Former Generations actresses Sophie Ndaba and Winnie Ntshaba have reunited with their former boss, Generations creator Mfundi Vundla, but this time as the producers of a new drama series.
In 2014, Vundla terminated 16 Generations cast members’ contracts. This week, Ndaba told City Press that they had buried the past and had forged a new alliance.
“Winnie Ntshaba and I have a production company called Tegasyx, which will be mentored by MMSV Productions [Vundla’s company],” she said.
Vundla said that “there are no permanent grudges”, referring to the past dispute with the former Generations stars.
“We have few female producers in South Africa and it’s about time we see female producers showing off their talents,” he said.
He said he believed that this was an opportunity for the pair to do what they love.
“This is an idea that came with the SABC – that I should mentor actors,” he said.
“When Sophie and Winnie came to my office to express the desire to work with me, I welcomed them,” Vundla said.
Ntshaba said she was excited and looking forward to working with Vundla again.
“When you want to grow in life, you have to put other things aside. Everything happens for a reason and I believe it was part of God’s plan to work with him again.”
She said she believed that Vundla was a pioneer and they were going to learn a lot from him.
Vundla will also be casting these stars in a new drama/comedy series called Queen of Hearts.
“In Queen of Hearts, they will be known by their popular Generations character names: Queen and Winnie,” he said.
He said while they shoot Queen of Hearts, he would train them as producers.
Ndaba explained that before she left Generations, she approached the SABC and told it about her intention to start her own production company, and when the opportunity came along to work with Vundla, she grabbed it with both hands.
This week the question that was on everyone’s lips was, how were they selected to be part of the SABC’s internal mentorship programme?
Ndaba said: “I have knocked on doors at the SABC and we have pitched our ideas to the content team several times. We never gave up.”
On Tuesday, chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng revealed that Ndaba, Ntshaba, Khanyi Mbau, Pearl Modiadie, Ntombi Mzolo, Somizi Mhlongo, Arthur Mafokate and others were part of the broadcaster’s R600 million plan to empower and mentor local production houses and talent.
The stars were part of the revamping and development process at the SABC.
“As the SABC, we were not supposed to allow our film makers to go and do business with international broadcasters when they have their own SABC. I’m glad that they are coming back home. We invite everyone to come and do business with the SABC,” said Motsoeneng.
He said people must remember that when they pitch to the broadcaster, they must give it good-quality content that will attract audiences. They must also make sure that they include the different African languages in their proposals.
“We need to be proud of our African languages,” he said.
He said that he didn’t understand why people wanted to write drama series in English, and he encouraged people to tell their own stories in their own languages.
“Gone are those days when people used to pitch their shows at the SABC and get a response only after two years. Now things have changed. If you come to me, I respond now. If you impress me with your idea, I’ll give you a yes immediately,” he said.