Cape Town – Sisters Gugulethu Zuma and Nokuthula Zuma, daughters of President Jacob Zuma, are getting their own local TV sitcom as the stars of It's For Life
on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 107).
This new show coincides with the channel's first birthday as well as a change in its on-air look and logo. It's For Life
will start on Mzansi Magic
on Friday, July 15 at 19:00 with Gugulethu Zuma as Coco and her sister Nokuthula playing Jabu in two of the lead roles. It's For Life
revolves around 20-something women who discover a squatter living in their new house who they can't legally evict or get rid of.
This new sitcom marks the first time that the two Zuma sisters are in the same show together, doing comedy on television. Gugulethu Zuma appeared in the TV drama The Interrogation Room
previously and popped up as a recurring character in SABC3's soap Isidingo
since last July. The other two stars are Nkuli Sibeko-Bortman as Zanele and Thalitha Ndima as Sam.
"Gugulethu takes the role of Coco, an events co-ordinator by profession and a so-called 'coconut' by choice – actively distancing herself from her Zulu roots," says the channel. "Nokuthula's Jabu is an aspiring radio DJ who lives for her music."
"It's For Life
is a fresh new sitcom about four young women making their way through life in a fun, exciting and hilarious way. It's about a group of 20-something South African women who are destined to connect with Mzansi Magic's female viewers in a big, big way," says the channel that's celebrating its first birthday. "It's a story of four women who have ups and downs in love, career and friendship – but who will always be together, in one way or another, for life." Brand new local TVIt's For Life
is part of Mzansi Magic's drive to produce brand-new local TV content for South African audiences. The cash-strapped SABC that hasn't commissioned new local content for two years other than advertiser-funded productions (AFPs) is already seeing Mzansi Magic as competition and mentioned the channel by name in parliament as a competitor that's likely to steal revenue and viewers away from the public broadcaster in future.
In 2010 Mzansi Magic put out commissioning briefs for a brand-new local South African soap, a reality show, drama and comedy and was flooded with suggestions – so much so that it had to extend its timeline to sift through all the proposals the channel received.
According to sources, Mzansi Magic is working on Matchbox
(working title) as its new soap opera that will be produced by Puo Pha Productions. Mzansi Magic is also reportedly developing a local black telenovella, a soap opera with a fixed number of episodes, with the working title of Desire
, which could be produced by Urban Brew Studios and will be Mzansi Magic's first foray into the telenovella genre. Station 7
could be the channel's first local drama series and a local South African version of Extreme Makeover Home Edition
showed traction as possibly the first local reality show for the channel.