On Thursday, 12 March we will say our final farewell to the residents of Horizon Deep.
The soapie about the lives of the residents in a small mining town premiered on South African television screens in 1998.
The characters and the storylines focused on the workers to the most affluent in the community.
Isidingo was hailed as a breakthrough in the television landscape and was often the first soapie to tackle taboo subjects.
Here are five times the show paved the way
1. FINGER ON THE PULSE
Isidingo was the first soapie to incorporate the news as it happened. If a big news event happened during the day, you would find it in the episode despite filming being done in advance. From the elections, to the World Cup, to Zozibini being crowned Miss Universe, there wasn’t a trending topic that they missed out on.
2. FIRST INTERRACIAL COUPLE ON TV
The soapie dared to go where no one was brave enough to go with the relationship between Derek Nyathi (Hlomla Dandala) and Phillipa de Villiers (Bianca Amato). It was the first interracial relationship and subsequently wedding to be shown on TV. Isidingo did this in 2001, while another soapie had their first interracial relationship only in 2019.
3. DESTIGMATISING HIV
In the early 2000s at a time when the disease was heavily stigmatised the soapie shone light on the misconceptions surrounding it. After being infected by her first husband, Nandipha Sithole (Hlubi Mboya) went on to show that if you follow your treatment regime anything is possible. Again, another soapie only did it in 2019.
In an interview Hlubi said, "The message that the producers really wanted to convey was one of hope, was one of edutainment, was one of inspiration."
WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE:
4. LOVE IS LOVE
Five days after same sex marriages were legalised in South Africa in December 2006 Isidingo had the first gay wedding on TV. Steve Stethakis (Emmanuel Castis) and Luke (Gary D’Alessandro) tied the knot in a historic SA television moment.
5. RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
Isidingo was never afraid to tackle hard news topics. One particularly emotive storyline was Sechaba Moloi Matabane (Motlatsi Mafatshe) being assaulted and then buried alive by two white farmers.
In 2017 several complaints were lodged at the BCCSA accusing the soapie of incitement of hatred, racism, offensiveness, irresponsible broadcasting and perpetuation of anger, to breaking down racial harmony in South Africa with the above-mentioned storyline.
The commission said in a statement: "Although we realise that many viewers of the Isidingo episodes which are the subject of these complaints, were upset and offended by what they saw, that was not sufficient to find that the broadcasts amounted to hate speech."
WATCH A TRAILER FOR THE FINAL WEEK HERE: