The legacy that keeps on giv­ing

It’s been about a year and a half since 16 stars were axed from the pop­u­lar show, but lo­cal soapie Gen­er­a­tions: The Legacy keeps top­ping the charts as SA’s favourite TV pro­gramme. Phum­lani Sithebe Langa looks at what keeps peo­ple watch­ing

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Gen­er­a­tions: The Legacy SABC1 (DStv chan­nel 191)

De­cem­ber 2014 saw the birth of Gen­er­a­tions: The Legacy, cre­ated in the wake of 16 cast mem­bers be­ing axed af­ter a pay dis­pute. Many thought that would be the pop­u­lar soapie’s demise, but The Legacy has only grown and found its stride with an ex­cit­ing blend of en­ter­tain­ing and provoca­tive sto­ry­telling.

Rat­ings and off-screen in­ci­dents aside, pro­ducer Mfundi Vundla re­ally knows how to cook it up just right. What I’ve seen is a show with a de­cent cast and writ­ers do­ing their best to not only pro­vide us with en­ter­tain­ment but so­cial com­men­tary on things that are very real to the peo­ple of this coun­try. The is­sues of sugar dad­dies, teenage preg­nancy and xeno­pho­bia have been touched on, as well as the lengths some of us will go to to make sure our fam­ily is pro­vided for. One of the big­gest TV vil­lains right now is trap queen Lucy Diale, played by Manaka Ranaka. I was sad when she and Cosmo (Ron­nie Nyakale) stopped cook­ing up drugs in the heart of Alexandra, but she re­mains one of my favourite on-screen bad­dies. It would be nice to see the re­turn of the Cosmo of old – the dark and sin­is­ter street hus­tler who would not think twice about killing some­one for his “bozza”.

An in­trigu­ing story line cur­rently brew­ing is how Karabo Mo­raka (Con­nie Fer­gu­son) has de­cided to take an­other hus­band, Zola Radebe (Mu­todi Neshehe). Polygamy is com­mon in South Africa, with hus­bands who take many wives, so it’s re­fresh­ing to see polyandry (a woman with two or more hus­bands), and it cer­tainly got Twit­ter talk­ing, with clips of Karabo shared with glee.

This show de­serves four stars but I strug­gle with scenes where the Radebes are on screen. They spend large amounts of time play­ing along­side ac­tors more skilled than they are. An­other prob­lem is that, at times, the char­ac­ters who could be re­ally badass get cleaned up and put on to the right path, which is bor­ing. Why is Xolelwa (Mahlatse Le­toka) now work­ing in an of­fice and wear­ing nice clothes when she started out as a hus­tler from the streets look­ing to make a quick buck any way she could? Her ear­lier story line was far more en­ter­tain­ing.

Le­toya Makhene is giv­ing the per­for­mance of her life as Tshidi, the un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated wife of the twisted Gadaffi (Vuyo Dab­ula). Her al­bino python is dis­turb­ing, yet grip­ping to watch. Makhene is a tra­di­tional healer in real life, so it’s in­ter­est­ing to see her bring this into her act­ing.

For­get what you may have heard, Gen­er­a­tions is as hot as ever and if the cast and crew con­tinue to put in the work, they will re­main at the top of the TV charts.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

COU­PLE IN CHAOS Le­toya Makhene, who plays Tshidi, is giv­ing the per­for­mance of her life as the un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated wife of Gadaffi, played by Vuyo Dab­ula

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