TV get­ting TOO VI­O­LENT

Soapies con­tain scenes of mur­der, phys­i­cal vi­o­lence and abuse

Move! - - TV WATCH - By Boi­tumelo Mat­shaba

THE South African tele­vi­sion in­dus­try has grown rapidly in the past few years, giv­ing view­ers more shows to choose from. Uzalo, iNum­ber Num­ber and's Scan­dal! are a few soapies that have taken South African tele­vi­sion by storm. One, how­ever, can­not ig­nore the amount of vi­o­lence dis­played in some of these TV dra­mas.


Uzalo is about two af­flu­ent fam­i­lies that are criss­cross­ing be­tween two con­flict­ing worlds of church and crime.

The Mdlet­she fam­ily heads a church in KwaMashu, while the Xu­lus are in­volved in car hi­jack­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. The fam­i­lies come to­gether be­cause of their sons who were switched at birth.

You can ex­pect to see the fre­quent use of guns through­out the drama as well as scenes of phys­i­cal vi­o­lence.

Strangely aired on Sun­day evenings, iNum­ber Num­ber is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the award-win­ning film by the same name.

Star­ring big names such Pres­ley Ch­weneya­gae, Sdumo Mt­shali and Is­rael Makoe to name a few, the se­ries is pop­u­lated by blaz­ing guns, drugs and end­less crime.

Scan­dal! has been around for over 10 years and still con­tin­ues to cap­ture view­ers.

In the past, the drama fo­cused on al­co­hol abuse and HIV aware­ness. Fea­tur­ing fresh tal­ent such as Hun­gani Ndlovu and Nunu Khumalo, the drama now de­picts sto­ry­lines of kid­nap­ping and mur­der.


South Africans seem to en­joy vi­o­lent filled TV dra­mas. Uzalo is cur­rently the most watched soapie in the coun­try with seven mil­lion view­ers.

Sec­ond is Scan­dal! with 4,5 mil­lion view­ers. A stag­ger­ing 900 000 view­ers en­joy the crime and cor­rup­tion filled drama iNum­ber Num­ber, while Is’thunzi and Isithem­biso both have over 550 000 view­ers re­spec­tively.

These num­bers make it clear that South Africans find these shows en­ter­tain­ing re­gard­less of the vi­o­lence por­trayed in them.


Most TV dra­mas have an age re­stric­tion of 13V or 16LV and are aired after 8pm, ex­cept for Isithem­biso, which is aired at 7:30pm.

Chil­dren should not be ex­posed to so much vi­o­lence. Ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­o­gist, Clau­dia Al­bel­heim, in­sists chil­dren need to be guarded from view­ing too much vi­o­lence.

“It would be ideal to have less vi­o­lence on screen, but un­for­tu­nately that is very un­likely to hap­pen. Par­ents should be more dis­ci­plined with what they watch and what they al­low their chil­dren to watch,” says Clau­dia.

She says see­ing too much vi­o­lence on TV could de­sen­si­tise us to vi­o­lence. The more you see some­thing, the more ac­cus­tomed you be­come to that thing.

“The vi­o­lence on TV is be­com­ing more and more graphic. This can cre­ate a vi­o­lent en­vi­ron­ment where so­ci­ety be­comes used to ag­gres­sion.”

South African soapies such as iNum­ber Num­ber (LEFT) and Uzalo (RIGHT) con­tain vi­o­lent sto­ry­lines

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