|Also known as||Isidingo|
|Created by||Gray Hofmeyr|
|Written by||Rohan Dickson (Head writer)|
|Directed by||Raymond Sargeant
Karin Van Der Laag
Jo da Silva
|Theme music composer||Siva Devar|
|Country of origin||South Africa|
|Original language(s)||English (Including a mix of various other South African languages)|
|No. of seasons||17 seasons, 1998–present|
|No. of episodes||3,926 (as of June 2014) |
|Executive producer(s)||Pumla Hopa|
|Cinematography||Kobus Van Niekerk|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Original channel||SABC 3|
|Original run||1998-07-07 – present|
|Preceded by||The Villagers|
Isidingo: The Need is a South African soap opera, with dialogue mostly in English. Isidingo premiered on SABC 3 in July 1998 and is broadcast evenings on SABC 3 from Monday to Friday at 19:30. It now uses the title Isidingo, having dropped "The Need" in 2001.
Several famous actors and actresses appeared on Isidingo, including Michelle Botes, who left the show in 2007 but later returned in 2010, and David James, most noted for his role as the villainous Koobus Venter in the film District 9, who appeared from 2004–2006.
Locations are divided between the fictional ON TV studios in Johannesburg and the mining town of Horizon Deep. The main characters include the Haines family, the Matabanes, the mine manager, Vusi Moletsane, and the various residents of the boarding house now owned by Maggie Webster. Barker Haines is the character everyone loves to hate. Billionaire in the living, he often schemes his way into the lives of various people in and out of Horizon Deep, notably his daughter Leone Haines who used to run ON TV (which Barker happens to own), along with Rajesh Kumar. Leone used to own and run a hotel called The Duncan in Horizon Deep (until she died on the show and in reality), in memory of her dead brother, Duncan.
The Matabanes are a stronghold in the make up of Horizon Deep, with Zebedee as the patriarch of the close-knit family. Other central characters are Lolly De Klerk, Frank Xavier, Parsons Matibane, Georgie Zamdela and Calvin Xavier.
In 2008, Leone Haines was found dead, after leaving home to go on a walking trip, trying to clear her head after her mother's death. In reality, Ashley Callie (the actress playing Lee) had recently been killed in a car accident.
Noticeable major character exits
- Throughout Isidingo's run there have been noticeable major character exits from the soap. Perhaps the most famous is the departure of long-running original villainess, Cherel De Villiers who was played by Michelle Botes. Michelle Botes announced her departure from the soap in October 2006, a week after being snubbed by The South African Television Awards (Isidingo had taken home the most awards). Writers wrote Botes out the soap and Cherel's character left the soap. Botes starred in the rival soap Binnelanders which directly competes with Isidingo on pay-channel, M-Net, until 2010 when Botes made a return to Isidingo.
- Other controversial exits included Lesego Motsepe's exit from the soap in 2008. Lesego played Letti Matabane, an original character of the soap since its inception. Lesego's character, however, was written out dramatically and killed in a car accident similar to the events which killed former Isidngo actress Ashley Callie only six months previously, making it a controversial exit to the series.
- After being killed from injuries sustained in a car accident in February 2008, Isidingo actress Ashley Callie went on to win numerous awards as "Best Actress" in Drama Series as being publicly praised for her acting talents. Isidingo Producer, Pumla Hopa announced that Callie's character Lee Haines would not be recast in respect to Callie. Isidingo continued airing previously filmed episodes that Callie appeared in until her death, but her character was killed off-screen.
List of characters (past and present)
- Agnes Matabane (Keketso Semoko)
- Ayanda Diale (Letoya Mangezi)
- Barker Haines (Robert Whitehead)
- Calvin Xavier
- Charlie Holmes (Jay Anstey)
- Cherel de Villiers (Michelle Botes) – 1998–2007, 2010–2013
- Derek Nyati (Hlomla Dandala)
- Dusty da Silva (Milan Murray) – 1998–2001, 2003–04
- Frank Xavier (Kevin Smith)
- Georgie Zamdela (Darlington Michaels)
- Harriet Thompson (Grethe Fox)
- Jefferson Sibeko
- Joey Ortlepp (Nathalie Boltt) – 2001–04
- Len Cooper (Chris Beasley)
- Katlego Sibeko
- Kimberly Lewis (Marisa Drummond)
- Kyle Ortlepp (Owen Meyer) – 2001–04
- Kieran Harriman (McGregor) – 2009–10
- Leone Haines (Ashley Callie) – 2000–08
- Lesedi Maloi (Gugulethu Zuma)
- Letti Matabane (Lesego Motsepe) – 1998–2008
- Lolly van Onselen (Kim Engelbrecht)
- Maggie Webster (Karin Van Der Laag)
- Nandipha Sithole (Hlubi Mboya)
- Natasha Wallace (Jo da Silva)
- Nikiwe Sibeko
- Parsons Matabane (Tshepo Maseko)
- Paul McPherson (Carl Beukes)
- Erin McPherson (Tessa Jubber) – 2005
- Philippa DeVilliers (Bianca Amato)
- Pradashan Naiker
- Rajesh Kumar (Jack Devnarain)
- Sean Kumar (Silvem Pillai)
- Siyanda Mazibuko
- Stella Fouche (Judy Ditchfield)
- Steve Stethakis (Emmanuel Castis)
- Stuart Buller (Colin Moss) – 1998–2000
- Ted Dixon (Clive Scott)
- Tim Wilson (Nathan Ro)
- Tommy "Mad Dog" McCulum (David James) – 2004–2006
- Vusi Moletsane (Meshack Mavuso)
- Yvette Meyer (Shannon Esra) – 2004
- Zebedee Matabane (Don Mlangeni)
- Parsons Matabane
- Dr McNamara (Mary Ann Barlow)
- "Isidingo's lustre will never fade while Barker remains his nasty self". www.tonight.co.za. Retrieved 2008-01-12.