Letdown for Skeem Saam at the SAFTAs

The cast of Skeem Saam.
The cast of Skeem Saam.
Image: Facebook

Popular soapie Skeem Saam made a comeback to the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) after its hiatus last year, but was snubbed when the nominations were announced on Friday.

Last year, the SABC1 show was not eligible for consideration after it failed to meet Saftas entry guidelines because it did not submit any material.

Saftas entry guidelines state that production companies must submit in their respective categories in order to be considered for entry.

Skeem Saam won the public-voted most popular soap in 2016, although it failed to impress in the categories voted by the Saftas judging committee on the night.

"Last year we chose not to enter because we were not ready," Skeem Saam publicist Percy Vilakazi said.

"The production had been too busy. There was no time for us to go through the process of submitting. This year we wanted to join the party.

"It would be silly to come here thinking that you will get nominated. We came here hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. So we are disappointed."

In the soap/telenovela categories this year, Mzansi Magic's Isibaya leads the pack with nine nominations, with axed SABC3 telenovela High Rollers and newcomer Isithembiso following close second with six nods each.

According to the latest TV viewership figures, Skeem Saam is currently the third most-watched show in the country behind Generations: The Legacy and Uzalo.

Meanwhile, Generations: The Legacy and Muvhango will again boycott the Saftas. The two were the only ones missing from the most popular TV/telenovela category, with 17 of Mzansi's soaps and telenovelas making the shortlist.

Generations: The Legacy PR manager Gaaratwe Mokhethi confirmed the show would boycott the prestigious awards.

"We have been entering the Saftas since the inception of Generations: The Legacy in 2014, hoping our talent will be recognised but unfortunately our cast hasn't received such recognition from the Saftas," Mokhethi said.

As expected, local film Inxeba (The Wound), directed by John Trengove, swept the board in the feature film category. The controversial and critically acclaimed film scored eight nominations, including a nod for its lead stars, Nakhane Mahlakahlaka, Bongile Mantsai and Niza Ncoyini.

"We are overwhelmed and incredibly honoured by the positive response from the judges," said Trengove.

"No other film has racked up as many Safta nominations, and it is particularly rewarding to receive this level of recognition today when the film has opened on the local circuit to so much criticism for its perceived cultural insensitivity."

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