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Why every South African should watch Black Tax

Posted by radio On February - 5 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

BET’s new comedy series, Black Tax, is hilarious – but underneath the humour, there’s a serious subject that affects millions of South Africans. Whether you’re the one expected to pay black tax, or you just see its effects around you, it’s a cultural phenomenon that has a big impact.

 

In Black Tax, successful real estate agent Thuli Dlamini is given the shock of her life when her mother and stepfather turn up on the doorstep of her townhouse.

What she thought would only be a weekend thing looks like it might turn into forever. Her stepfather dropped a huge bombshell: he lost all his pension money when a certain bank went bankrupt after money was stolen by politicians.

 

 

The reality of black tax

Graduating from university has to be one of the most fulfilling achievements in the world. The feeling of starting a new life for yourself and working towards the future you’ve always imagined is unmatched. However, just as you’re dreaming about all the things you can do with your money, reality kicks in and you remember that you have other people depending on you financially. This is black tax and it’s a reality for a lot of young black South Africans.

I have a friend who’s had to take out loans to assist with her siblings’ school fees, while also taking care of her parents. Both her parents are employed, but she’s still expected to hand over a big part of her salary – even if it means she gets into debt.

 

 

For another friend, going on holiday or buying a house are just impossible dreams, because her entire family relies on her financially. As much as she’d like to focus on building a life for herself right now, she’s unable to.

 

 

I’m very lucky not to be in that situation – I do send money home from time to time, but it’s not expected of me. I do, however, have a few family members who pop out of nowhere to ask for money. A text from an unknown number on the 17th of the month to ask for R6 000, for example. It’s always an emergency, like a sick child, so the guilt is real. I’ll help where I can, but I draw the line when people only remember me when they need cash.

How did we get here?

If you’re wondering how black professionals find themselves in this situation, Thuli Dlamini has the answer, and explained it well to her white male colleague, James, on Black Tax.

When James was a bit confused about why she had to look after some of her family members, she told him: “Our country has a messed up past and the result of that is a lot of young black people taking care of their brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, neighbours…”

 

 

He couldn’t fully understand black tax because his family wasn’t affected by apartheid and its legacy in the same way, she says. And anyone who still finds themselves struggling to comprehend this part of our culture would do well to watch the series for some insights.

 

 

Now it’s all up to Thuli (and her daughter) to accommodate her parents, brother and nephew. Family comes first, right? Is this a burden or is Thuli simply doing the right thing? You can be the judge of that!

One thing South Africans are definitely good at is laughing in the face of adversity, which is what makes this series so relatable and funny. Follow Thuli’s story on Black Tax, coming express to Showmax from BET.

Stream Black Tax from the beginning now.

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The Snail and the Whale
• is based on Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s bestselling picture book
• is animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish (Revolting Rhymes, Zog)

• is co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon (Zog, Stick Man)
• is produced by Magic Light (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Revolting Rhymes)

• features the voices of Dame Diana Rigg (Lady Tyrell in Game of Thrones) & two-time Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
• premiered to over 7.5m people on BBC at Christmas 2019
• now streaming first on Showmax in Africa

 

The Snail and the Whale, the latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptation, is now streaming first on Showmax in Africa.

Animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish for Magic Light Pictures, The Snail and the Whale premiered on BBC One at Christmas to four-star reviews and over 7.5m viewers. RadioTimes calls the 26m animation “visually spectacular… a lovely treat to watch as a family…”

 

 

This is the story of a tiny snail with an itchy foot, who travels the world on the tail of a great big, grey-blue humpback whale. It’s a tale of shimmering ice and coral caves, of shooting stars and enormous waves, and of how the snail, so small and frail, saves the life of the humpback whale.

 

 

“Although it was first published in 2003, this story now seems more relevant than ever,” says RadioTimes, highlighting the “environmental message which kids will surely take to heart” and “a lovely friendship between two wildly different creatures.”

The Snail and the Whale is directed by two-time Oscar nominee Max Lang (The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom) and multi-award-winning South African Daniel Snaddon (Stick Man). This is their second Donaldson-Scheffler collaboration, following on from the success of Zog, which earned the keen but clumsy dragon gold stars everywhere from Shanghai International TV Festival to New York International Children’s Film Festival last year, not to mention nominations for International Emmy, Kidscreen, and Annie awards in 2020.

 

 

“For anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed, like the world is too big for you to make a difference, The Snail and the Whale is an encouragement that even though you feel small – and may even be small – what you do still matters,” says Snaddon. “The important thing is to keep hoping and to keep trying.”

 

 

The Snail and the Whale is voiced by star British acting talent, with two-time Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (Paddington, The Shape Of Water) as Snail, Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, and every Julia Donaldson adaptation) as Whale, Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show) as Teacher and Dame Diana Rigg (Lady Tyrell in Game of Thrones – and Tracy Bond, James Bond’s only wife, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) as the narrator.

 

 

“I Skyped in for the voice recordings,” says Snaddon. “As a kid from the Lowveld, Skype is a huge blessing because it stops you feeling too starstruck. I’m used to seeing Sally and Diana on screen, and they’re still just on a screen, so you can have a normal conversation.”

 

 

The Snail and the Whale is a longstanding favourite in our house,” says Brydon. “It’s an epic journey across the globe, where the tiniest creature and the mightiest mammal experience the vastness of our planet together.”

“Both characters go on such a heart-warming, emotional and ultimately life-changing journey together,” says Hawkins. “It’s a very beautiful and important friendship for them both.”

The Snail and the Whale’s environmental theme particularly resonated with her. “The protection of our oceans is everything,” she says. “I hope this animation will inspire family audiences everywhere in helping to take care of our beautiful earth and its creatures for future generations and beyond.”

 

 

Snaddon first read The Snail and the Whale to his son Frank when he was still in utero. When Frank was born, “one of the first things he got was a lot of Julia Donaldson swag – he was the first kid to get a Zog plushie, as well as lots of Stick Man and Gruffalo stuff. He’s well-kitted out with the merch.”

 

 

But for Snaddon, Donaldson is more than just a supplier of night-time stories that are always a pleasure to read. “For our family, she’s changed our lives,” he admits. “I was working in advertising before this, and I didn’t have a clear pathway to making my own films, so I’m just so grateful that we as a family have been part of spreading the magic of her stories. She’s a national treasure in Britain and I’m in awe of her and Axel and the imprint they’ve made on the British psyche.”

 

 

The Snail and the Whale is the fifth in a string of BBC Christmas adaptations from Magic Light and Triggerfish, following the multi-award-winning Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations Stick Man (2015), The Highway Rat (2017) and Zog (2019), as well as the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes (2016).

 

 

Before teaming up with Triggerfish, Magic Light also made three previous Donaldson-Scheffler adaptations: the Oscar-nominated The Gruffalo (2009), the BAFTA and Emmy winner Room On The Broom (2012), and Annecy winner The Gruffalo’s Child (2011), among other hits.

 

 

All eight family classics are now streaming on Showmax.

Watch and embed the trailer for The Snail and the Whale:
https://youtu.be/YqyVxyxZhKE

 

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Ethnic Channels Group Ltd. (ECG), the world’s largest multicultural broadcaster, is pleased to announce that The Africa Channel has launched on Rogers Communications’ Ignite TV, serving viewers in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.

The Africa Channel features unique English language Pan-African television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, music, biographies, historical and cultural content. Based in Los Angeles, The Africa Channel is available in approximately seven million homes in the USA and Caribbean, on cable systems such as Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.

 

“The continent of Africa has been a major influencer of global culture. The launch of The Africa Channel gives further impetus to the growth of this culture, by capturing the microcosm of this great continent on multiple screens in Canada,” said Slava Levin, CEO of ECG.

 

“We are delighted to be working with ECG to bring our compelling programming lineup to Canadian audiences through this launch on Rogers Ignite TV. We are confident that the breadth of our content will appeal to both the African and Caribbean Diaspora as well as audiences with an interest in global travel, lifestyle and culture,” said Narendra Reddy, General Manager of The Africa Channel.

 

The Africa Channel is now on free preview on Channel #886.

 

 

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  • Lockdown S5 is now on Showmax

  •  S5 ep 1 also premieres at 8pm on YouTube, alongside a live chat with Zola Nombona

  • The first Mzansi Magic drama to reach a fifth season

  • The most awarded drama at the 2019 SAFTAs

  • “One of the best productions that has come out of this county” Azania Mosaka, 702

 

The first three episodes of Season 5 of Lockdown, the most awarded drama at last year’s SAFTAs, are now streaming only on Showmax, with two more episodes launching every Thursday. The first episode of Season 5 will also premiere on YouTube tonight at 8pm, alongside a live chat with DStv Mzansi Viewers Choice and SAFTA nominee Zola Nombona, who plays Monde.

Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility, where survival is the order of the day.

 

As Season 5 picks up, Masebata’s cult is no longer in power. Arch-rivals Mazet (Dawn Thandeka King in a SAFTA-winning role) and Tyson (Lorcia Cooper in a SAFTA-winning role) are running the prison yard together, for now. Governor Deborah Banda (Pamela Nomvete in a SAFTA-nominated role) is under pressure from The Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. And Monde (Zola Nombona in a SAFTA-nominated role) is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae). Multi-award winners Linda Sebezo, Nomsa Buthelezi, Patricia Boyer and Sophie Ndaba co-star.

 

After an intimate cast screening at MultiChoice City last night, the key cast – looking far more glamorous than we’re accustomed to in Thabazimbi – received plaques from the production company, Black Brain Pictures, celebrating their role in making Lockdown the first Mzansi Magic drama series to reach Season 5. Linda, so tough as Maki in Lockdown, shed a tear when she received her plaque, while Lorcia spoke for the cast when she thanked fans, saying, “We are nothing without our audiences.”

Dawn echoed this, saying, “I look back at the first day we did this and I can’t believe we made it this far. It’s been rough – in our personal lives and on screen. But look at us now! The devil did not win. Lorcia is right: we are nothing without the support. Don’t ever think we take it for granted.”

 

In the build-up to last night’s screening, Lockdown has been hailed as “one of the best productions that has come out of this county” by Azania Mosaka on 702, and “one of South Africa’s most riveting local productions” by Actor Spaces, with YoMzansi praising “one of the most impressive casts on South African television.”

Early reviews suggest Season 5 could be the best yet for the show, which won five SAFTAs last year, including Best Drama.

 

With SAFTA winner Mandla N still directing every episode and SAFTA winner Gaopie Kabe returning as the DOP, Mgosi called it “one helluva season that you don’t want to miss; “ TVMzansi wrote, “Definitely worth the wait… Beautifully shot… You’ll love the elements of comedy and the music is so on point;” and Zalebs hailed it as “thrilling… Set to leave viewers sitting on the edge of their seats and begging for more”.

 

Or as TshisaLive tweeted after the cast screening: “It’s A LOT. We were never ready.”

 

If you’re not already addicted to South Africa’s favourite prison drama, catch up on the first four episodes of Lockdown S1 on YouTube, and the previous four seasons on Showmax here. 

 

Watch the trailer below:
https://youtu.be/oJF2bCYOADc.

 

Watch the YouTube premiere of Season 5 with Zola at https://youtu.be/w_puVD1tsts.

 

Binge Lockdown on Showmax: https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/zvi928nq-lockdown.

 

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Local films reflect South Africa in all its diversity, with stories inspired by our own unique history and people, making them enlightening and compellingly familiar. From comedy to drama, catch some home-grown talent on the big screen this February, and experience just how lekker local can be!

 

Poppie Nongena

The moving story of a South African Xhosa mother whose life revolves around finding stability for her family during a period of insufferable upheaval in the country. At the time, South African women were forced by arrests, fines and forced removal to leave their homes and resettle in remote areas designated as black homelands. Directed by Christiaan Olwagen, Poppie Nongena won 12 awards at the annual Silwerskerm Festival in August 2019, including Best Feature Film, Best Script, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble Cast. Releasing 31 January – Watch the trailer here.

Run Time: 1h52m

Age Restriction: TBC

                                              

Vergeet my nie 

Based on the 90’s love story of Mardaleen Coetzer and Hugo Derks, portrayed by Marguerite Van Eeden and Sean-Marco Vorster. The couple are introduced to one another on the North West University’s campus in Potchefstroom. He falls head over heels in love, but she doesn’t return his affections. Years later they run into each other again in the United Kingdom, and here their journey to love starts again … but not without a few hurdles on their way. Releasing 14 February – watch the trailer here.

Run Time: 1h52m

Age Restriction: TBC

Knuckle City

A slice of street life in South Africa’s Mdantsane township, known as the boxing mecca of South Africa. Knuckle City follows the journey of Dudu Nyakama (Bongile Mantsai), a down-and-out aging boxer as he struggles to attain the one fight that he believes will uplift his fractured family. Contending that the underbelly of the boxing world is rife with criminality, Dudu unwittingly enlists the help of his reckless but resourceful gangster brother. Haunted by the ghost of their father, Dudu soon finds that the fight at home is far more challenging than any opponent he can possibly face in the ring. Releasing 28 February – watch the trailer here.

Run Time: 2h4m

Age Restriction: 18

Run Time: TBC

 

To book your tickets, visit www.sterkinekor.com or download the SK App on your smartphone. You can also book at the box office.  For news and updates, go to Facebook: Ster-Kinekor Theatres | follow Ster-Kinekor on Twitter: @Ster-Kinekor. For all queries, call Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).

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eNCA goes HD

Posted by radio On January - 23 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Popular 24-hour news channel eNCA (DStv 403) has launched an innovative high-tech HD studio that boasts a massive 12 x 3 curved LED video wall.

 

The multi-purpose studio video wall – the biggest on the African continent – ensures that the eNCA viewer receives voice, pictures, text and videos at an enhanced sensory level.

Live in-studio action will be captured by six HD cameras, five of which are on robotics and the sixth on a jib

 

Group Technical GM Rose Rogers said, “Our use of this technologically advanced equipment in the new HD studio is exceptional and will provide a sharp and refreshing feel to all our programs. The semi-circular set shape will allow for an increase in camera angles compared to the previous U-shaped set design. It took us months of work to ensure that the new studios are a perfect fit for the upgraded broadcast quality.”


Joe Heshu, Group Executive for Corporate Affairs at the MultiChoice Group said: “In line with our purpose of giving and delighting our viewers with great quality content and entertainment, eNCA’s launch of the high-tech HD studio on our platform is just one more way of ensuring we can play a role in supporting the growth of the local TV industry and creating lasting partnerships with local stakeholders which will guide the success of the industry.”

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Netflix last week celebrated the opening of its new Paris office in the heart of the 9th arrondissement. This new office reflects Netflix’s long-term commitment to France’s creative community, including over 20 French productions in 2020.

 

Netflix’s French HQ: dedicated to the creative community

Located in the heart of Paris, the French HQ is Netflix’s fourth office in Europe. Netflix France currently employs 40 people, across films and series, partnerships and marketing.

“It is a real honour to be in France, with its rich culture and history of storytelling. This office is a sign of our long-term commitment to the country, and will enable us to work even more closely with the French creative community on great shows and films that are made in France and watched all around the world”, said Reed Hastings, Founding Chairman and CEO of Netflix.

French series and films for French people, showcasing local creativity in France and around the world

To reflect the diverse tastes of our members in France and our 158 million+ members around the world, Netflix has, since launching in France in 2014, developed 24 French titles, including 6 films, 9 series, 5 stand-up shows, 3 documentaries and 1 unscripted series.

2019 was a year of great success for original stories in France, with the horror and YA sci-fi series Marianne and Mortel, comedies Plan coeur and Family Business, the film Banlieusards, and Grégory, the documentary series about a case that touched France.

 

 

 

The French content executives today unveiled several original shows to be produced by Netflix over the coming years as well as a range of series and films made by production partners for Netflix. They include:

  • BigBug, the new film by César Award Winner Jean-Pierre Jeunet, based on a script written by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant — a comedy set in the future with a cast including César Award Winner Elsa Zylberstein, César Award Nominee Isabelle Nanty, and Manu Payet.

  • Fanny Herrero, the hugely admired screenwriter, is developing a 6-part series following the lives of four young comedians trying to make it in the Paris stand-up scene.

  • The renewal (Season 2) of the original YA Sci-fi series Mortel, created by Frederic Garcia.

  • Sentinelle, an action-packed film starring Olga Kurylenko, directed by Julien Leclercq (Braqueurs and La Terre et le Sang).

 

 

This comes on the back of a range of original shows already announced for 2020:

  • Arsène Lupin, starring Omar Sy, and created by George Kay in collaboration with François Uzan. The first three episodes will be directed by Louis Leterrier.

  • La Révolution, a historical thriller series created by Aurélien Molas.

  • The Eddy, Damien Chazelle’s series created by Jack Thorne, that reunites Leïla Bekhti and Tahar Rahim.

  • Vampires, starring Oulaya Amamra and Suzanne Clément, and created by Benjamin Dupas and Isaure Pisani-Ferry.

  • Two documentaries, one about Nicolas Anelka, developed by Franck Nataf, and the other featuring Maître Gims, directed by Florent Bodin.

“We are incredibly proud of the productions we’re currently filming, the ones we are developing and the ones we’ve unveiled today. The establishment of a new French creative hub brings new opportunities for us to work with the best and most exciting creative talent in France and to bring diverse genres and content to everyone who loves French storytelling,” added Damien Couvreur, Netflix’s Director of Series in France.

 

 

Betting on the creative talent of tomorrow and promoting diversity in all its forms

Netflix also today announces a series of partnerships with major French creative institutions, to support new voices and to increase diversity within the creative community. Those partnerships include:

  • Strengthening Netflix’s existing partnership with La Fémis by supporting their ‘Residency’ programme, an 11-month full-time training course that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into film and TV.

  • 1000 visages, an association founded in 2006 by Houda Benyamina, which provides a number of training programmes in film and promotes access to jobs within the creative industries. Netflix will become the main partner in the programme dedicated to series’ screenwriting, to be launched in January 2020. Houda Benyamina is also the director of two episodes of The Eddy.

  • Since 2019, Netflix has partnered with GOBELINS L’École de l’Image, giving one graduate every year the opportunity to work alongside Netflix’s animation experts in Japan. In addition, Netflix will now contribute to Gobelins’ training program by funding four-year scholarships for five students as part of their Master of Arts in “Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking”.

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DStv expands gospel channels

Posted by radio On January - 15 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

In December 2019, faith-based entertainment fans welcomed the launch of a brand new Christian channel on DStv – Trace Gospel. As sister channel to the popular urban and afro-urban music channel Trace, Trace Gospel showcases the best of local and international gospel with music videos from various sub-genres including Contemporary Gospel, Urban Gospel, Worship Gospel and Traditional Gospel.

 

What the addition of Trace Gospel to DStv’s gospel offering does for customers is it expands the already wide variety of local and international content that touches the lives of viewers. In fact, Multichoice Group CEO of General Entertainment Yolisa Phahle, said the addition of Trace Gospel to DStv will ensure that customers are exposed to even more entertainment options for their families, giving more value as we head into the new decade.

Trace Gospel (332) joins Dumisa (340), One Gospel (331), Faith (341), Day Star (342), TBN (343), and Emmanuel TV (390) to complete DStv’s dedicated offering of gospel entertainment. With all of these choices, which shows should you be looking out for? We round up some of our top picks:


Into the Amazon with Doug Phillips (PG)

Join Doug Phillips and his team on an adventure you will never forget. Discover why the Amazon is one of the most controversial places on earth and learn the truth in the battle between radical environmentalism and biblical Christianity.

Watch Into the Amazon with Doug Phillips Saturday 11 January at 19:30 on TBN (343).


Brass Bands

A musical ensemble of brass and percussion instruments, featuring bands such as New Bethenia Brass Band and Bethesda Brass Band

Watch Brass Bands Season 3 Sundays at 15:00 on Dumisa. 


My Absolute Favourite

A slot dedicated to your family and friends requesting their absolute favourite songs. Look out for our camera crew at the biggest gospel events countrywide to record your request on camera.

Watch My Absolute Favourite Fridays at 17:00 on One Gospel (331).


Praise with Craig Groeschel & Angela Davis

Praise is a Christian-oriented talk show, featuring top guests from around the world. In this episode, Craig Groeschel & Angela Davis host Mosaic in Los Angeles.

Watch Praise with Craig Groeschel & Angela Davis Saturday 11 January at 20:00 on TBN (343).


Kopano

Kopano showcases multi-denominational events, conferences and church services across South Africa. Connect with the masses as they worship, pray and expound on the word of God with their church leaders.

Watch Kopano Wednesdays at 15:00 on Dumisa.


Knock Out

In this Sunday Night Movie, a rugby player is put up in a juvenile detention centre, there, he plays for the Highland Rugby team and ultimately plays against his father in the National Championships.

Watch Knock Out Saturday 12 January at 20:00 on TBN (343).


Feed Your Soul

Enjoy local gospel entertainment with the company of guest presenters such as Pastor Mxolisi Mabena and Lerato Moekestsi.

Watch Feed Your Soul Tuesdays & Thursdays at 06:30 & 15:00 on One Gospel (331).


Faith Today

A short, power-packed programme aimed at giving hope through practical faith. Each episode features a life lesson and challenge that is clear, concise and easy to relate to.

Watch Faith Today Mondays at 19:00 on Faith.


Spirit of Prayer

Clive Gopaul, a dynamic leader and visionary who serves as the Senior Pastor of Conquering through Prayer Ministries. He’s a leading and influential voice nationally and internationally.

Watch Spirit of Prayer Fridays at 20:30 on One Gospel (331).

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Lockdown, the most-awarded drama series at last year’s SAFTAs, has just released its Season 5 trailer. The hit prison drama has moved from Mzansi Magic and is coming only to Showmax from 30 January 2020, with two episodes per week every Thursday.

Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the daily battle for survival in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility.

 

As Season 5 picks up, Masebata’s cult is no longer in power. Arch-rivals Mazet (Dawn Thandeka King in a SAFTA-winning role) and Tyson (Lorcia Cooper in a SAFTA-winning role) are running the prison yard together, for now. Governor Deborah Banda (Pamela Nomvete in a SAFTA-nominated role) is under pressure from the Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. And Monde (Zola Nombona in a SAFTA-nominated role) is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae).

 

The action-packed two-minute trailer gives fans their first look at this season’s new star, Sophie Lichaba, aka Sophie Ndaba, who became a household name in South Africa during her two-decade-long starring role as the feisty receptionist Queen Moroka in the SABC1 soapie Generations. In Lockdown, she plays Palesa, the head nurse at Kgotsong Asylum, a key location this season, where Monde’s sister, Katlego (Natasha Thahane), has been transferred.

 

“Palesa’s a broken woman who’s been through it all,” says Sophie. “She’s so broken she will do anything to feel better, even if it’s not right.”

 

Sophie joins one of the most impressive casts on South African television, which also includes SAFTA winners Nomsa Buthelezi and Linda Sebezo as fan favourites Slenda and Maki, and the multi-award-winning Patricia Boyer as Sue.

“It’s an all-female power cast,” says Lauren. “You see these magnificent women who are so beautiful in real life, and then they come into prison in Lockdown, and they are grungy and nasty. It’s so nice to be part of a cast like this, where beauty is nothing – it’s all about how dirty you can get and how true to your character.”

 

“The other show I do, I’m glam and beautiful, with the hair, the heels and all of that,” says Nomsa. “Then on Lockdown, I come with short hair and nothing and I look like a boy. But when you’re a storyteller, you forget about yourself.”

 

Both Zola and Lorcia say Lockdown helped them escape being typecast. “At the beginning of my career, I was starting to be typecast as the bimbo with the hair and boobs and short skirts,” Zola remembers. “I was tired of that, so when this came along, I was like, ‘Thank you, Lord; you’ve answered my prayers; I’ve always wanted to play a character as bare as I can be, without my beauty being enhanced.”

 

Similarly, Lorcia says, “Before getting Tyson, I was always typecast. I think people always saw the pretty coloured girl with the good body and straight hair… to a point where I used to go to auditions and people would say, ‘You don’t look coloured enough.’”

 

Lockdown creator Mandla N, who still directs every episode, started his career as an actor on shows like City Ses’la and Ses’Top La before moving into directing. That experience helped turn him into “a cast whisperer,” to quote Zola.

 

Authenticity is everything,” he says. “Prison is a gritty, dirty, grungy world and we can‘t glamourise that. So when you see the ladies in prison in Lockdown, you think: ‘This person could give me a run for my money.’”

 

That authenticity is helped by his decision to film the series at Constitution Hill, the historic prison complex where the likes of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Albertina Sisulu served time.

 

As Lauren says, “As soon as you get here, you feel the history and the stories that have come out of this prison. It really changes your mindset as soon as you walk in here.”

 

Mandla’s also surrounded his cast with background artists who are largely former inmates. As Zola says, “We ask them, ‘Does this really happen?’ It’s a big bonus as an actor being able to have that direct reference next to you.“

 

This season, Dawn says fans can look forward to more action than ever. “I’m excited about the audience seeing the stunts that we are going to be doing this season,” she says. “There’s a heist, we blow up stuff, I was in a van that was burning, and there’s a lot of shooting. I shoot a real gun this season. It’s been exciting; I’ve never done these kinds of stunts before.”

Showmax will release two episodes every Thursday, from 30 January 2020. If you’re not already addicted to South Africa’s favourite prison drama, you can catch up on the first four episodes of Lockdown S1 on YouTube from Thursday, 16 January 2020, and the previous four seasons on Showmax here. 

 

Watch the trailer below:
https://youtu.be/oJF2bCYOADc.

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Showmax binge stats and factoids

Posted by radio On January - 8 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

The nation collectively viewed more than 100 years’ worth of video on Showmax over Christmas and New Year.

More people than ever before got on the streaming bandwagon, and those who were watching streamed more than usual. The net effect was a 30% increase in viewing hours compared to the average seen in prior months.

 

When did we hit peak couch time? We thought the day after Christmas would see the most people retreating under a duvet to watch TV, but viewing activity actually maxed out on Sunday, 29 December.

 

What time of the day? No surprises that evenings are the most popular time to watch TV, but interestingly the peak over the holidays was earlier than we see during the rest of the year, hitting a high at 6pm.

 

The most-watched local genre? People can’t get enough of local reality shows, with a particularly strong showing from The Real Housewives of Johannesburg.

 

Which sport got the most views? More people watched Wolves beat Manchester City 3-2 on 27 December (and all but end City’s title hopes) than any other game.

 

Did people use the holidays to binge more than usual? Oh yes – there was a big jump in bingeing. For our most popular series, once people had locked on they watched on average more than 30 episodes of the same show over the holiday period. The peak binge by a single account was more than 200 episodes of the same show!

 

Which series genres were the most-binged? Comedy, medical drama and crime drama were all really popular binge destinations (people watching multiple successive episodes).

 

What were the most-binged local series? The River, Binnelanders and Getroud Met Rugby stood out in terms of the number of successive episodes watched.

Any other content trends? People watched way more movies than usual, which could be a reflection of having more opportunities to sit still for several hours at a time.

And how do the trends stack up around Africa? South Africans clearly take their leisure time seriously, with average hours per viewer up 21% compared to normal activity, while in Nigeria that increase was just 10%, and in Kenya an even smaller increase of 7%.

 

In the coming year, Showmax will be ramping up local content starting with The River S3 on 27 January, followed with Lockdown S5 on 30 Jan. Hollywood will continue to feature strongly, with Ray Donovan S7 starting 20 January and more blockbusters like A Star is Born and Aquaman for movie fans. Our recently expanded Kids’ selection includes everything from Paw Patrol to Star Wars Resistance. Finally, 2020 will see more top-flight sport, including more football from major local and international leagues coming live to Showmax.

 

 

10 most-streamed international series on Showmax

 

  • HBO’s Euphoria
  • HBO’s Game of Thrones
  • HBO’s Chernobyl
  • Younger
  • HBO’s Big Little Lies
  • Vikings
  • Billions
  • The Girlfriend Experience
  • Siren
  • The Handmaid’s Tale

 

10 most-streamed South African series on Showmax

 

  • Trackers
  • The Real Housewives of Johannesburg
  • Being Bonang
  • The River
  • The Queen
  • Die Spreeus
  • Die Byl
  • The Girl From St Agnes
  • The Bachelor SA
  • Boer Soek ‘n Vrou

 

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