South African free-to-air channel e.tv began broadcasting its second series of eKasi local dramas on 9 August. The new 13-part series was filmed in and around various locations in Johannesburg townships, including Soweto, Westbury and Leeuwkop.
With the new series e.tv is building on the success of eKasi’s first season, which was broadcast last year and which focused on the authenticity of township life.
Big names lead the production of the new dramas: director and Tribecca Short Film award winner, Bheki Sibiya; Jika Majika director, Neo Matsunyane; and actor, director, and entrepreneur, Thokozani Nkosi of Eclipse Productions.
For the new season e.tv roped in more production teams and more young fresh players. Backstage’s Katlego Ramaphakela (who played Neo) and Charl Timotheous (who played Ziggy) are some of the young writers involved.
“The regard for authenticity and relevance was crucial to filming, not only in the scriptwriting but in the choice of locations, the use of richly textured language, and the casting. It is through capturing the intricacies of day-to-day township life that we will tell stories of ordinary South Africans’ daily character-testing moments. We were inspired by irreplaceable memories of township life across the entire South Africa and the stories of people around us,’ says e.tv’s Local Productions Manager, Lynn Gaines.
This new season tackles the tougher side of the characters’ lives and focuses more on the pragmatic, yet humorous, aspects of gritty life in the township. The characters put together are real and captivating. The dramas tell stories of women born and raised in abusive situations, and characters tested by difficult trials. Viewers can look forward to vibrant performances by actors such as Rhythm City’s Ding Dong, Ronnie Nyakale, and former Generations actress, Palesa Mocuminyane.
Vusi Twala, who was behind the production of last year’s dramas and four dramas from the new series says, “The viewer’s response proved that South Africans are hungry for content that is relevant and mirrors their day to day experiences. This new season of eKasi proves that e.tv recognises that giving viewers a platform to tell their stories is a great step towards cultural development. The new series will showcase fresh talent as well as bold and authentic concepts that are all well executed.’