter through creating groundbreaking shows such as ‘Date My Family’, ‘Our Perfect Wedding’ and the Sunday 8pm show.”

As for the most popular shows currently on the channel, she offered: “‘Gomora’ has ignited its timeslot, and has quickly become a television viewing and social media conversation driver. ‘Gomora’ has a 2million average audience size. ‘The Queen’, now in its 5th season, has continued to see some of the channel’s highest viewership levels in its timeslot.

“Reality content remains a mainstay of the type of riveting content that defines Mzansi Magic. ‘Date My Family’, ‘Our Perfect Wedding’ and ‘Idols SA’ remain high-flying shows.

“707 episodes of ‘Our Perfect Wedding’ have aired. Over the past year, some of the top-performing realities include ‘Mnakwethu’, ‘uThando Nes’thembu’, ‘Kwa Mam’Khize’, ‘Mo & Mome’ and ‘Living the Dream with Somizi’. Staples of mid-week viewing for many years, such as ‘Utatakho’ and ‘Please Step In’, retain significant viewing. ‘Isibaya’ has had 1724 episodes and around 877 hours on our small screens.”

Expanding on the viewer demographic, Philiso revealed: “It remains a largely Black, slightly female-skewing channel, that appeals to a broad section of ages.

“The core age segments that the channel draws much of its viewership from are 18-24 years, 25-34 years and 35-49 years.”

Looking back at the major drawcards on the channel, she shared: “‘iNkaba’ and ‘Isibaya’ redefined viewing on Mzansi Magic. ‘Isibaya’ continues to form part of the backbone of the viewership.

“Telenovelas have become a significant viewership and social media driver over the past 5 years.

“Reality series that demonstrated the complexity and depth that viewers wanted include ‘Our Perfect Wedding’, ‘Idols SA’ and the new reality content launched over the past year.

“The growth of interest in local movies has provided added dimension to the array of content on Mzansi Magic over the years.

“We have had 2497 hours of movies. 1 million people have watched ‘Mrs Right Guy’ more than any movie. 1 348 628, the Somhale wedding.

When asked if there’s fresh content in the pipeline, she confirmed: “Yes, there are local dramas and realities launching in September and October to look forward to, look out for our press releases announcing these.”

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