Soul City pulls 'em in

SOUL City, the drama series currently running on SABC1, shows it is possible to have educational and entertainment programmes that appeal to viewers.

SOUL City, the drama series currently running on SABC1, shows it is possible to have educational and entertainment programmes that appeal to viewers.

The Soul City Institute has two productions on SABC1. These are Soul City and Love - Stories in a Time of HIV and Aids and are among the channel's most watched programmes.

"This is remarkable considering that the Soul City TV dramas are 'entertainment - education'. This means that they are carefully crafted into dramas that educate while entertaining.

"It is a sign of the keenness of the South African population to be educated," says Sue Goldstein, senior executive of Soul City's SA programmes.

John Molefe, Soul City Institute senior executive for marketing and public affairs, explains: "It's exciting to see how well Soul City Institute's products and products from our regional partners perform. We offer programmes with messages that create behaviour change.

"Viewers clearly have a voracious appetite for locally made programmes and SABC1 has been greatly supportive of our edutainment model."

The 10th in the Soul City series highlights the dangers of alcohol. The series weaves Phuza Wize messages into the storyline. These are aimed at reducing the violence related to alcohol abuse.

This year the series stars Vusi Kunene, Fana Mokoena, Jafta Mamabolo and Harriet Manamela. Viewers follow the Miyas, Maponyas and Gumedes, three families whose lives are touched by tragedy as a result of alcohol abuse and unsafe drinking habits.

Love - Stories in a Time of HIV and Aids consists of 10 half-hour films made for television from 10 Southern African countries. These speak of love and desire, secrets and lies and form part of the OneLove campaign, the largest cross-border HIV prevention campaign in the region.

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