Si­fiso signs out

Rhythm City says good­bye to Dumi Masilela and his char­ac­ter.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - RHYTHM CITY -

“This was risky! Writ­ing in some­one’s death hasn’t been done be­fore on lo­cal screens but we had to do it to hon­our his life,” says Rhythm City’s cre­ative di­rec­tor Eric Mo­gale. While it was a shock for au­di­ences when Dumi Masilela, who plays Si­fiso, died fol­low­ing a hi­jack­ing on Thurs­day 3 Au­gust, the pro­duc­ers con­tin­ued to air Dumi’s scenes as nor­mal. “We had a meet­ing with his fam­ily the day af­ter his death to find out how we would write him out of the sto­ry­line. But they didn’t want his work to go to waste so we worked with all the scenes he had shot months ago,” ex­plains Eric. To­gether with the Masilela fam­ily, the soapie agreed to air Dumi’s fi­nal scene on Wed­nes­day 11 Oc­to­ber where Si­fiso dies in a tragic hi­jack­ing. “View­ers won’t see the in­ci­dent, but they will def­i­nitely feel it like we did on set. It’s go­ing to move them,” adds Eric.

WRITE OUT

The writ­ers had to fig­ure a way around Si­fiso’s cur­rent love-tri­an­gle sto­ry­line with besties Mam­pho and Reneilwe (Itume­leng Bok­aba and Amo Chidi). “The sto­ry­lines had to change. It took three days to plan it out and make it work,” ex­plains Eric. Although Rhythm City want to shine a light on hi­jack­ing to let view­ers know the ef­fects of the crime, it wasn’t easy film­ing it. “We shoot months in ad­vance, so we had to reshuf­fle every­thing to suit the new sto­ry­line,” ex­plains Eric. But work­ing on this plot­line wasn’t just an­other day at the of­fice – “It was a way to get clo­sure too. We’re let­ting go of some­one who is part of our fam­ily and that’s hard to process,” says the cre­ative di­rec­tor.

FI­NAL GOOD­BYE

As a mark of re­spect, Dumi’s real fam­ily were in­vited to the soapie memo­rial for Si­fiso that airs on Wed­nes­day 18 Oc­to­ber. His mother Sa­batha and brother Tha­bani joined the cast and “they vol­un­teered to be part of the mo­ment. The cast played out their emo­tions on­screen and it felt like ev­ery­one was heal­ing,” says Eric. The soapie didn’t hold back tears and Eric adds that it was a chance for Dumi’s friends to bid him farewell. “It’s like a re­al­ity show within a soapie. We all wanted to com­mem­o­rate Dumi the way he de­serve to be re­mem­bered.”

Both Si­fiso the char­ac­ter and Dumi the ac­tor have been laid to rest by Rhythm City.

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