Ndlovu walks out of Uzalo telenovela

Duma Ndlovu
Duma Ndlovu

Television drama doyen Duma Ndlovu has walked away as a producer of SABC1 telenovela Uzalo.

This is after Ndlovu was engaged in a bitter battle for control of the SABC’s leading show with fellow producers Pepsi Pokane and President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed to City Press that the two parties had agreed to go their separate ways amicably.

However, he declined to give details.

“What was discussed on Tuesday was confidential,” he said.

Zuma-Ncube and Pokane were not available for comment. It is not clear whether Ndlovu will still be acknowledged as the creator on the credits of the telenovela.

Last month City Press reported that the simmering conflict came to a head when the former playwright’s role as producer was removed from the credits of the telenovela. Kganyago said the SABC appreciated Ndlovu’s contribution to Uzalo.

“When Uzalo was born, we wanted to establish a production house to assist the new ones, so that they would be able to stand on their own two feet.”

On Friday, SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng confirmed that the parties had separated. “Duma has walked away — he is no longer involved in Uzalo,” he said.

Ndlovu refused to comment and referred us to the SABC.

Motsoeneng said: “I was the mediator between the two parties and the matter has been resolved. In my opinion, I believe if we are all creators and we have different views on how to create a certain character, and when we don’t agree on one thing together, it’s futile to work together.”

There was also the issue that Pokane had fired 25 actors hired by Ndlovu. Apparently, Pokane told the actors that the SABC had no budget for them. The staff members have written to the SABC to find out whether this was true.

“We are still going to deal with the matter of the choir members in the telenovela. Actors cannot be fired without anyone consulting with the SABC,” said Motsoeneng.

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