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Isidingo logo.jpg
Also known as Isidingo: The Need
Genre Soap opera
Created by Gray Hofmeyr
Written by David Gordon[disambiguation needed] (Current Head Writer), Kagiso Mogale (Story Editor), Alleyzander Fourie (Script Editor), Mimmy Mtshali Ntaka (Current Senior Resident Writer), Siphosethu Xolisa Tshapu (Storyliner), Busisiwe Matonsi (Storyliner), Clive Mathibe, Wayne Robins, Nonzi Bogatsu, Bakang Sebatjane, Eddie Thaba, Liesl Wolmarans, Fanyane Hlabangane, Thuso Sibisi and Precious Sithole
Directed by Nthabi Tau
Michael Sebonego
Kekeletso Mputhi
Pumla Hopa
Motlatsi Mafatshe
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 21
No. of episodes 4,990 (as of July 2018)
Executive producer(s) Pumla Hopa
Producer(s) Endemol
Cinematography Kobus Van Niekerk
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 33 minutes
Original network SABC 3
Picture format PAL
Audio format Monaural
Original release 7 July 1998 (1998-07-07)[1] – present
Preceded by The Villagers
External links

Isidingo is a South African soap opera, with dialogue mostly in English. The series premiered on SABC 3 in July 1998 and is broadcast evenings on SABC 3 from Monday to Friday at 19:00. Until 2001 it was titled Isidingo: The Need.[2]

Created by Gray Hofmeyr, the story is loosely based on another popular soap opera created by Hofmeyr, The Villagers, that was broadcast during the apartheid era in South Africa.[2] Former series Head Writers include Neil McCarthy, Mitzi Booysen, Ilse van Hermert, Busisiwe Ntintili, Loyiso Maqoma, Rohan Dickson, Bongi Ndaba, and Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso. Other writers who were part of the success of the series over the show's 20 years on screen include Linda Bere (Story Editor), Chisanga Kabinga (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Susan Santos (Scriptwriter), Tshego Monaisa (Storyliner), Athos Kyriakides (Senior Resident Writer), James Whyle (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Collin Oliphant (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Salah Sabiti (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Elsabé Roux (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Lehasa Moloi (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Thishiwe Ziqubu (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Sindiswa Nene (Researcher, Scriptwriter & Scrip Co- Ordinator), Khanyisa Jali (Researcher, Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Lynn Neo Kekana (Scriptwriter), Rosalind Butler (Script Editor, Storyliner & Scriptwriter), Jullie Hall (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Thomas Hall (Scriptwriter & Storyliner), Mark Graham Wilson (Storyliner), Antoinia Reible (Scriptwriter), Lerato Khanye (Scriptwriter)


The main characters include the Haines family, the Matabanes, Vusi Moletsane the mine manager and the various residents of the boarding house owned by Maggie Webster. Barker Haines, owner of ON TV, is a high-living billionaire who often schemes his way into the lives of various people in and out of the mining town Horizon Deep, notably his daughter Leone.[2] The Matabanes are a close-knit family who comprise a stronghold, of sorts, in the populace of Horizon Deep, with Zebedee as the patriarch. Other central characters are Lolly De Klerk, Frank Xavier, Parsons Matibane, Georgie Zamdela and Calvin Xavier.

List of characters[edit]

  • Angelique Scott (Shannon Esra)
  • Aphiwe Nzimande (Khanya Mkangisa)
  • Barker Haines (Robert Whitehead)
  • Gabriel Mothusi (Aubrey Poo)
  • Bradley Haines (Izak Davel)
  • Calvin Xavier (Maurice Paige)
  • Charlie Holmes (Michaella Russell)
  • Kgothalo (Katlego Danke)
  • Lerato Tsotetsi (Tema Sebopedi)
  • Lincoln Sibeko (Lindani Nkosi)
  • Elize (Lynne McCarthy)
  • Nikiwe Sibeko (Linda Sokhulu)
  • Nina Zamdela (Khabonina Qubeka)
  • Priya Kumar (Leeanda Reddy)
  • Rajesh Kumar (Jack Devnarain)
  • Tiffany Steyn (Carmen Pretorius)
  • Samantha Sharma (Zakeeya Patel)
  • Sechaba Moloi (Motlatsi Mafatshe)
  • Jaseel Gonasalen (Ishq Pitamber)
  • Georgie Zamdela (Darlington Michaels)
  • S'khumbuzo Nzimande (Sisa Hewana)
  • Zukisa Zondile (Noluthando Neje)
  • Yvette (Charmaine Weir Smith)
  • Janine (Caitlin Kilburn)

Notable former characters[edit]

Major character exits[edit]

Actress Michelle Botes, who had played villainess Cherel De Villiers since Isidingo's 1998 debut, announced her imminent departure from the series in October 2006, a week after being "snubbed" by The South African Television Awards (though Isidingo had taken home the most awards).[citation needed] Botes next portrayed Ingrid in the rival soap Binnelanders, which directly competes with Isidingo on the pay-channel M-Net.[3] She returned to Isidingo from 2010 to 2013.

Soon after winning Best Actress Award at the South African Film and Television Awards for her portrayal of Leone Haines, 32-year-old actress Ashley Callie died following a car accident in February 2008.[4] The role was not recast, and the character was killed off-screen.[5]

Six months after Callie's death, the series killed off original character Letti Matabane (played by actress Lesego Motsepe) in a similar car accident, prompting a "nationwide outpouring of grief".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Isidingo". The South African TV Authority. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Willoughby, Guy (28 April 2006). "Isidingo's lustre will never fade while Barker remains his nasty self". Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Engelbrecht, Gerda (19 October 2009). "Michelle Botes: Elegant and charming". Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Isidingo actress Ashley Callie dies". Mail & Guardian. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Xulu, Nomfundo (19 February 2008). "Isidingo won't replace Ashley". The Times. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, Christina (23 January 2014). "OBITUARY: Lesego Motsepe". Financial Mail. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 

External links[edit]