Johannesburg – SABC1's fired Generations actors who've now joined e.tv's new telenovela Ashes to Ashes are not hiding their feelings, taking clever swipes at the SABC saying they're "grateful to be growing and not to be stuck in a dark place".
Patrick Shai, Nambitha Mpulwana, Mandla Gaduka together with the entire principal cast of Generations were fired by the SABC and Mfundi Vundla's MMSV Productions in August, and has now joined e.tv and Ashes to Ashes in the same 20:00 timeslot, where they hope viewers will embrace their return to TV and the "regeneration" of 20:00 on e.tv instead of SABC1.
"There is no ounce of regret. We went in search of a good home. And we've found a good home," said veteran actor Patrick Shai.
"There was a time in my life when I thought there is no TV industry in this country. Whatever happened, it’s created an opportunity for South Africa to think about the industry. Competition is there and it’s thriving. And television will never be the same again!" said Patrick Shai.
‘Not an ounce of regret’
"It's been such an easy transition to building a family and it is an amazing team," said Mpulwana. "Not only do we enjoy what we're doing, but we enjoy doing it with each other. And we trust where we are because somebody's ready to catch you. And that makes an incredible amount of difference in your production life."
"It is on everybody's mind," said Nambitha Mpulwana, also addressing the elephant in the room.
"There's not an ounce of regret. There is not a single a single person in this world created to relive yesterday again," said Mpulwana as she came out on stage on Thursday night when e.tv revealed the new cast and stood hand in hand with her fellow Ashes to Ashes cast members – several of whom were formerly a part of SABC1's Generations before they were fired.
"We're all here to face tomorrow, and gratefully so. We're also grateful for the lessons we've learned in the past, and the people that help us to grow, and the amazing characters we're going to be on your TV screens," said Mpulwana.
'Grateful not to be stuck in a dark place'
"We're grateful to be growing and not to be stuck in a dark place," said Mandla Gaduka who was also part of Generations, fired, and are now part of Ashes to Ashes.
"We're so humbled to have this cast – especially Patrick Shai and Nambitha Mpulwana – such incredible stalwarts. We're really privileged that you're a part of this with us," said Clive Morris from Clive Morris Productions producing Ashes to Ashes.
"Our industry has been through a very rough phase the past few years. And we look to our broadcasters to be our safety net. Without our broadcasters, what are we?"
Clive Morris told Channel24 "it’s an incredible adrenalin rush and very, very exciting".
"We're going to offer viewers something different. It's going to be something that's gritty and very real. We haven't gone into a studio which is all beautiful. We've taken an abandoned building and turned it into a funeral home. So it's very real, it's very gritty and very exciting," said Morris.
e.tv: Local TV talent deserves to be celebrated
"These are talented actors. These are talented people," said Monde Twala, the managing director for e.tv channels division. "Local talent deserves to be put forward and celebrated."
"It's about people and their talent and not about who owns what timeslot. I want to welcome all of you to the channel. I know we are in this journey together and we're in it to win it."
"The market is ready for local content. The TV landscape is changing; the landscape is evolving. And only local is lekker in terms of a direction to go."
"Ashes to Ashes is part of that great exciting journey that we've decided to embark on. We are already in production of a follow-up telenovela on e.tv which will come later in the year," said Twala.
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