Turkish telenovelas: the winning recipe behind the shows South Africans love

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Denver Vraagom is one of the actors who’s done voiceovers for Turkish telenovelas. (PHOTO: Sharon Seretlo)
Denver Vraagom is one of the actors who’s done voiceovers for Turkish telenovelas. (PHOTO: Sharon Seretlo)

These aren’t soapies and while the stars are beautiful women and handsome hunks, their faces aren’t familiar ones on our TV screens. And though the intrigue often involves the ups and downs of romance, you won’t see any sizzling sex scenes here – maybe just a quick kiss now and again.

Doesn’t quite sound like the ingredients for a hit series, does it? Yet e.tv’s Turkish telenovelas – yes, not just one but half a dozen, dubbed into Afrikaans with English subtitles – have gripped viewers countrywide.

When the first episode of Gebroke Harte (Broken Hearts) aired here in October 2018, about 210 000 people tuned in. Now there are about two million viewers of the telenovelas, with titles such as Bittersoet (Bittersweet), Doodsondes (Mortal Sin) and Stiletto Vendetta.

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