Cape Town – Production has started on a Gauteng farm of a new e.tv local drama series, Isipho, filmed on location in Muldersdrift, which will begin on the channel on Monday 1 July at 18:30 taking on SABC1's popular Skeem Saam in the same time slot.
Isipho, which tells a supernatural story, will have four episodes per week from Mondays to Thursdays, and is produced by Herbert Hadebe's HerbVision Multimedia in association with The Ntintili Factory.
Producing Isipho is also a leap of faith for e.tv - HerbVision is the smallest, yet very experienced, independent production company the channel has ever commissioned a prime time series, helping to open up South Africa's TV and film industry.
The channel usually works with strong and renowned local production companies which have always been safe for e.tv, but with Isipho the channel is taking a big leap - and risk - to bring new talent to TV on-screen and behind-the-scenes.
MORE ABOUT THE DRAMA
The new series with 208 episodes revolves around a father, Moses Shezi (Nimrod Nkosi), a former academic whose peaceful life takes an unexpected turn when he experiences a telling vision that reveals his daughter's death.
Desperate to change the course of destiny, he sets out to find the four strangers who appeared in his vision and surrounding his daughter at the time of her death and from his vision, it is clear that these strangers are not in any way ordinary: They have gifts.
Following his vision, Moses, together with his psychologist wife and a team of teachers in the spiritual arts, opening an academy for the gifted.
The students all come with baggage of their own, and soon after that, Moses and the teachers discover that they not only have to teach the students to harness and control their gifts but also guide them to be the best versions of themselves.
Isipho's cast includes Thobani Nzuza as Lwandle, Saint Seseli as Pastor Rametsi, Sparky Xulu as Mpendulo, Wandi Chamane as Nomzingeli, Karabo Maseko as Neo, and newcomers Precious Ngidi as Ntombi Shezi and Mbalenhle Mavimbela as Tandzile. Themsie Times portrays Gogo Nqobile.
"e.tv is happy to open up its pool of production companies with HerbVision and the Ntintili Factory producing their first independent production for the channel," says Ziyanda Mngomezulu, e.tv's head of local content. "We look forward to welcoming back some familiar faces to our screens and introducing new ones."
Asked why Isipho has been scheduled for 18:30, Ziyanda says "we created the series as a lead-in for Rhythm City".
"Rhythm City hands over audiences to Scandal! So we needed something to kick off prime time viewing before Rhythm City. So Isipho will bring viewers and hand them over to Rhythm City. So hopefully with this, we will see a bump in ratings for Rhythm City and a bump for Scandal!".