Although this column has always advocated for soapies that cannot conform to our daily reality like Generations and Backstage to either learn how to swim of drown and die unceremonious deaths, it was disheartening when a few weeks ago a press release came through confirming the eventuality of the latter. Backstage is dying and its official date of execution is set at June this year. This simply meaning that you the viewer has got only four months to fall out of love with the characters you have fallen in love with many years ago.
Anyhow, to be more objective, was there any charater worth loving to the grave in Backstage? Some hardcore soapie fans allege that Backstage died with Duke Ngcobo (Carlo Radebe), that after that it was just a cut and paste soapie that failed to live up to the level of the days when there was still a character named Tendai (Dini Nondumo) whose event management skills were something to emulate. Backstage became a collage, they say, something Mfundi Vundla warned against when he was booted as its producer.
Maybe every story dies immediately celebrities are enlisted to carry its storyline forward. Backstage was synonimous with Speedy, Loyiso Bala, O'Ryan Hunter, KB, Chipa, Mzambiya, the late Lebo Mathosa (RIP) and many other unsuccessful actor-wannabees. Immediately they started introducing mystique (do you remember Vusi and the demon?) and got rid of the weekly stage whereby unknown music groups could expose their talent one saw a rat fleeing a ship just when it was about to move out of harbour.
Then they brough this other white character named Mike who had ambitions of taking over Vulindlela College and the bar to use as drug spots. His role was kinda dodgy because for a helpless darkie to be pointed with a firearm by a white (even if he was a criminal) it simply means racism. Somebody forgot to tell the producers of Backstage that white thugs mostly do organised crime or are active in Pretoria West not terrorising blacks. Darkies ain't scared of white thugs.
They forgot to tell them that the only known white violent criminals are the Israeli Mafia and they also don't point Uzzis at darkies.
That is why, while one still awaits the death of Generations, we can't start to celebrate the demise of Backstage. What will 18h30 weekdays on e be like without Katlego, Ipeeleng and all the wannabe actors who have over the last few years had their 30 minutes of fame and disappeared into oblivion? What will all the girls who can sing so well but act, do after Backstage? Maybe form girlbands and audition for Popstars?
However there must be life after Backstage, even though for the millions of fans, the producers must start organising mass post trauma therapy sessions. Time to fall out of love people. Sorry, hoping the next soapie will not tell us about German sedan driving-cocaine-snorting students while they don't have enough to pay attention.
* Backstage is on etv from 18h30 to 19h00 weekdays

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