Celebrating a Decade of Great Storytelling

13 July 2020
It’s our 10-year anniversary!
Mzansi 10 years 14

From telling tales of two powerful rival taxi families – The Zungus and the Ndlovus – in hit telenovela Isibaya to getting the country talking about décor, wedding outfits, cheeky singles and “driver bae” on Sunday nights, through compelling reality shows like Our Perfect Wedding and Date My Family, Mzansi Magic this month celebrates 10 years of unrivalled local content. 

To mark this auspicious occasion, Mzansi will be thanking viewers by giving them an opportunity to binge-watch some of the top legacy shows from over the years, taking them down memory lane and to evoke great feelings of nostalgia. Under the theme #DankieMzansi, Mzansi viewers can find popular legacy shows on DStv Catch Up – from IgaziIt’s Complicated, Rockville to Saints and SinnersDoubtLove Back to Hot Plate: Catering ekasi, Uyang’thanda Na, Sam Sokolo, Kota Life Crisis, Kabelo’s Bootcamp, Ya lla, Culture Shock, Confessions to Moruti wa tsotsi, It’s for Life,  among others. 

Launched in mid-2010 to harness local talent and to unlock investment in local content, Mzansi Magic has, over the past decade, been a platform where home-brewed talent – from actors to producers and directors – have grown from being new to the industry to becoming household names in the industry.

Nkateko Mabaso, M-Net CEO, says: “We launched the Mzansi Magic channel to celebrate African culture and African stories. The channel has brought authentic African stories to our audiences - young and old. We have a huge pool of talent that is loved and respected who have grown to become the faces of the channel. Mzansi Magic has changed the narrative, kept up with trends and even started new trends.”

“The idea of introducing Mzansi Magic to DStv viewers was driven by our passion, as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, to showcase compelling content that resonates with them. Mzansi Magic has provided escapism, comedy, drama, edutainment and nostalgia in our audiences homeground,” adds Yolisa Phahle, CEO General Entertainment.

“The 10-year anniversary is a significant milestone for us and an opportunity to take stock and look back at how our investment in local content has changed the face of prime-time TV, through world-class storytelling,” says Nomsa Philiso, the Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net. “While Mzansi Magic has kept our viewers entertained, it has also opened up the industry to new talent. Some of them now work or own reputable productions that have raked in high viewership ratings, while others are now trailblazers in local or international films with awards under their belts,” Philiso adds.

Lights, camera, action

As the channel celebrates 10 years of uninterrupted entertainment, its content offering has evolved and has given viewers thought-provoking, agenda-setting and trending reality shows, as well as gripping, jaw-dropping and comedy-filled telenovelas. 

While Tsonga music crooner Papa Penny Ahee! has invited viewers into his world of bling and his family’s twists and turns in a show that trends at the number one spot on social media when it airs, Nimrod Nkosi has evoked emotion as he helped families to find answers and closure through a suspense-filled show, Utatakho, that also helps guests to find their true identity. 

Mzansi Magic also celebrates a decade of dominating prime-time TV through a strong line-up of award-winning telenovelas – from veteran actor and producer John Kani’s Inkaba, which debuted on the small screen in 2012 to the 47th International Emmy Awards nominee for Best Telenovela The River, produced by respected screenwriters Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon of Tshedza Pictures.

Enriching lives, opening up the industry

Award-winning actress and TV personality Nomzamo Mbatha, a breakthrough star on Isibaya who went on to be a main character, has since moved to Los Angeles and is set to star in Hollywood Blockbuster Coming to America. 

While Dr John Kani brought with him a wealth of experience ahead of producing Inkaba, he has since moved on to feature in world-acclaimed productions such as The Lion King (Rafiki) and blockbuster movie Black Panther alongside his son and talented actor, Atandwa Kani, who has previously starred in Mzansi Magic’s It’s Complicated (2015). 

“In the past 10 Years, Mzansi Magic has changed the landscape of the television and film industry in South Africa and in the African continent by training hundreds of creatives in front and behind the camera. Mzansi Magic has also created opportunities for the youth to tell stories that express their dreams, aspirations and challenges. For the past 10 years, Mzansi Magic has put the development of the film and television industry on the African Agenda. Congratulations Mzansi Magic,” says Dr John Kani. 

“Our investment in local content is not only premised on providing entertaining shows for our viewers. We pride ourselves for providing a platform to talent – both veterans and those that are new in the industry– to showcase their talent behind or in front of the camera and we have seen how this has opened the door for some to move on to the bigger global stage,” adds Philiso, “Back at home, Idols SA has also had a hand in launching the careers of several talented musicians, including Shekinah, Khaya Mthethwa and Amanda Black,” she says.

Mzansi Magic will hold commemorative events and special broadcasts under the theme #DankieMzansi, in the coming days.

Mzansi Magic would like to say #DankieMzansi for consistently watching our content and for evolving with the channel. We are because you are. Look out for our social media offerings that will include birthday shout-outs and testimonies from some of your favourite actors and presenters. 

To honour 10 years of homegrown excellence, we are reliving all the magical dramas, reality and movies you love. Simply watch it on DStv Catch Up during July to get a taste of the good old days.