Generations boss hits US jazz clubs

2014-08-31 16:02

Johannesburg - While the axed Generations actors are contemplating what will become of their careers, the creator and executive producer of South Africa’s favourite soapie will be holidaying on Mackinac Island on Lake Huron in northern Michigan in the US, hopping from one jazz club to the next.

Mfundi Vundla jetted off to the luxury island on Saturday for what he considers a much-needed vacation that will give him time to de-stress and reconceptualise the “new Generations”.

And he was quick to point out that the new soapie would include none of the 16 principal actors whose contracts were terminated last week.

“There is no way I can work with them again,” he said. “The relationship has completely broken down, especially after the drama and the lies they told at the press conference.”

While the Generations war rages on, the SABC is planning to meet the actors to discuss their future. The date of the meeting is yet to be set because of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s tight schedule.

Generations’ longest-standing cast member, Sophie Ndaba, told City Press on Friday she was looking forward to the meeting. She seemed to have lost some of Tuesday’s fire.

“We are hoping for the best. The SABC is home to us. We have been loyal to it for years and we position ourselves with the SABC,” she said.

“The time for emotional reaction is over now. Let us try to fix this, if not for us but for future actors.”

Allergic to poverty

On Tuesday, the fired actors held a media briefing in Newtown, Johannesburg, to address what they called the “utter lies” Vundla told at his press conference the previous Friday.

Patrick Shai, one of the lead actors, was visibly upset and said he decided to take a stand because too many actors had died paupers – and this was not a fate he was willing to face.
“I’m allergic to poverty,” he said.

According to him, actors were often threatened with being replaced so they would accept poor working conditions. “This is the tone of the SABC and Mfundi Vundla today, that you are easily replaceable,” he said.

Zikhona Sodlaka, who has been with the show for less than a year, also hit out at Vundla, saying he did not own the popular soapie.

“What people don’t know is that the show belongs to the Starks. Mr Vundla also works there.”

Vundla described Sodlaka’s statement as defamatory.

“I created and still own Generations,” he said. “Even when you read the contract from the SABC, it is addressed to MMSV Productions which stands for Mfundi Michael-Scott Vundla.

“We have a production relationship with [Friedrich] Stark, which means I co-manage the production with him. He looks for and recommends directors, writers and wardrobe people.
“But I have the final say as to who is hired.”

Vundla said he was more saddened by veteran actor John Kani – father of one of the show’s stars Atandwa – jumping on the bandwagon; and worse, “advocating for the invasion of the SABC studios”.

“I have great respect for Kani and I still can’t believe he did that,” he said.

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