This month we profile two of the big soapies in Gauteng, Isidingo and Generations. Both are SABC productions and both enjoy hugely popular prime time viewing.

Isidingo commenced shooting on just over 10 years ago (7 July 1998) at the SABC’s Henley Facilities in Auckland Park Johannesburg. It’s a well established daily drama which has captured the imagination of millions of viewers with its fast action and snappy script writing.

Nyagunda C. Chauke is the Publicist, and as such is responsible for making sure that accurate and compelling information is senjt to the relevant media in time for their deadlines. She also sets up and manages interviews, photo shoots and cast appearances. Chauke’s role includes updating the teasers and synopses on the Isidingo website, liaison with the magazines and newspapers regarding current and upcoming storylines, relationship management with the media and cast, as well as setting up and managing publicity photo shoots.

“We shoot out of two studios, each of which is 400m², and we use three cameras. On the 7th of July this year Isidingo turned ten, and we hope to continue for another ten years!”

Gray Hofmeyr, the original creator of the series and Executive Producer until the end of 2007, explains:  “Isidingo began its life set on a gold mine. It was a microcosm of South Africa, representing all strata of society from those who drilled the rock up to the mine manager – they all lived in a small geographic area and their common destiny was wrapped up in the future of the mine. Five years ago the setting shifted primarily to a TV station, the objective being to make the series more aspirational and attract a higher LSM audience. The move was successful, with the show retaining its brand of relevant real life representation of South Africa.”

Chauke continues: “The principal actors at this stage are Keketso Semoko, who plays Ma Agnes, Robert Whitehead plays Barker, Kevin Smith plays Frank, Darlington Michaels plays Georgie, Lesego Motsepe plays Letti, Karin Van Der Laag is Maggie, Hlubi Mboya plays Nandipha, Tshepo Maseko plays Parsons, Carl Beukes is Paul, Jack Devnarain is Rajesh, Meshack Mavuso is Vusi, Don Mlangeni Nawa is Zeb, Maurice Page is Calvin and Odelle De Wet is Farrow.

“We employ about 65 crew members, and we generally shoot eight weeks before air-time. We record on XDcam and the post production is on Avid Adreneline. We broadcast off Beta SP.”

Hofmeyr adds:  “Probably the most challenging development was the shift from a gold mine to a television station. It took a year to implement seamlessly in terms of storylines, without the audience really noticing the change.”

For further information contact Nyagunda C. Chauke at +27 11 714 6062 or email:

Generations started shooting in 1994 at SABC Henley Television Studio 6. Also a show with a huge following, Generations has an audience of millions. Set in the cut throat world of media communications in the city of Johannesburg, it’s fast, pacey and topical.

Mark Graham, Artistic Directory, supplies details:  “We shoot out of Studio 6 which is 600m², with 3 cameras. We usually use one studio four days a week and on   Wednesday we use two studios. Generations has been running for 14 years and will in all probability run forever more!

“It started with the Moroka dynasty and was set in the world of advertising.  Generations was initially about the rivalry between two advertising agencies - Isis and New Horizons. The background has since shifted to the media world where two companies Ezweni Communications (owned by the remaining Moroka and the Dlomo’s) and Mashaba Media (owned by the Mashaba’s) battle it out for supremacy amid the intrigue of the lives and loves of their families and employees.”

The principal actors are Connie Ferguson – Karabo Moroka, Sophie Ndaba – Queen Moroka, Seputla Sebogodi – Kenneth Mashaba, Genevieve Howard – Grace Mashaba, Menzi Ngubane – Sibusiso Dlomo, Siyabonga Twala – Paul Mashaba,  Katlego Danke – Dineo Mashaba, Sonia Sedibe – Ntombi Khumalo, Winnie Modise – Khethiwe Buthelezi, Mike Mvelase – Khaphela Ngcobo, Dumisani  Mbebe – Dumisane Shabane, Sipho Ngwenya – Ajax, Thabiso K. Mokhethi – Samuel Khumalo.

“We have approximately 150 crew members, and we record around 14 weeks in advance of the air date,” explains Graham.

On the technical side, Generations records on XDcam, and the post production is completed at Johannesburg-based Postmasters. Generations is like Isidingo – broadcast off Beta SP.

Graham concludes:  “Everything we do is for our audiences and we love to receive feedback about Generations.”

For further in formation contact the Generations Offices on
+27 11 714 6211