Word on the street is that in this country there is only one soapy that is speaking our language, or the language of e’lokshin. Soap fanatics, mostly women who spend many hours indulging in most of the American soaps, some of them often as old as 20 years in the making are quick to shout that ‘Isidingo speaks to us’. A similar survey was conducted some few years ago in Shatale and documented in a documentary called Bondage whereby two-thirds of respondents attested that Isidingo spoke to them and was a true reflection of their reality.
But is Isidingo really speaking ghetto language as claimed in other media and the streets? Let’s look at it this way; some few months ago there was a scene where Lettie’s uncle named Batman was delegated by Ntate Zeb Matabane to negotiate lobola with Vusi’s uncles. The negotiations, as scripted by the neo-bourgie writers exposed their lack of understanding of African culture. While it is good to try and be politically correct, however it is always imperative to consult experts in these things. Whatever culture they were exploring that stiffness in negotiating lobola that Batman displayed does not exist in African culture. The context of those negotiations was between the Tswana and a Zulu family or cultures. Whoever thinks it made sense should consult with High Sanusi Credo Mutwa or Mathole Motshega. Generations and the others might be missing reality, deliberately so but Isidingo to a certain extent tries to reflect things like the cuisine admired by most Africans like tripe, masonja and umfino. The mashonisa angles are always explored to the fullest, but those Bra Georgie being set up for a blind date? Please. And that whole idea of Barker Heyns faking his own death when investigations about his involvement in a series of coup de tats as if he was some character from Days of Our Lives (Victor Kiriakis and Stefano Dimera) or Taylor from Bold and Beautiful. In South Africa, apart from a few people who believe that mining magnate Brett Kebble faked his own death or staged his own assassination, we don’t really have those cases. In this instance where is the realism in Isidingo? Why are they so obsessed with emulating foreign cliché concepts to the point that they are now risking losing loyal fans with this far-fetched stories? Isidingo is the nearest thing to reality, but it should pull up its socks to reflect as much of our reality as possible, other wise no one will be watching soon.
Isidingo is on SABC3 everyday on 18h30