Nomzamo and Maps telling us something sweet

tell-me-sweet-something

A couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to take on the digital properties of what is now one of Mzansi’s biggest TV channels. I did so because I saw the huge potential and the growing and engaged audience. The channel gave up-and-coming producers and productions houses the opportunity to tell local stories. It also gave the established a platform to showcase their incredible productions. One such production was Isibaya. Initially the show started out as a telenovela, the second one in SA, but because the storylines resonated so well, the production values were incredibly high and the talent struck a cord with the audience, the show became a fully-fledged soapie.

The show had some big names attached to it, but the ‘newbies’ really grabbed my attention. Two names to be specific and for the purposes of this post, I’m going to zoom in on the one… Her name? Nomzamo Mbatha. Not only was she exquisitely beautiful, but also her natural acting ability and the way she brought her character to life was something so rare, to real and so refreshing to see. I hadn’t seen that in a long time. I remember regularly engaging with her on social media and like that, her profile gained momentum and traction. I also recall having to put a few names forward for another project that we were working on. The project manager at the time, Tebs also noticed her appeal, her star power and her potential. Alas, the bosses went with another name, and that’s just the nature of the beast, but Nomzamo’s star power continued to grow and sore. All of a sudden she was out at a lot of events, being dressed by top designers and appearing regularly in the press and social pages. And yet she remained humble, real and focused. I speak about focus because that’s what I believe she is. At the time, her Twitter header image had a simple, but powerful picture of an Academy Award on a black background. It’s telling. It’s out there and I believe if she continues on this tip, that little image will come to life. Her latest project is definitely taking her one step closer to that.

Nomzamo has been a regular on the small screen and now audiences can see her on the big screen, as a lead in the feature film Tell Me Sweet Something. Nomzamo is acting alongside her friend, Maps Maponyane in this sweet local rom-com. I haven’t had the chance to see if yet, but judging by the response on social media and the trending topics this weekend, I’m going to have to book my seat. In short, Mbatha plays the role of a novelist. Seeing her stuck in a rut, her friend decides enough is enough, so she takes her out on the town. At a random Jozi club she meets a celebrity model, who isn’t her usual type. But there’s something between them and that’s where the story goes.

It might be predictable, but it’s nice to have a story that isn’t about crime, drama or some of usual stories we’ve come to expect in SA. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for those stories and they’re important to tell, but sometimes we just need a feel good, escape from reality movie. And that’s exactly what this movie is. I was chatting to Maps about the movie earlier, and he was telling me how busy he and Nomzamo have been with promotion. Between them, he said they’ve probably had about 18 hours of sleep in the last five days, but if it means more bums on seats, it’s all worth it.

He’s a great, smart, genuine guy. She’s talented, gorgeous and wonderful… Together, they’re formidable, driven and hungry to see and do more. Maps and Nomzamo are two names you will want to watch. It’s just the beginning of a something sweet, I’m telling you that much!

Generations stars axed… what’s next?

We all know that the SABC, Mfundi Vundla and his team have been playing hardball, as have the 16 actors embroiled in the employment Ts&Cs associated to SABC 1’s hit soap, Generations. So much so it led to all of them being dismissed yesterday. This unfortunate situation made me think of the following:

 

  • What’s next for the Generations as a show? Apparently the storylines have been pretty weak of late, so perhaps this is a well thought-out, strategic plan on the creator’s behalf? Out with the old, in with the new? The SABC has said the show will continue… my question is how?
  • Sure you can dismiss 16 actors, but how on earth do you depict that in the show? Do you get other actors to replace those dismissed? You don’t do that overnight though. Those characters are some of the longest standing, most loved people on TV, so not any old actor can come in an encapsulate and embody those characters right off the bat.
  • I know this is the soapie genre and sometimes you make shit shine, but you also can’t just kill off all of these characters i.e. they miraculously all die in a plane crash or die as a result of an Ebola outbreak. That needs to be represented in some manner through the storylines and visually. So good luck to the current writers and directors involved in the production.
  • Connie Ferguson made a bold move by leaving the hit soap a few years back. Her and hubby, Shona haven’t looked back since, with the success of their production Rockville on Mzansi Magic and a good run in the M-Net soapie The Wild. Maybe they’re looking at a new soapie for rival free-to-air channel, ETV or better yet, for the pay-tv market, which involves many of the 16 stars?
  • How will audience ratings be affected by the dismissal? Will they turn their attention to rival soapies Isibaya, Scandal, Rhythm City? Or will Generations continue with its dedicated +- 7million strong audience?
  • How does this affect the industry as a whole? Will the likes of Sophia Ndaba, Menzi Ngubane and Katlego Danke get the money they feel they deserve in other shows, soapies they may be involved in going forward? The cast of Friends got their way a few years back, as have several other productions. This is good for the industry because the on-screen talent clearly craves this. It’s no longer a case of “I need work so I’ll just take what I can”. It’s now about show reels, ratings and broadcasters putting their money where their mouths are. Only a good thing, albeit tense.

 

What do you make of it? Any thoughts from your side?

All the 2014 SAFTA winners

So the SAFTAs happened at the weekend… I must admit for what is supposed to be a glitzy, glamorous and highly credited awards ceremony, I’m extremely disappointed in the PR team/ organisers. I’ve attended the awards once in my career. The reason I’ve only been once is because I’ve only been invited once. In the years after that I’ve expressed my interest in attending the awards, let alone getting access to a simple press release and yet I’ve heard nothing. It’s extremely disappointing and to the PR team, you really aren’t doing a very good job at marketing the awards. A lot of people didn’t even know it was on. Alas, it was and I saw some of the winner’s names on the social networks…. Probably more entertaining to watch it unfold on social anyway. Rant done. If you, like me, missed the awards, here’s a look at who won big at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards:

Continue reading “All the 2014 SAFTA winners”

Isibaya leads the Royalty Soapie Awards nominations

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Congratulations to the Mzansi Magic and Bomb Shelter teams for bringing viewers arguably one of the most revered and best productions to our television screens… Isibaya. The telenovela kicked off earlier this year and has since gone on to become a hit across the nation, with the stars of the show also becoming household names too. Now the show has scooped its biggest achievement to date; a whopping 19 nominations at the Royalty Soapie Awards. The awards are set to take at the Durban International Convention Centre on the 8th of March next year. Popular stars, Michael Mol and Hlomla Dandala will be hosting the awards and there is bound to be a lot more news coming up in the weeks leading up to the awards. Here is a full list of nominees:

Outstanding Lead Actor

Menzi Ngubane  as Sibusiso Dlomo   for Generations
Siyabonga Twala  as Mpiyakhe Zungu  for Isibaya
Kevin Smith   as Frank Xavier   for Isidingo
Siyabonga Twala  as Busani Mojalefa  for Muvhango
Shona Ferguson  as Itumaleng   for The Wild

Outstanding Lead Actress

Odelle de Wet   as Delia Richter   for Binneland
Thembi Nyandeni  as Mkabayi Zungu  for Isibaya
Linda Sokhulu   as Nikiwe Sibeko   for Isidingo
Nthabi Tau   as Meiki    for Muvhango
Shaleen Surtie-Richards as Fran Jacobs   for Villa Rosa

Outstanding Male Villain

Andre Odendaal  as AJ/Andries/Dries Richter for Binneland
Bheki Mkhwane  as Samson Ndlovu  for Isibaya
Robert Whitehead  as Barker Heins   for Isidingo
Aubrey Poo   as Lebata    for The Wild
Darren Kelfkens  as Roberto Martinelli Snr  for Villa Rosa

Outstanding Female Villain

Jo da Silva   as Gita McGregor  for 7de Laan
Marisa Drummond  as Alexa    for Binneland
Zenande Mfenyana  as Noluntu Memela  for Generations
Tsholo Monedi   as Meme    for Muvhango
Khabonina Qubeka  as Maxine    for The Wild

Outstanding Soapie

Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
Isidingo
The Wild

Outstanding Supporting Actor

Hennie Jacobs  as Diederik   for 7de Laan
Ramey Short   as Quinton Meyer  for Binneland
Bongani Gumede  as Mandla Ndlovu  for Isibaya
Sdumo Mtshali   as S’bu Ndlovu   for Isibaya
TY Keogh   as Jack    for The Wild

Outstanding Supporting Actress

Annelize van der Ryst  as Matrone Netta Nortje  for 7de Laan
Sorina Erasmus   as Die Flooze   for 7de Laan
Xoli Zondi   as Zodwa    for Generations
Nomzamo Mbatha  as Thandeka Zungu  for Isibaya
Kgomotso Christopher  as Katlego Sibeko  for Isidingo

Outstanding Couple

Pierre van Pietzen  as Oubaas van Zyl  for 7de Laan
Annelise Weiland  as Hilda de Kock   for

Sandi Schultz   as Jennifer Adams  for Binneland
Gert van Niekerk  as Patrick Myburgh  for

Sdumo Mtshali   as S’bu Zungu   for Isibaya
Nomzamo Mbatha  as Thandeka Zungu  for

Ayanda Ngubane  as Siphokazi Zungu  for Isibaya
Celeste Ntuli   as Phumelele   for

Tema Sebopedi  as Lerato Tsotetsi   for Isidingo
Motlatsi Mafatshe  as Sechaba Moloi  for

Outstanding Newcomer

Simoné Nortmann  as Nadia    for 7de Laan
Anga Makubalo  as MJ Memela   for Generations
Jessica Nkosi   as Qondi    for Isibaya
Liteboho Molise  as Teboho   for Muvhango
Hayley Owen   as Angie    for The Wild

Technical and Creative Categories

Outstanding Make-up & Hair

Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
The Wild

Outstanding Set Design

Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
Isidingo
The Wild

Outstanding Writing Team

Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
Isidingo
The Wild

Outstanding Wardrobe

7de Laan
Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
The Wild

Outstanding Art Direction

7de Laan
Binneland
Generations
Isibaya

Outstanding Directing Team

7de Laan
Binneland
Isibaya
Isidingo
The Wild

Outstanding Editing Team

Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
Isidingo
The Wild

Outstanding Casting Director

Susan Rossouw    for Binneland
Phophi Mulaudzi   for Generations
Kutlwano Ditsele & Angus Gibson for Isibaya

Outstanding Lighting

7de Laan
Binneland
Generations
Isibaya
Isidingo