It’s the telenovela many have been waiting for… Come Monday 5 April 2021, and Mzansi fo sho’s exciting new TV drama, uBettina Wethu, will simulcast all episodes on online platform Viu.
This South African adaptation of USA’s Ugly Betty boasts of the series’ very first African lead, played by actress Farieda Metsileng.
uBettina Wethu is a sizeable milestone for SABC 1as it makes history for the platform by scheduling an international programme of this calibre.
“We are very proud to call uBettina Wethu our own as SABC1; the production value is astounding and is a great fit for our growing brand and spot on in terms of our market domination strategy. This first ever simulcast with Viu is breaking new ground and we are glad to be part of broadcast history in the making. As the largest television brand in Southern Africa we’ve always set the tone and dominated the landscape with authentic storytelling. Once again this is nothing but the beginning of other greater things to come as we deliver on our mandate to entertain, educate and inform,” said SABC1 head of channel, Phumzile Zonke.
uBettina Wethu’s cast of familiar faces and an exciting selection of new talent, wowed directors with online audition submissions earlier this year. The open call aided to the formation of a diverse cast comprising of seasoned actors and newcomers.
“We wanted to cast the net as wide as possible and in order to give a fair chance to talented actors and actresses who may not usually have access to agents or auditions,” said Tshepiso Sello Phiri, producer at Known Associates Entertainment.
Not only does the cast emanate from within South African borders but has extended its reach with the inclusion of international talent, further bridging the gap in the TV industry.
The show’s casting director, Ayanda Sithebe, says, “We are currently experiencing an outcry of young aspiring actors-through social media discussion vehicles as #OpenTheIndustry. Young talent often does not have accessibility to the industry and an opportunity to audition. Considering the above, the mandate from the producers was very clear to me to find balance in casting experienced actors and also young new/fresh talent.”
The lead cast members of the show are Farieda Metsileng, who will play the lead character Betty Sikhakhane; Zweli Dube, who plays the charismatic Dingaan Jiyane; Tsholofelo Mashishi, who plays the matriarch of the family, Linda Jiyane and Lesego Tlhabi; and Coconut Kelz, who will play the bubbly Zaza Moloi.
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