There was something about that girl. She was young, a little awkward and full of dreams and everyone related to her. Which is why Ugly Betty became a popular series all over the world.
Now South Africa is working on finding it's very own Ugly Betty, titled uBettina Wethu. There's an adaptation of the international smash hit show Yo Soy Betty La Fea, also known as Ugly Betty, in the works in SA, it just needs the right Betty.
The hugely popular series holds the Guinness World Record for the most successful telenovela and has been adapted in 19 territories, aired in 180 countries, and dubbed into 15 languages.
The South African adaptation will be the first globally to feature a black Betty, and a majority-black cast.
The show will be aired on SABC and uBettina Wethu is co-produced by Viu South Africa and local production company, Known Associates Entertainment, with Tshepiso Sello as producer.
Tshepiso Sello (41) says that viewers can expect a Bettina that they can relate to.
Tshepiso has been in the entertainment industry for over 10 years and has worked on multiple productions such as Bomb production’s iconic Zone 14.
uBettina Wethu follows the journey of Bettina Sikhakane, who is a kind-hearted, smart, career-focused woman, with a dream of running her own company but when she lands a job as the PA to Nubia's new MD.
She has to contend with her colleague's assumption that because of her quirky style and kindness, she must be stupid; all the while battling her growing love for her boss which clouds her already blurred boundaries posing a risk to a job that means everything to her.
“uBettina Wethu is not a copy and paste of Ugly Betty, what is unique about our take is that Bettina’s character is set in a Brand Management agency and she is the first ever black Bettina character in the world. She will speak a Nguni language and majority of the characters will too. She will be relatable, she will make you say oh my god, that’s sister or that’s my cousin,” Tshepiso tells DRUM.
The show is currently hosting cast auditions and there are three characters the public can audition for. Bettina, Dingaan, a love interest of Bettina’s, and Linda, Dingaan’s mother and boss to Bettina.
“We are hoping that there is a hidden gem that we have not discovered yet to embody Bettina’s character. The country has outstanding talent and we hope to find a candidate that will bring the kind of energy, humor and discipline we need to bring this character to life.
“I want women to know that they do not have to accept being boxed when they watch this show, I am from Katlehong myself and I did not allow where I come from to limit me from achieving my dreams and goals. I want my mothers to see their daughters in Bettina and know that they too can become successful despite what everyone else around them says.”
Hopefuls who want to audition can do so simply by downloading the audition script for the character they wish to audition for and uploading it via WhatsApp.
The script can be accessed from www.ubettinawethu.co.za. After this, participants can take the video of themselves, recorded via smartphone, and send it to the following WhatsApp number: 087 240 5150.