JOHANNESBURG — The filming of the reworked Generations has been in full swing since last week in preparation for South Africa’s leading soap returning to its prime time slot on SABC1 from December 1.
This follows on from Generations creator, Mfundi Vundla, going all godfather-like with the 16 striking cast members and taking them out — well, out of the storyline, that is — in September.
The unprecedented act in South African television stemmed from a salary and royalties dispute, which has been growing legs since last October.
Standing firm in his belief — “no actor is bigger than a show” — Vundla, in another jaw-dropping move, pulled the soap off air to rewrite storylines and cast some fresh blood.
In recent weeks, the names of old favourites returning as well as the newcomers have been made public.
While Generations PR Sandra Mhlongo refused to comment or corroborate reports, a source on set confirmed that Connie Ferguson and Rapulana Seiphemo would be reprising their roles as Karabo Moroka and Tau Mogale.
Although TV critics speculated on how Vundla will kill off the fired cast — Tonight staff felt Ebola or perhaps borrowing from the real-life drama of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might be the route he’d go — he decided to give his magnum opus a facelift, creating new worlds and introducing a fresh crop of talent.
The source added: “We are busy shooting. One of the old cast members who are back is Cosmo Diale (played by Ronnie Nyakale).”
It’s also confirmed that Musa Ngema, Manaka Ranaka, Letoya Makhene, Thulisile Phongolo, Ivy Nkutha, Moopi Moothibeli and Vuyo Dabula will return.
On the storylines, the source revealed: “It’s not too different. It still has families and rivalry (as the back-bone). There are new sets. The advertising world is still there.”
Of the newcomers, the source said: “They are good. They are willing to work hard and they are focused.”
As for talk on head writer Bongi Ndaba leaving, the source said: “Bongi has left. Yes, she has written some of the storylines (in the new-look soap).”
So the intrigue continues to gain impetus until the big reveal next month.