When Mzansi Magic was launched in July 2010 it was to create a proudly South African, locally focused, general entertainment channel for television viewers countrywide.
A year later, the channel has done just that – and is entering its second year with the launch of several exciting innovations, including South Africa’s first-ever telenova, a new soapie and an increased focus on the Bubblegum movies that have become such a popular part of Mzansi Magic.
What’s more, Mzansi Magic has also made good on its launch promise to create work for the local television production industry: since last year, the channel has created around 350 jobs for local directors, writers, producers, editors, cast, sound crews and cameramen over the past year through an aggressive considered commissioning strategy.
Says Mzansi Magic Channel head, Lebone Maema, “We are entering our second year in the best shape possible with a great mix of the best South African and international, feature films, comedies, sitcoms, drama, talk shows, variety shows, and music shows. Not only have we managed to do what we set out to and create a homegrown entertainment channel, but we have given the local television industry a boost through the many and varied shows that have been commissioned.’
Among these are Redi on Mzansi, Cooking With Siba, My Top 10 @ 10: My Life In Music, Tonight with Trevor Noah, and The Admiral and Akin Go To The Movies, All Acess, – all of which continue as Mzansi Magic heads into its second year.
In exciting news for Mzansi Magic’s viewers, Mzansi Magic’s second year will see the launch of several brand new programmes including the first-ever South African telenova – which takes off from the popularity of these limited-run television serial novel dramas in Latin America. In addition, Mzansi Magic has commissioned its first-ever soapie. Both the Telenovella and Soap will be piloted in 2011 and are intended to commence production in early 2012.
“We received an overwhelming number of proposals in response to our request for briefs last year and, as we head into year two, we’d like to thank the industry for their interest in and support of Mzansi Magic,’ says Maema.
Mzansi Magic viewers can also look out for a second commissioned comedy/ sitcom, It’s for Life (August 2011) as well as a new international telenova, India – A Love Story. Other new programmes include the popular drama series, Soul Food (August) and Miss South Africa, a reality series launching in September.
One of the biggest successes of Mzansi Magic in recent months has been the Bubblegum films that have been broadcast on the channel. These range from Sello Twala’s Madluphutu series to commissioned features like Who Made Me Pregnant, The Stalker and 48.
“We are now proudly the home of Bubblegum movies,’ states Maema. “We’ve also been actively commissioning, giving us a much bigger pool of these very popular movies to include in our schedule.’
From July, Mzansi Magic also gets a more focused content schedule, enabling viewers to plan their viewing timeously.
Mondays at 20h30 are now Mzansi Magic’s Bubblegum slot while Tuesdays now feature award-winning South African feature films (like White Wedding which the channel broadcast hot off the film circuit in 2010) – also in the 20h30 slot.
Wednesdays at 23h00 is the regular slot for live music concerts while Thursdays are Mzansi Magic’s variety night with shows like Headline and All Access. Fridays from 19h00 to 23h00 is when comedy takes over the channel and Fridays (20:30), Saturdays (20:30) and Sundays (20:00) are when uninterrupted, blockbuster movies are broadcast.
Mzansi Magic has also become the home for the Mzansi Magic Market Day (September 2011), in association with M-Net Cares. The channel is additionally the broadcast partner for the iSchoolAfrica youth press team programme, as part of its CSI commitments.
With this great mix of content, a strong emphasis on creating quality South African programmes, the showcasing of many homegrown stars, including Siba, Redi, Kenneth Nkosi and Tumi Morake,Trevor Noah, Tshepo Seeletso, Kuli Roberts and Thabo Mokwele and a viewer-friendly schedule, it’s likely that Mzansi Magic will continue to hold its own as one of the top 10 most watched channels on DSTV in its second year.
* Mzansi Magic is available to MultiChoice subscribers on DStv Premium, DStv Compact and DStv Select bouquets.