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Five reasons why Uzalo has knocked Generations off its top spot

Upstart SABC drama Uzalo has done the impossible and replaced perennial favourite Generations as the most-watched show on TV. ZILUNGILE MNISI gives us five reasons why Uzalo makes for such compulsive viewing.

1. Local setting, local language
Most big productions in South Africa are based in Johannesburg but Uzalo was shot in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal – an unusual setting for a local TV show. Despite the fact that Zulu is the most-widely spoken language in the country, Uzalo is also the first Zulu language-dominant show on SABC.

2. Relatable characters
Most South Africans would be considered as either poor or middle class, and yet most popular drama series and soapies revolve around big companies and rich families, and the baddies tend to be involved in white-collar crime like fraud. Uzalo, however, has opted to focus on working-class characters, who are ultimately more relatable. One of the main characters in the show owns a scrapyard, which is used as a cover for his hijacking activities.

3. Suspense-filled storylines
The very first scene in Uzalo shows the Zulu and Mdletshe babies being deliberately switched at birth. No one knows why, and just as the nurse who made the switch is about to confess to her pastor, she is shot dead. This sets out an a greater mystery that underlies everything else that happens on the show. Other mysteries include the question of how Gcabhashe (Mpumelelo Bhulose) got his scrapyard business running, something his brother keeps threatening to reveal. Not knowing of one of the main characters’ past dealings adds an element of suspense that other dramas lack.

4. Clever casting
The Uzalo cast is a clever mixture of old and new faces. Audiences are familiar with actor Bheki Mkhwane from Isibaya and Leleti Khumalo has been an industry favourite for years. These experienced cast members provide a touchstone for viewers while allowing producers to nurture new talent like Khumbulani Kay Sibiya and Nyamaps Maphalal.

5. Timing
Generations: The Legacy, which last year fired its cast, went on hiatus, and then returned looking very differently this year, came back to face stiff competition from eTV’s Ashes to Ashes, which airs during the same time slot. Its previously captive audience could now choose between the two shows. Meanwhile, Uzalo, which airs during the previously empty 8.30pm time slot, now benefits from the lead-in provided by the Generations.

Uzalo airs Monday to Wednesday at 20.30 on SABC 1.

Do you watch Uzalo? What do you make of the show?

– Featured image via Uzalo SABC 1 Official Facebook page
15 Comments
  1. Emma says

    Tonight was horrifficccc!

  2. XOLANI says

    Hey uzalo luya-rock shame kodwa siyakhala singababukeli ngokufa kuka Mnu.Muzi Xulu

  3. mamela says

    what Eva is happening plz bring Gxabhashe back cause I know he is not dead not so early the is no Uzalo with out him or let the drama end my heart is broken shame its like everytime wen I watch Uzalo I ll c Xulu no GXABHASHE NO UZALO full stop

    1. NOSIPHO says

      MASTER MIND U ROCK

  4. Nokuthula says

    Ngeke ke nje kuze kulunge lutho ngaphandle kuka gxabzini kuzalo, no xulu no uzalo . Please bring back my lost lover (ugxabhashe) lol bt seriously now guys!

  5. ayanda says

    Bring back Gxabhashe Pls, or else make him aporhe.

    1. Lihle says

      Ngiyabonga ukuthi ubuyile uGxabhashe Uzalo bengingasalubukeli ngoba umlingisi oqavile futhi engimkhonze kakhulu ubengasekho siyabonga impela kumaproducer

  6. Albertina says

    Uzalo rocks plc bring bck Gxabhashe

  7. zamani says

    Ngifisa ukwazi ukuthi umfundisi bazomnika yini I bail since unecala elisa pending lokushisa umuzi ka Xulu. Hey uzalo it keeps you on the edge of ur seat

  8. pretty says

    I really Mic Gxabhacian plz it time to bring him back it bn along time

  9. innocent says

    we do need mokhondo to be the real top dog of uzalo

  10. Nofemele Sw says

    THE MIGHTY GXABHASHE IS BACK THANKS TO THE PRODUCERS, AM ON THE WAY TO BUY TV NOW BESENGIYIDAYISILE……….LET THE HEAT BEGGIN

  11. Nana says

    Can Uzalo play for five days? 3 days not enough .

  12. lacoste says

    hay hay hay ngok we want Uzalo mon-fri kalok haybo and repeats if neccesary……..!! 4rm a big fan

  13. eric katamba says

    Hey,I’m Eric katamba local artist from durban,I love uzalo and I wish I could join the crew but I jst dnt know how,please if there’s anybody out there with some infos I would love to hear from you.thank you

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