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Also known as Isidingo
Genre Soap opera
Created by Gray Hofmeyr
Written by Rohan Dickson (Head writer)
Directed by Raymond Sargeant
Johnny Barbuzano
Krijay Govender
Sthembiso Mathenjwa
Starring Keketso Semoko
Robert Whitehead
Michelle Botes
Kevin Smith
Darlington Michaels
Grethe Fox
Chris Beasley
Ashley Callie
Lesego Motsepe
Kim Engelbrecht
Karin Van Der Laag
Hlubi Mboya
Jo da Silva
Tshepo Maseko
Carl Beukes
Jack Devnarain
S'thandiwe Kgoroge
Judy Ditchfield
Emmanuel Castis
Nathan Ro
Meshack Mavuso
Don Mlangeni
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) [1]
Executive producer(s) Pumla Hopa
Cinematography Kobus Van Niekerk
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 24 minutes
Original channel SABC 3
Picture format PAL
Audio format Monaural
Original run 1998-07-07 – present
Preceded by The Villagers
External links

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.[2]

The story follows vaguely from a popular soap opera during apartheid South Africa named The Villagers, although none of the current actors are from the older series.

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[edit]

  • 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)[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]