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
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.
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