History of Uzalo, The Most Watched Soapie in South Africa

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) revealed last year that Uzalo is the most watched soapie in South Africa.

Uzalo, which plays on SABC1 weekdays at 20:30, had broken all records in the history of television viewing in South Africa, by reaching a total of 10.2 million viewers which made Uzalo the most watched television programme by far.

Uzalo is a South African drama series produced by Stained Glass Productions, which is co-owned by Kobedi “Pepsi” Pokane and Gugu Zuma-Ncube.

History of Uzalo

Uzalo follows the story of two families, the Xulu family and the Mdletshe family, in the Kwa-Mashu township, KwaZulu-Natal. The Mdletshe family manages a church called Kwamashu Kingdom Church, while the Xulu family steal and sell cars for a living.

The two families are connected because their eldest sons, Mxolisi and Ayanda were switched at birth. Mxolisi, whose real mother is MaNzuza Mdletshe, was raised by Lindiwe ”MaNgcobo” Xulu. Ayanda, whose real mother is MaNgcobo, was raised by MaNzuza.

Who is the writer for Uzalo?

The Head Writer of Uzalo season 4 is Bongi Ndaba. She is a South African producer and writer for television, actress and playwright.

She succeeded Phathutshedzo Makwarela who oversaw the writing since Uzalo started. Linda Bere oversees the script team as the Script Editor. Chris Q. Radebe, Thuli Zuma, Busisiwe Matonsi and Sizinzo Maqubela are part of the storylining team and other writers include Neo Sibiya, Clive Madiya, Mimmy Mtshali Ntaka, Pusetso Thibedi, Salah Sabiti, Tsale Makam and Sibongile Nkosana. Brigette Madiba serves as the Script Department Coordinator.

When did Uzalo start?

Uzalo started in airing on the 9th February 2019 on SABC1. At first, Uzalo played only three times a week, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8PM. After the show was well received by the South African viewers, it was extended to five days a week, Monday to Friday.

Uzalo notable cast members

  • Dawn Thandeka King plays Lindiwe (MaNgcobo) Mhlongo (formerly Xulu)
  • Ntokozo Dlamini plays Zweli (Mastermind) Maphumulo
  • Masoja Msiza plays Nkunzebomvu (Nkunzi) Mhlongo
  • Glen Gabela plays Pastor Melusi Mdletshe
  • Nompilo Maphumulo plays Nosipho Xulu
  • Nay Maps portrays Mxolisi Mdletshe/Xulu
  • Khaya Dladla plays Gamakhulu (GC) Cetshwayo
  • Nokuthula Mabika plays Thobile
  • Gugu Gumede plays Hlengiwe (MaMlambo) Mlambo Mhlongo
  • Nyalleng Thibedi plays Zekhethelo Mhlongo
  • Nelisa Mchunu plays Fikile
  • Thembinkosi Thwala plays Mondli Mdlalose
  • Siyabonga Shibe plays Qhabanga Khumalo
  • Baby Cele Maloka plays Gabisile Mdletshe

Uzalo awards

Uzalo has won a couple of awards ever since it started. In 2015, the soapie won the “Best Soapie” award at the Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.

In 2016, it won the “Coolest Soapie” at the “The Sunday Times (South Africa) Generation Next Awards”. Again in 2018 at the “The Sunday Times (South Africa) Generation Next Awards,”, it scooped an award for “Coolest TV soapie.” It also won the “Most Popular Soapie” award at the “South African Film and Television Awards” in 2018.

Some of Uzalo cast members also received awards in different categories.

  • Khumbulani ‘Kay’ Sibiya won the “Best Newcomer” award in 2015 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”
  • Mpumelelo Bhulose won the “Best Actor” award in 2015 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”
  • Don Mlangeni Nawa walked away with an award for “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2015 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”
  • Sihle Ndaba won the “Best Actress” award in 2016 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”
  • Nokuthula Mabika won the “Best Supporting TV Actress” in 2017 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”
  • Baby Cele won the “Best Actress” award in 2017 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”
  • Simphiwe Majozi won the “Best Supporting Actor” award in 2017 at the “Simon “Mabunu” Sabela Awards.”

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