Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

e.tv poaches stars from Generations

By Ntombizodwa Makhoba | City Press |

SOUTH AFRICA – Free-to-air channel e.tv isn’t just trying to compete with Generations in its 8pm primetime slot – it’s going after some of the 16 actors who were sacked from the SABC’s flagship local soapie.

Striking Generations actors in mass sacking
Striking Generations actors who were sacked enmasse

City Press has learnt that four of the actors who were fired from Generations in August have been approached by e.tv to be part of its new telenovela.

An industry source with knowledge of the new show said the working title was Gold Diggers and it would run for 104 episodes, starting in February next year.

It would be produced by Clive Morris Productions, added the source. Some of the production house’s previous projects include episodes of 50/50 on SABC and Forever Young on M-Net.

“Nambitha Mpumlwana, Sophie Ndaba, Zolisa Xaluva and Zikhona Sodlaka are some of the people who have been approached by e.tv so far,” two impeccable sources told City Press.

“But by the look of things, it seems they want to recruit all the axed Generations actors to be on this show.”

Ndaba refused to comment, while the phones of Mpumlwana, Xaluva and Sodlaka went straight to voicemail. Repeated attempts to contact the three actors were unsuccessful.

A third source said Xaluva was on the set of a show, but would not give details.

Monde Twala, e.tv’s managing director for channels, was non-committal when he was approached for comment.

He said in an email that e.tv was cooking up a new and “spectacular” line-up for the 8pm weekday slot in the new year.

“The offerings are packed with serial drama, intensity, a cast that will shock you, engage you and quench your thirst for more entertainment,” he wrote in the email.

“The market is craving a fresh alternative and we have just what it needs. We are looking for the very best of South African talent.”

But he added that the channel was “not at liberty to confirm any names at this stage”.

“Information will be revealed once all deals have been concluded.”

One of the three sources told City Press no contracts had been signed yet, but the negotiations were under way between the four former Generations actors and e.tv.

The Generations 16: where are they now?

Where are they now?

» Seputla Sebogodi (Kenneth) has jumped from one soapie to another. He has joined the cast of e.tv’s Rhythm City.

Sebogodi, who played Generations’ villainous Kenneth Mashaba, will appear on our screens from February 18 as a former convict, Solomon, who becomes wealthy and respected. “I’m happy with the offer. You can’t even compare it with Generations.” While his former show grabbed all the attention when it returned to South African screens this week, Sebogodi said his sacking was a blessing in disguise.

“On the first day of the relaunch of Generations [Monday], I received at least 100 missed calls and 50 messages from people commenting about the show. “As far as I know, my fellow 15 actors are doing just fine. God has been good to all of us. They’re also working on different things.”

» Thato Molamu (Nicholas), who is hosting SABC2 game show What’s Behind The Wall, has scored a role on e.tv’s new polygamy drama series, Umlilo. He will star alongside Nomzamo Mbatha and Hamilton Dlamini, and will hit the small screen from February 9 as businessman TK.

“I’m excited to be on Umlilo and it’s good to step out of a soapie character I also enjoyed playing,” said an excited Molamu.

» After Menzi Ngubane (Sibusiso) reportedly turned down an offer to join Rhythm City, Drum reported that he would join the SABC drama Uzalo.

» Thami Mngqolo (Senzo) told City Press on Friday he had just finished shooting 13 episodes of Mzansi Magic sitcom Kota Life Crisis. “There are many projects in the pipeline, but unfortunately it’s too early to reveal [details],” said Mngqolo.

» Veteran actor Patrick Shai (Patrick) wouldn’t divulge what he was working on, but told City Press he and his former colleagues had been supporting each other by recommending jobs when they cropped up. “So far no one’s car has been repossessed. We are there for each other,” said Shai.

» Winnie Ntshaba (Khethiwe) founded the Royalty Soapie Awards with the KwaZulu-Natal government and launched it in March last year. She’s working hard on the next instalment of the awards, set for early next year.

» Recently Move! reported that Zenande Mfenyana (Noluntu) is a brand ambassador for Chelline, an online shopping site for hair products, accessories and clothes.

» Atandwa Kani (Samora) is said to be working in theatre and is appearing in Sizwe Banzi Is Dead.

» Anga Makubalo (MJ) is focusing on his music career and is enjoying the success of the hit song Yini featuring Heavy K from the latter’s Love and Music album. He ended the call when asked what else he was working on.

» Slindile Nodangala (Mam’ Ruby) has kept mum since August and it’s not known what’s keeping her busy. Could we see her on e.tv’s Gold Diggers next year?

» Katlego Danke (Dineo) has taken the axing in her stride. She’s still on maternity leave and is looking after her baby son.

» Mandla Gaduka (Choppa) told City Press on Friday he had just finished shooting season 2 of SABC2’s Gauteng Maboneng. Now he’s back on the auditions treadmill. “I have accepted that Generations is a closed chapter and life has to go on,” he said. – Ntombizodwa Makhoba. | City Press |