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GenreTelenovela, Drama
Created byDuma Ndlovu
Written byChris Q. Radebe
Directed by
  • Sello Letsatsi
  • Sabelo Ndlovu
  • Fikile Mogodi
  • Kgatontle Mdleleni
Creative director(s)Brenda Mukwevho
  • Dawn Thandeka King
  • Baby Cele Maloka
  • Masoja Msiza
  • Siyabonga Shibe
  • Gugu Gumede
  • Wiseman Mncube
  • Nompilo Maphumulo
  • Nelisa Mchunu
  • Thembinkosi Thwala
  • Noxolo Mathula
  • Nyalleng Thibedi
  • Zama Magubane
  • Thuthuka Mthembu
  • Ntombifuthi Dlamini
  • Nkanyiso Makhanya
  • Simphiwe Majozi
Opening themeUzalo
Ending themeUzalo
Country of originSouth Africa
Original language(s)Zulu
No. of seasons5(February 2019)
No. of episodes800+(as of February 2019) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube
Mmamitse Thibedi
Producer(s)Mpfariseni King Dave Mukwevho
CinematographyMike Sono, Howard Nciweni
Editor(s)Gugu Sibandze (online editor), Cynthia Tshele (offline editor)
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Stained Glass Productions
Original networkSABC 1
First shown in2015
Original release2015
Related showseHostela

Uzalo is a telenovela produced by Stained Glass Productions, which is co-owned by Kobedi "Pepsi" Pokane and Gugu Zuma-Ncube. It broadcasts on SABC1 in South Africa.[1][2]


Uzalo tells the story of two families in the township of Kwa-Mashu: the Mdletshe family which plays a significant role in the management of the Kwamashu Kingdom Church and the Xulu family which runs a car theft syndicate. The connection between the families is that their eldest sons were switched at birth during the period when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.[2][3] Uzalo details the relationships and conflict between members of the two families as part of a complex story.


Uzalo made its debut on Monday 9 February 2015, on South African public television network SABC 1. Initially, Uzalo was aired only three times a week but after the show rapidly gained popularity it was extended to five days a week.

The series premiere of Uzalo in February 2015, attracted 5 million viewers. A few months later, it had over 9 million viewers and was competing with Generations: The Legacy for the most viewed show in South Africa.[4] Uzalo reached a new milestone by being the first ever TV show in South Africa to have a rating of over 10.25 million viewers in 2018.[5]


The program is filmed in KwaZulu-Natal's KwaMashu F-section.[1] The series use of local talent and infrastructure to depict a realistic portrayal of life in the region makes it unique among other television programs.[3]

Notable ratings[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAve. RSA viewers
First airedLast aired
119 February 2015 (2015-02-09)13 March 2015 (2015-03-13)5.4
21 (+1)24 September 2018 (Historic Episode)
24 September 2018 (2018-09-24)
25 September 2018 (2018-09-25)10.25

Series 1 (2015)[edit]

Series 1
EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateRSA viewers
(millions) 10
1Premier EpisodeAlex YazbekStory by : Phathutshedzo Aldriaan Makwarela
Teleplay by : Precious Sithole
9 February 2015 (2015-02-09)5.4
The story kicked off with a teaser set on 9 February 1990 where two boys were switched at birth, and so was their legacy and destiny. The story picked up 20 years later after the two boys were switched at birth, and the storyline for the entire season followed the family whose wealth was built in the murky criminal underworld, as well as the more wholesome Mdletshe family who’s day to day life, is pretty much centred around the KwaMashu Kingdom Church.

Series 4 (2018)[edit]

EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateSA viewers
Two Part Wedding Special
167Wedding SpecialLuthando Mgomezulu & Mqondisi 'MQ' NgubaneStory by : Bongi Ndaba
Teleplay by : Clive Madiya
24 September 2018 (2018-09-24)Undefined
MaMlambo has a nightmare. Nkunzi says his vows to MaMlambo. MaNgcobo stops the wedding.
Historic Episode
168Wedding Special Part 2Luthando Mgomezulu & Mqondisi 'MQ' NgubaneBongi Ndaba25 September 2018 (2018-09-25)10.25[7]
Nkunzi made a decision to marry both women, MaNgcobo and MaMlambo, thus entering into a polygamous marriage. This episode was the first ever South African television episode to surpass 10 million viewers.[6]


Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Dawn Thandeka King Lindiwe 'MaNgcobo' Xulu-Mhlongo Main
Gugu Gumede Hlengiwe Mlambo-Mhlongo Main
Nompilo Maphumulo Nosipho Xulu Main
Masoja Msiza Nkunzebomvu Mhlongo Does not appear Main
Baby Cele Maloka Gabisile Mdletshe-Zikhali Does not appear Main
Siyabonga Shibe Qhabanga Khumalo Does not appear Main
Thembinkosi Thwala Mondli Mdlalose Does not appear Main
Khaya Dladla GC - Gamakhulu Cetshwayo Main Does not appear
Thuthuka Mthembu Nonkanyiso Does not appear Recurring Main
Wiseman Mncube Sibonelo Zikhali Does not appear Recurring Main
Nkanyiso Makhanya Njeza Does not appear Recurring Main
Noxolo Mathula Lily Dongwe Does not appear Recurring Main
Nomcebo Gumede Mumsy Mdletshe Does not appear Main Recurring Does not appear
Khumbulani 'Kay' Sibiya Ayanda Mdletshe Main Does not appear
Mpumelelo Bhulose Gxabhashe Xulu Main Does not appear
Thokozani 'TkDee' Dlamini Zweli 'Mastermind' Maphumulo Main Does not appear
Leleti Khumalo Zandile 'MaNzuza' Mdletshe Main Recurring Does not appear
Glen Gabela Melusi Mdletshe Main Does not appear
Nelisa Mchunu Fikile Does not appear Recurring Main
Nay Maps Mxolisi Mdletshe Main Does not appear
Nokuthula Mabika Thobile Fakazi Main Does not appear
Sihle Ndaba Smangele Maphumulo Main Recurring Does not appear
Jo-Anne Reyneke Sindiswa Main Does not appear

Main characters[edit]

  • Lindiwe (MaNgcobo) Khanyile (formerly Xulu and Mhlongo) played by Dawn Thandeka King. She is the ex-wife of Muzi and mother of Nosipho and Ayanda.
  • Nkunzebomvu (Nkunzi) Mhlongo, played by Masoja Msiza. He is the ex-husband of Innocentia and Lindiwe. He is currently married to MaMlambo.
  • Nosipho Xulu, played by Nompilo Maphumulo. She is the daughter of Muzi and Mangcobo. She is the sister of Ayanda and half sister to Amandla. She briefly has an affair with Ayanda unaware he is her brother and also has a brief affair with Zweli.
  • Gamakhulu (GC) Cetshwayo, played by Khaya Dladla.. He is a friend of Thobile, Smangele and Fikile. He had a romantic relationship with a man named JoJo.
  • Hlengiwe (MaMlambo) Mlambo Mhlongo, played by Gugu Gumede. She befriends MaNzuza and MaNcgobo and is married to Nkunzebomvu Mhlongo
  • Fikile, played by Nelisa Mchunu. She is Thobile, GC and Smangele's friend and hairdresser. She is an relationship with sbu
  • Zekhethelo Mhlongo, played by Nyalleng Thibedi. She was raised by Nkunzi. Her stepmothers are Innocentia and Lindiwe and her biological mother is called Mapadi, who has been absent throughout her life. She had an on and off relationship with Mxolisi. She was a cop
  • Qhabanga Khumalo, played by Siyabonga Shibe. He was a policeman from Kwa-Mashu police station. He is Nkunzi's younger half-brother. He is the pastor of KwaMashu Kingdom Church.
  • Mondli Mdlalose, played by Thembinkosi Thwala. Mondli is the Head police captain and dates Zekhethelo. He is Nosipho and Lilly's ex-boyfriend.
  • Gabisile Mdletshe-Khumalo, played by Baby Cele Maloka. She is the sister of the Pastor Melusi and Zandile's sister in law. She is the aunt of Mxolisi, Nkosinathi and Mumsy. She is a landlady of a house she owns. Mother of Sbonelo. She is the current wife of Qhabanga Khumalo.
  • Sbonelo (Babo) Mhlongo, played by Wiseman Mncube was a doctor he resigned after killing a schoolkid and son of Nkunzebomvu and Gabisile. He is in love with Nonkanyiso
  • Nonkanyiso, played by Thuthuka Mthembu. She is a high school learner and was in a relationship with Sibonelo.
  • Sbusiso (Sbu) is an ex con. He is dating Fikile. Works for Nkunzi and Mangcobo.
  • Khathazamanyamadoda Khanyile. He is a funeral director and husband of Lindiwe. He went to KwaMashu to kill Nkunzi and his family but falls in love with Lindiwe.
  • Mbatha (Pastor Wodumo) He is formerly the pastor of KwaMashu Kingdom Church, in love with Fihliwe.
  • Fihliwe Kanyile is Kathazamanyamadoda's sister. She went to KwaMashu to seek revenge for her family. She is later killed by her brother Khathaza in order to protect Lindiwe.

Notable former cast members[edit]


Uzalo's premiere in February 2015 attracted 5 million viewers. In recent months, the soapie has been most viewed show in South Africa with over 9 million viewers watching. It is competing with Generations: The Legacy for highest viewed show in South Africa.[4]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2015 Simon "Mabunu" Sabela Awards Best Newcomer Khumbulani 'Kay' Sibiya Won
Best Actor Mpumelelo Bhulose Won
Best Actress Sihle Ndaba Won
Lifetime Achievement Award Don Mlangeni Nawa Won
Best Soapie Uzalo Nominated
2016 The Sunday Times (South Africa) Generation Next Awards Coolest Soapie Uzalo Won
Simon "Mabunu" Sabela Awards Best Actress Sihle Ndaba Won
2017 Dstv Mzansi Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actor Ntokozo 'TKDee' Dlamini Nominated
Best Actress Dawn Thandeka King Nominated
South African Film and Television Awards Best Achievement in Scriptwriting Uzalo Writing Team; Head Writer Phathutshedzo Makwarela Nominated
2018 Simon "Mabunu" Sabela Awards Best Supporting TV Actress Nokuthula Mabika Won
Best Actress Baby Cele Won
Best Supporting Actor Simphiwe Majozi Won
The Sunday Times (South Africa) Generation Next Awards 2018 Coolest TV soapie Uzalo Won
South African Film and Television Awards Most Popular Soapie Uzalo Won
Dstv Mzansi Magic Viewer Choice Awards Best Actor Masoja Msiza Nominated
2019 South African Film and Television Awards Best TV Soap Uzalo Won
Best Actress Dawn Thandeka King Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Khaya Dladla Nominated
Best Achievement in Editing - TV Soap Nhlanhla Mngandi Nominated
Best Achievement in Sound - TV Soap Timotheus Du Preez Nominated
Best Achievement in Wardrobe - TV Soap Nokubonga Ngobeni Won
Best Achievement in Make-up and Hair - TV Soap Stella Johnson Won
Most Popular TV Soap/Telenovela Uzalo Nominated


  1. ^ a b "SABC1's new Uzalo: 'We're not Generations'". Yahoo. February 10, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Bambalele, Patience (February 9, 2015). "'Uzalo' hope for Zuma". Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "SABC1 takes on the telenovela with Uzalo". January 13, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Hlongwane, S'thembiso (February 12, 2015). "Uzalo's first episode clocks 5 million viewers". Drum. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Tvsa, Tvsa Team. "Top Shows on TV: September 2018". tvsa. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  7. ^ Tvsa, Tvsa Team. "Top Shows on TV: September 2018". tvsa. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

External links[edit]