Imbewu adds solid drama
Tonight e.tv takes the fight to Mzansi Magic with the start of its new big budget drama Imbewu: The Seed.
Set in Umlazi, Umbumbulu and Chatsworth in KZN, the much-awaited addition to prime time viewing intersects lives of two brothers with a dark secret between them and an Indian family. It stars Leleti Khumalo, who is also executive producer, and Mpumelelo Bhulose, Thembi Mtshali and newcomer Sandile Dlamini.
Duma Ndlovu, also an executive producer, said the show would send a message of social cohesion.
They've turned a storage warehouse in Congela, Durban, into an elaborate set depicting a double storey house in the township, a modest village house and a Hindu house in the suburbs. The production promotes the utopia of "emsamo", as espoused in the VIP area of a shisanyama in Umlazi. Here, people of all races party together.
"In South Africa, we have not yet had the opportunity to see Indians and Africans come together to tell a story with a social cohesion message," he said.
The theme revolves around infertility, and the disputes and difficulties families encounter in the process, with the mother going to the older brother saying "your younger brother cannot bear children, I want you to go and impregnate the wife".
Considering the juggernauts that are Generations,Uzalo,Isibaya and The Queen, e.tv was smart enough to settle on the 9.30pm slot. If the strategy succeeds, it will be an extension of the drama overload on SABC1 and Mzansi Magic.
Comments e.tv's Ziyanda Mngomezulu, head of local content: "We are sure viewers from all walks of life in South Africa will enjoy and relate to Imbewu."
Mzansi Magic's Nondumiso Mabece said the new production augured well for the industry and the viewers.
Dichaba Phalatse, SABC TV network marketing manager, said they didn't take any new productions for granted.
"Local drama has grown and SABC1 is still number one," Phalatse said.
Ndlovu concluded: "We are excited. It's a milestone - a new direction in television. We are serious about television in Durban. We are here to stay."