Top ac­tors swop shows in ‘ soapie war ’

Sunday World - - News -

AMANDA NGUDLE

THE re­cent de­par­ture of fallen stud Melusi Yeni from Gen­er­a­tions has all the hall­marks of a plot in the soapie. Sun­day World un­der­stands that we can ex­pect him to resur­face at

Mu­vhango.

Yeni, who played Phenyo Dhlomo, was writ­ten out of Gen­er­a­tions last week.

The state­ment from Gen­er­a­tions man­age­ment made it clear that all was not well be­tween the ac­tor and the pro­duc­ers.

“Melusi is one of South Africa’s most tal­ented ac­tors. I’m cer­tain he will con­tinue ex­celling in the ex­er­cise of his craft,” said ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Mfundi Vundla.

How­ever, Sun­day World has it on good au­thor­ity that Yeni lost his job be­cause man­age­ment got wind of the fact that he had been talk­ing to SABC2 soapie Mu­vhango about se­cur­ing a role. And he got it. In re­turn, Gen­er­a­tions se­cured

Mu­vhango’s new­est eye candy, Siyabonga Th­wala – even though his

Gen­er­a­tions char­ac­ter was killed off in 2010.

Th­wala ’ s char­ac­ter, Paul Mashaba, died of can­cer, leav­ing a dis­traught Di­neo be­hind.

“It [the ten­sion be­tween the soapies] is ugly. And it started when Ra­pu­lana Seiphemo and Florence Masebe were poached by Mu­vhango be­tween 2003 and 2006,” said a for­mer ac­tress who did not want to be named. “How do you ex­plain to view­ers that some­one who comes with a fam­ily in tow leaves the soapie in un­der two months?” she asked about Th­wala leav­ing Mu­vhango. Yeni ’ s re­la­tion­ship with

Gen­er­a­tions man­age­ment seems to have crum­bled.

His char­ac­ter joined the Dhlo­mos as a dash­ing no-non­sense le­gal ea­gle about a year ago, but has now been re­duced to a wife-duck­ing wimp.

It is un­der­stood that Th­wala an­gered the Mu­vhango pro­duc­ers by not re­sign­ing from Isibaya when he was ex­pected to. But Mu­vhango ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Duma Ndlovu de­nied this.

“Whether we have a con­tract with an ac­tor or not, we can’t stop an ac­tor from ex­plor­ing his craft,” he said.

When asked about the feud be­tween the soapies, Ndlovu said the in­dus­try was small and ac­tors drop­ping one soap for an­other was in­evitable.

Gen­er­a­tions said Th­wala was not join­ing the cast per­ma­nently.

“Gen­er­a­tions will be cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary in Septem­ber and one of our fea­tures will be old ac­tors be­ing res­ur­rected for one episode,” said publi­cist Nya­gunda Ng­wenya.

About the ten­sion, Ng­wenya said the two com­pa­nies were too close to fight. “We lit­er­ally work side by side. Our of­fices are so close to­gether that it’s im­pos­si­ble to have petty wars.”

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