Uzalo

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Uzalo
GenreSoap opera, Crime Drama
Created byDuma Ndlovu
Written by
  • Clive Madiya
  • Salah Sabiti
  • Busisiwe Matonsi
  • Precious Sithole
  • KG Mogale
  • Bridgette Madiba
  • Siphosethu Tshapu
  • Julian Koboekae
  • Kirsten Adams
  • Mmamitse Thibedi
Directed by
  • Sello Letsatsi
  • Sabelo Ndlovu
  • Fikile Mogodi
  • Kgatontle Mdleleni
Creative directorMamitse Thibedi
Starring
Opening themeUzalo
Ending themeUzalo
Country of originSouth Africa
Original languageZulu
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes1 845 (as of 2 July 2022)
Production
Executive producersGontse Lekgetho
Mmamitse Thibedi
ProducerKhumbulani Hlongwane
CinematographyMike Sono, Howard Nciweni
EditorsGugu Sibandze (online editor), Mamba Bhekumuzi (offline editor)
Camera setupMulti-cameras
Running time23-25 minutes
Production companyStained Glass Productions
DistributorSABC
Release
Original networkSABC 1
Picture formatHDTV
Original release2015; 7 years ago (2015) –
present
Chronology
Related showseHostela, Skeem Saam and Durban Gen

Uzalo is a South African soap opera produced by Stained Glass Productions, which is co-owned by Kobedi "Pepsi" Pokane and Gugu Zuma-Ncube. It began airing in 2015, quickly becoming a hit due to its compelling narrative, writing, direction and the performances of the relatively-unknown cast.[1] It initially told the story of two young men who were switched at birth, one being raised in a family with core Christian values and the other at a crime syndicate. It currently broadcasts from Monday to Friday on SABC 1.[2][3] It is currently the most watched television show in South Africa.[4][5]

Plot[edit]

Uzalo initially told the story of two families in the township of Kwa-Mashu: the Mdletshe family, who play a significant role in the management of the Kwamashu Kingdom Church, and the Xulu family who run a car theft syndicate. The connection between the families was that their eldest sons were switched at birth during the period when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.[3][6] As the show has progressed over the years, the storylines have dramatically changed with interchanging characters, contributing to many new story arcs, but simultaneously maintaining the growth of some of its main and supporting characters.

Cast[edit]

Actor Role
Baby Cele Gabsile Mdletshe
Masoja Msiza Nkunzebombu Mhlongo
Wiseman Mncube Sibonelo Mhlongo
Menzi Biyela Sambulo Gwala
Gugu Gumede Hlengiwe Mlambo
Nompilo Maphumulo Nosipho Xulu
Thembinkosi Thwala Mondli Mdlalose
Noxolo Mathula Lillian Dongwe
Simphiwe Majozi Sibusiso Makhathini
Thuthuka Mthembu Nonkanyiso Xaba
Nkanyiso Makhanya Nkululeko Xaba
Nothando Ngcobo Hlelowenkosi
Zama Magubane Christina Balingene Dongwe
Ntombifuthi Dlamini Gladys Madlala
Thabo Mnguni Khethukthula Mbatha
Sibongiseni Shezi Hleziphi
Cebo Mthembu Nyawo
Simo Bhuthelezi Screwdriver
Siyabonga Radebe Vika
Thembi Nyandeni Njinji

Ratings[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAve. RSA viewers
(millions)
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
No.
overall
EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateRSA viewers
(millions) 10
1Premier EpisodeAlex YazbekStory by : Phathutshedzo Aldrean 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 whose day to day life, is pretty much centred around the KwaMashu Kingdom Church.

Series 4 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateSA viewers
(millions)
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]
This record-breaking wedding episode was aired on the 25 September 2018, and it was preceded by a gripping cliff-hanger on the 24th of September 2018. In the episode that aired on the 25 September 2018, the saying: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned" was proven to be true. The gun-wielding 'woman scorned' character MaNgcobo, played by Dawn Thandeka King, stormed the wedding of her common-law husband, Nkunzi (Masoja Msiza) and her love rival MaMlambo (Gugu Gumede) with a gun, coercing him to make a choice on who he will marry between her and her former best friend-turned love rival, MaMlambo. Nkunzi made a decision to marry both women, MaNgcobo and MaMlambo, thus entering into a polygamous marriage. This episode was the first in the South African television history to surpass the 10 million ratings mark.[7]


  • Lindiwe "Mangcobo Xulu, played by Dawn Thandeka King. She has a daughter named Nosipho and is ex husband of Gxabhashe, Khathaza. She killed khathaza. (Main role. Season 1 - 7)
  • Nkunzebomvu (Nkunzi) Mhlongo, played by Masoja Msiza. He is the ex-husband of Innocentia, MaMlambo and Mazaza.then he married with Lindiwe.He's currently in relationship with Gabisile. (Main role. Season 1 - present)
  • 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. She is the ex-girlfriend of Mondli, Njeza and Thulani and Qhabanga’s ex-fiancée. (Main role. Season 1 - present)
  • Hlengiwe (MaMlambo) Mlambo Mhlongo, played by Gugu Gumede. She befriends MaNzuza and MaNcgobo and was married to Nkunzebomvu Mhlongo. She also had a relationship with Thobile’s uncle Mbhekiseni but later dumped him after he was arrested for raping Thobile and various younger women. She had affairs with Melusi, Qhabanga and Nkunzi. ( Main role. Season 1 - present)
  • Fikile, played by Nelisa Mchunu. She is Thobile, GC and Smangele's friend and hairdresser. She is in a relationship with Sbu. She had drunken sex with Mxolisi while he was still dating Zekhethelo. She also cheated on Sbu with his boss Nkunzi. She left kwamashu to start a new life. (Main role. Season 1 - 7)
  • 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 also in a relationship with Njeza. She was a cop and was in a relationship with Mondli. ( Main role. Season 3 - present)
  • Qhabanga Khumalo, played by Siyabonga Shibe. He was a policeman from Kwa-Mashu police station. He is Nkunzi's younger half-brother. He is Nosipho’s ex-fiancé. He then later married Gabsile but later cheated on her with his brother’s wife MaMlambo. When MaMlambo ended her affair with Qhabanga, he briefly lived with Sbu and Fikile but managed to reunite with Gabsile. However after learning about Gabsile’s affair with his son Khehla, he dumped her and later remarried Khehla’s mother Nomcebo. After Nomcebo was shot dead, he got back together with Gabsile. He later became the pastor of KwaMashu Kingdom Church. (Main role. Season 3 - Present)
  • Mondli Mdlalose, played by Thembinkosi Thwala. Mondli is the Head police captain and dated Zekhethelo. He is Nosipho and Lilly's ex-boyfriend. (Main role. Season 1 - present)
  • 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 Qhabanga Khumalo's wife. She was killed by Qhabanga. She was saved by a girl called Hlelo.She is in a relationship with Nkunzi. (Main role. Season 2 - 6; Main role. Season 7 - Present)
  • Sbonelo (Babo) Mhlongo, played by Wiseman Mncube, was a doctor. He resigned after secretly killing Nonka’s close friend Nsizwa. He is also the only son of Nkunzebomvu and Gabisile. He is in love with Nonkanyiso , and later on proposed to her. After they got married, she then later divorced him. ( Main role. Season 5 - present)
  • Nonkanyiso, played by Thuthuka Mthembu. She works in the salon and is a good friend of Hleziphi and Fikile and is the ex-wife to Sibonelo. She is Njeza and Mbuso’s sister and Lilly’s cousin. She is MaDongwe’s niece. (Recurring role. Season 5; Main role. Season 6 - present)
  • Sbusiso (Sbu) played by Simphiwe Majozi is an ex con. He is dating Fikile. He works for Nkunzi and MaNgcobo, and later Sibonelo. (Recurring role. Season 1; Main role. Season 2 - Present)
  • Njeza, played by Nkanyiso Makhanya. He is an ex con and is the older brother of Nonka and Mbuso. He is Lilly’s cousin and MaDongwe’s nephew. He worked at Khathaza's funeral home. He had a brief relationship with Zekhethelo and was in love with Nosipho, then Nonka's friend Hleziphi. ( Main role. Season 6 - present)
  • Mr Mbatha,played by William Mnguni. He is part of the board at KwaMashu Kingdom Church. He is formerly the pastor of KwaMashu Kingdom Church and was engaged to Fihliwe. He is also MaMadongwe is ex-husband. (Main role. Season 1 - present)

FormerCast of season 1-7)[edit]

Actor Role seasons
Dawn Thandeka King Lindiwe Mangcobo (Season 1-7)
Leleti Khumalo MaNzuza (Season 1-3)
Siyabonga Shibe Qhabanga Khumalo (Season 3-6)
Bonga Dlamini Mkhonto Xulu (season 1); (season 7)
Nyalleng Thibedi Zekhethelo Mhlongo (season 3); (season 7)
Don Mlangeni Nawa Dlomo (season 1)
Thandeka Zulu Nombuso (season 1-2)
Khaya Dladla GC (season 1-4); (season 7)
Nokuthula Mabika Thobile (season 1-4); (season 7)
Nay Maps Mxolisi Xulu-Mdletshe (season 1-7)
Ntokozo Dlamini Mastermind (season 1-5); (season 7)
Sihle Ndaba Smangele Maphumulo (season 1-3)
Kay Sibiya Ayanda Mdletshe (season 1)
Fanele Ntuli Mandisa season 5
Nyalleng Thibedi Zekhethelo (season 1-7)
Shaun Mkhize MaMkhize (season 6)
Glen Gabela Melusi Mdletshe (replacement of Bheki Mkhwane) (season 2-6)
Bheki Mkhwane Melusi Mdletshe fist to play Melusi (season 1)
Mondli Makhoba Pastor Nkosi (season 3)
Nelisa Mchunu Fikile (season 1-7)
Nombulelo Mhlongo Nomcebo (season 6)
Thobani Nzuza Khehla (season 6)
Omega Mncube Phelelani (season 6)
Sphelele Mzimela MaZaza (season 6-7)
Mandisa Vilakazi Liyana (season 6-7)
Ntandose Polite (season 5-7)
Bongani Madondo Amos (season 2-6)
Zulu Boy Last Number (season 7)
Thulane Shange Thulani (season 6-7)
Lizwe Vilakazi Godfather (season 6)
Sibonile Ngubane Khathaza (season 6)
Mlungisi Duncan Nongoloza (season 6-7)
Mpumelelo Bhulose Muzi Xulu (season 1)
Khanyi Mbau Dinekile (Season 4-7)
Phindile Gwala Diniwe (season 4)
Dumisani Dlamini Mzala (season 7)

Accolades[edit]

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
2020 South African Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a TV Soap Baby Cele Maloka Nominated
Popular Soapie/Telenovela Uzalo Nominated
Dstv Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards Favourite Actress Dawn Thandeka King Nominated
Favourite Actor Masoja Msiza Nominated
Favourite Rising Star Wiseman Mncube Nominated
The Sunday Times (South Africa) Generation Next Awards 2020 Coolest Soapie Uzalo Won
Royalty Soapie Awards Most Popular Soapie Uzalo Nominated
Best Actress Dawn Thandeka King Won
Best Supporting Actor Simphiwe Majozi Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TV with Thinus: REVIEW. SABC1's new Uzalo telenovela is light on soap, heavy on conflict as a more 'mature' Soul City that's less preachy, more dramatic". TV with Thinus. 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  2. ^ "SABC1's new Uzalo: 'We're not Generations'". news.yahoo.com. Yahoo. February 10, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Bambalele, Patience (February 9, 2015). "'Uzalo' hope for Zuma". www.filmcontact.com/. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Matangira, Lungelo. "'Uzalo' officially SA's most watched show with over 10.2m viewers". ewn.co.za. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  5. ^ BOSS. ""Uzalo" is the biggest show in SA". ikenaija.com. Retrieved 2021-12-06.
  6. ^ "SABC1 takes on the telenovela with Uzalo". www.tvsa.co.za. January 13, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Tvsa, Tvsa Team. "Top Shows on TV: September 2018". tvsa. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

External links[edit]