Local stars and shows of the ’80s and ’90s feature prominently in this month’s Heritage SA edition of our third magazine. Picture: Supplied
Local stars and shows of the ’80s and ’90s feature prominently in this month’s Heritage SA edition of our third magazine. Picture: Supplied

IOL TELEVISION: Turning back the clock on TV in SA

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Sep 16, 2020

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As it’s Heritage month, we decided to turn back the clock and look at the history of television in South Africa.

Believe it or not, it was introduced in 1976.

As part of the Xennials generation, it is a time I recall well. Giving away my age here.

The bubbling excitement of owning a TV box set was a big deal. If you owned one in the neighbourhood, you were deemed well-heeled. And neighbourhood kids would generally gather at one person’s home to catch their favourite show, before heading back to their own.

Back then, a family member, usually the youngest one, was the remote control. I know Generation Z’s will probably be laughing their heads off at that mental image.

I have to admit, I had fun working on this issue. Especially, when it came to brainstorming with colleagues and friends and reflecting on the shows that formed an integral part of our childhood and teenage years.

Although there were many international shows that we loved, we wanted to keep this a proudly local edition. And, to be honest, we had such great dramas, comedies, game shows, music shows, current affairs programming and kiddie content, that we could have done several editions.

But we focused on the trending and pioneering offerings, especially during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Although the respective TV channel archives were not particularly helpful during this Covid-19 lockdown, Google and the trusted memories of many came to the rescue.

I hope you enjoy this edition as we visit the glory days of TV in our beautiful country, where cultural diversity manifested in unforgettable shows.

And if you have a “Where are they now?” or “Oh, I remember that!” moment while going through this magazine, you are not alone.

Happy reading!

IOL TELEVISION: Turning back the clock on TV in SA. Picture: Supplied

Read issue 3 of the IOL Television magazine.

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