Top actors swop shows in ‘ soapie war ’
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
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.”