DStv CULLS DISCOVERY'S ANIMAL PLANET

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Public protest at MultiChoice City as #NotInMyName organisation says female MultiChoice staffers are victimised through sexual harassment.


A public protest was held on Friday morning in front of Naspers' pay-TV unit MultiChoice at its MultiChoice City headquarters in Randburg, Johannesburg where the #NotInMyName organisation, as well as some MultiChoice staffers participated in picketing over allegations of rape and sexual harassment of women at the pay-TV company.

Protesters are furious over the way MultiChoice has allegedly not been doing enough to help a rape victim working at MultiChoice and to address sexual harassment of workers.

Siyabulela Jentile of the #NotInMyName organisation says women working at MultiChoice are being victimised through sexual harassment and that "there are women here [at MultiChoice] who say that they have been sexually harassed".

The new MultiChoice South Africa CEO Calvo Mawela on Friday met #NotInMyName protesters.

MultiChoice didn't issue a public press statement following the protest and Calvo Mawela's meeting with them.

Earlier in the week MultiChoice said the satellite pay-TV operator will start a "thorough investigation" after a South African woman who is still working for MultiChoice and previously said she was raped in 2014, allegedly made new and further revelations, saying she was also raped by senior MultiChoice colleagues in 2014.

When the victim complained to a MultiChoice executive about further issues regarding the alleged abusive culture inside MultiChoice, the executive called Simon allegedly told her in an email: "cheers".

Siyabulela Jentile says the worker who says she was raped after a late night work shift that ends at 23:00 has not received adequate support from MultiChoice.

"There is a culture [at MultiChoice] of disrespecting women".

He said "we are calling on all women, not only on those of MultiChoice, to actually come out and speak out against corporate sexual harassment."

Mandisa Mashego of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party says "MultiChoice makes their workers knock off late in the dead of the night and then find themselves having to walk to taxi ranks at midnight often."

BREAKING. Trade union Bemawu agrees to 4.8% salary increase for its SABC staffers after nationwide two day strike.


The Bemawu trade union has agreed to a 4.8% salary increase by the SABC for SABC staffers affiliated to the trade union following a nationwide 2 day strike.

SABC staffers and the trade unions, Bemawu and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) went on strike, demanded 10% from the SABC board and the public broadcaster's top management.

Bemawu agreed to the SABC's latest wage offer of a 4.8% increase, following the previous 0% increase that was raised to 4.5% but was still rejected by the unions who mobilised their members for a 2 days trike on Thursday and Friday.

The 4.8% salary increase is only for Bemawu members and only for Bemawu members in specific salary categories.

The 4.8% salary increase is backdated to July 2017 according to the agreement between the SABC and Bemawu, and will be paid from January 2018.

The SABC is also not allowed to deduct money from Bemawu SABC staffers who went on strike on Thursday and Friday.

The CWU has not yet accepted and signed the wage offer, waiting on members' approval on the new settlement.

On Saturday there was still no public statement from the SABC.

The beleaguered and cash-strapped SABC that is struggling to pay its ballooning debt, previously offered a 0% but is now offering a 4.5% increase backdated to October 2017.

The country’s auditor-general called the SABC “commercially insolvent”, with Africa’s largest pubcaster that end-September posted yet another annual loss of R977 million ($69 million). Meanwhile the SABC is awaiting yet another government bailout since its last one in 2009.

The public broadcaster, again hovering on the brink of financial collapse, asked the country’s parliament for a new R3 billion ($212 million) in order to remain afloat, although South Africa’s treasury has not given any indication yet whether it will approve another bailout.

On Thursday SABC staffers affiliated to the trade unions Bemawu and the CWU, as well as others, took part in public protests at the SABC's headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, as well as provincial offices throughout the country. They did the same on Friday.



UPDATE Saturday 16 December 2017 14:20 - The SABC has now issued a short statement.

"Bemawu has now officially called off their strike action," says SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

"The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is currently seeking concurrence on the offer with their members and they will revert to us when that process is completed."


Nomsa Philiso, acting SABC CEO describes the labour salary hike negotiations as "quite tough as all parties had to find each other in reaching a solution".


"With the organisation dealing with a financial situation which is not ideal, we have had to strike a balance between taking care of employees, which is a priority and ensuring we do not put further stress on the finances of the SABC."

"The SABC expressed its gratitude to all managers and staff members who kept the ship afloat during the protest action."

"Their efforts were well appreciated as they helped the SABC deliver on its mandate to the millions of South Africans who rely on SABC radio and television services to be well informed on various societal matters".

Friday, December 15, 2017

kykNET is broadcasting the DStv Afrikaans film pop-up channel fliekNET again, starting 16 December on channel 198, this year with themed film days.


M-Net's Afrikaans TV channels division, kykNET, will once again be running the DStv Afrikaans film pop-up channel, fliekNET, starting on Saturday 16 December on channel 198 - this year with themed film days.

kykNET is making it easier for viewers and holidaymakers to know what type of Afrikaans film to expect on what day of the week.

When fliekNET (DStv 198) kicks off on Saturday, it will be with different themed days.

Mondays will be "timeless Mondays" (Tydlose Maandae", Tuesdays will be youth-focused (Jeugdige Dinsdae), Wednesdays will be romantic ("Hartstog Woensdae), Thursdays will be deep and reflective ("Diepsinnige Donderdae"), Fridays will be horror and scary movies ("Vreeslike Vrydae"), Saturdays will be for humor and comedies ("Skaterlag Saterdae") and Sundays will cover dramas ("Dramatiese Sondae").

On Saturdays fliekNET is also introducing toddler entertainment with a special raft of kids films in Afrikaans at 10:00 ranging from Khumba and Heidi to Die Sneeukoningin and Maya die By.

Here's the list of films viewers will see on fliekNET that will run from 16 December until 12 January 2018:

Mondays
25 Dec: Paljas, 19:50
A railway worker lives in a small Karoo town and their lives are changed with arrival of a travelling circus.

1 Jan: Fiela se Kind, 19:50
The beautiful story of a coloured woman'slove for her white foundling. Fiela Komoetie and her family is torn apart when the magistrate decides to take her child away and place him back in his "real"parents' care.

8 Jan: Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux, 18:10
A teenage girl visits her uncle and aunt in the Karoo. Soon her visit becomes an exploration of who she really is when three visitors in one week changes her life forever.


Tuesdays
19 Dec: Hollywood in my Huis, 19:50
It's matric farewell time in 2004 and Jana van Tonder is inspired by Charlize Theron's Oscar. She decides to covert her matric farewell into her own glamorous Hollywood event.

21 Dec: Strikdas, 16:20
Willemien's life changes drastically when she brings home Vossie, the biggest nerd on campus, to teach her father and ex-boyfriend a lesson.

2 Jan: Jou Romeo, 20:30
Two determined drama-enthusiasts go to extremes in order to make their Shakespeare dream production a reality - with a few unexpected consequences.

9 Jan: Bakgat! Tot die mag 3, 18:10
Wimpie and his fiance, Katrien, emigrateto England where a rugby club offered him a contract. They soon realise that the life in London is not as cool as they thought it would be.


Wednesdays
20 Dec: Vir die Voëls, 19:50
A stubborn tomboy girl is convinced that independence is the only form of freedom. She is challenged on every level, when the boy that teased her since her childhood, turns up in her life again.

27 Dec: Leading Lady, 21:30
An English actress convinces a farmer from Brandfort to help her prepare for a very challenging role in a Hollywood film - that of an Afrikaans war heroine.

10 Jan: Pad na Jou Hart, 19:50
Basson van Rensburg has 5 days to get to his father's funeral in Cape Town but he needs to complete certain tasks on his journey before he can successfully take over the family business.

3 Jan: Mooirivier, 19:50
This first ensemble film in South Africa follows the lives of 8 couples between the ages of 10 and 70. Each couple goes on their own journey of love and discover what love really means.


Thursdays
21 Dec: Sink, 20:35
A Mozambican domestic worker is forced to make a difficult decision after her daughter tragically drowns whilst under the care of her employers. Things become even more complicated when she finds out that her employers are expecting their first child.

28 Dec: Noem My Skollie, 22:15
A young man ends up in a Cape prison in the 1960's. He uses his storytelling talent to defends himself against the gangs in prison.

4 Jan: Ballade vir 'n Enkeling, 20:40
After a well-known South African writer mysteriously disappears, a journalist is motivated by ambition to uncover the writer's shocking secret history and life story.

11 Jan: Agter Elke Man, 18:20
A prisoner is released on parole and has an obsession to take revenge on the man who he believes is responsible for his punishment. The plot thickens when a murder takes place.


Fridays
22 Dec: Wolwedans in die Skemer, 19:50
A young woman accepts a job at the Hotel Njala. On her way to the hotel, she is involved in a terrible freak accident and loses her memory. She gets drawn in by the mysterious lives of the family that runs the strange hotel.

29 Dec: Die Spook van Uniondale, 19:40
a Young business man's weekend plans changes drastically when his vehicle has mechanical problems just outside of Uniondale. While he waits for his car to be fixed, he learns more about the mysterious ghost girl of Uniondale.

5 Jan: My Broer se Bril, 21:30
A violent fight between twin brothers, Adriaan and Paul van der Bijl, leaves Adriaan blind and Paul going his own way. Adriaan stays with his ill father and years later the two brothers argue about who will be inheriting the family fortune.

12 Jan: Aanslag op Kariba, 21:40
A bus full of tourists gets kidnapped at the Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe and they're locked up in a power station with a whole lot of explosives. Only Captain Caprivi and his men can maybe save them.


Saturdays mornings
16 Dec: Khumba,10:30
Khumba is a young zebra that gets blamed for the sudden drought that hits the land. He gathers two unusual travelling companions on his journey to find a solution, a legendary waterhole.

23 Dec: Heidi, 10:00
Experience all the adventures with Heidi, her grandfather and Peter in the mountains. Also watch what happens when the nasty teacher, Mrs Rottenmeier upsets Heidi's life when she is sent to school far away.


Saturdays
30 Dec: Nommer Asseblief, 22:00
All the old faces of this popular TV show is once again to be seen in this funny, well-known and beloved Afrikaans comedy about the De Waals and their friends and competitors set in a town in the Overberg.

6 Jan: Tolla is Tops, 21:15
Tolla van der Merwe tries to catch people with his tall tales. His victims' reactions are filmed with hidden cameras as the legendary joker delights with his funny antics.


Sundays
24 Dec: Die Windpomp, 18:50
Henry is forced to move his senile and withdrawn grandfather into a retirement village. He quickly finds that there are multiple secrets hiding in this place and that one of these secrets may cost him the love of his life.

17 Dec: Lien se Lankstaan Skoene, 18:40
Lien is the eldest child in a dysfunctional family that became very poor overnight. Lien must make her own plans to help her family make money.

7 Jan: Faan se Trein, 21:20
Faan has never outgrown the innocence and simplicity of a young child. When Faan's father passes away, he leaves all his belongings to be divided up between Faan and the church.

7 Jan: Verskietende Ster, 19:50
Phillip Stuurman's world collapses the day his mother passes away. While his father, Tomas has already lost hope in life, Phillip tries to make his dream of becoming a pianist a reality.

SuperSport turns SuperSport 1 into a 'Super Showcase' channel for 21 days from today on DStv, looking back at sport's biggest moments and stars of the past few years.


SuperSport has turned the SuperSport 1 (DStv 201) channel into a "Super Showcase" channel from today for the next 21 days, rebroadcasting the highlights, lowlights and blowouts of the sport world's biggest moments of the past few years.

According to SuperSport the channel will "reflect some of the most memorable sports moments of recent years" and will take a nostalgic look at sport, including names ranging from Wayde van Niekerk to Serena Williams’ astonishing success, SA golf’s glory boys, FIFA’s World Cup films, football legends, boxing mega fights.

The channel will also broadcast sport documentaries like Fire in Babylon. The only interruptions to this omnibus of sport lookbacks will be to accommodate live European rugby, including the Pro14.

SuperSport 1 (SS1) will be available to all DStv packages from DStv Access upwards.

Friday 15 December – Athletics and Swimming
The Best of: Mo Farah, SA long jump winners, plus Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk,
Memorable Moments from the Olympics and Usain Bolt
The Best of SA Swimmers, specifically Chad Le Clos and Cameron van den Burgh.

Saturday 16 December - Rugby
Tribute to Jonah Lomu and Joost van der Westhuizen
South Africa’s World Cup Wins in 1995 and 2007

Sunday 17 December - Rugby
Kenya win the Cup Final at the Singapore Sevens in 2015/16
South Africa defend their Cup title against New Zealand at the 2013/14 and 2015/15 Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens
South Africa crowned winners in the 2016/17 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series

Monday 18 December - Cycling
The 100th Tour de France from 2015, as well as Chris Froome’s wins
Celebrating SA MTB – Burry Stander’s career and Greg Minnaar’s UCI DH wins

Tuesday 19 December - Football
FIFA World Cup Films from 1966 – 2010 Once In A Lifetime

Wednesday 20 December - Golf
The Best of SA golf players: Trevor Immelman, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Branden Grace and Brandon Stone

Thursday 21 December - Tennis
Serena Williams & Novak Djokovic’s careers, from their first Grand Slam win until now

Friday 22 December - Football
Featured shows on some of the Greatest Football Legends of our time

Saturday 23 December - Golf
The best International Golfers: Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Trevor Immelman
SA Wins at The Open, and the Best of the Ryder Cup
Sergio Garcia winning The Masters 2017
President’s Cup highlights of 2003, and the 2017 Official Film

Sunday 24 December – Rugby and Football
The Bulls, the only SA team to win three Super Rugby titles, the 2017 Super Rugby review and the Currie Cup Campaigns
AFCON finals from 2010 to 2017, Mamelodi Sundowns conquering Africa in the CAF Champions League

Monday 25 December - Cricket
The cricketers who helped South Africa achieve in the great 438 match against Australia, followed by THE match
In Conversation with – Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers, Allan Donald and Mark Boucher

Tuesday 26 December - Boxing
The Mayweather Mega-fights, Muhammad Ali the Greatest Documentary

Wednesday 27 December - Tennis
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s stellar careers

Thursday 28 December - Football
Historical UEFA Champions League Final highlights from 1998/99, 2004/2005 – 2016/2017

Friday 29 December – Golf, Athletics and Motorsport
South African wins on the Sunshine and European Tour circuits
Great moments in the athletics world
Brad Binder and Marc Marquez, who who made headlines locally and internationally

Saturday 30 December - Cricket
Great moments from the ICC world, including World T20 and Champions Trophy
Fire in Babylon / West Indies Documentary – Record Breaking Windies Team of 1970’s and 1980’s

Sunday 31 December - Variety
A look back at the 2011 – 2016 seasons

Monday 1 January – Rugby, Athletics, Marathon and Football
The Springboks’ season
Africa’s best achievers on the athletic and road running world stage
Flashback to African football’s glorious moments with focus on past AFCON finals

Tuesday 2 January - Cricket
Meet some of the greatest local and international cricketers of our time, including Milestones and Record Breakers

Wednesday 3 January - Football
Ahead of the FA Cup we bring you some great FA cup Finals from 2011/2012 – 2016/2017

Thursday 4 January – Variety
A look back at what the 2011 – 2016 seasons brought to your World of Champions.  

SABC staffers strike enters Day 2 as workers demand a 10% increase, SABC programming is disrupted and broadcaster puts 'heightened security plans' in place.

Image: SABC

A nationwide strike by SABC staffers is continuing on Friday for a second day after SABC programming on the South African public broadcaster was disrupted on Thursday when disgruntled SABC staffers demanding a 10% salary increase, started to take part in the protected strike of trade unions Bemawu and the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

Striking SABC staffers want a 10% salary hike while the beleaguered and cash-strapped SABC that is struggling to pay its ballooning debt, previously offered a 0% but is now offering a 4.5% increase backdated to October 2017.

On Thursday SABC staffers took part in public protests at the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park, as well as SABC provincial offices in Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth and elsewhere, and did the same on Friday.

On Friday workers at the South African parastatal signal distributor, Sentech, indicated that they are preparing to strike as well in solidarity with the SABC staffers.

Cosatu in a statement says the striking SABC workers have their support.

"The minister of communications and the SABC board need to intervene and make sure that the reasonable demands of the workers are met by the management."

"For years these workers have been the only shining light at SABC; they are the ones, who have kept the lights on when the politicians and their deployees were looting and collapsing the institution."

The strike comes just before the SABC is supposed to cover the ANC political party's 54th elective conference where it will be choosing its next president and the de facto president of South Africa.

CWU spokesperson Tshepo Matlou said SABC staffers are threatening to cut off the coverage of the ANC's elective conference.

"To not broadcast the ANC conference is not our decision. We don't want that to happen. But it just so happens that the workers are outside protesting and that's the SABC’s fault. The nation therefore will not be able to watch the conference".

Hannes Du Buisson, Bemawu president said the SABC "said they are in financial trouble which is not true because the SABC interim board is getting R3.9 million".

He said the R3.9 million payout to the SABC interim board was the biggest payout to a SABC board in the history of the broadcaster for the time served.

On Thursday SABC current affairs shows and news bulletins didn't take place as SABC workers started their stayaway. Several news bulletins on Thursday and Friday cut the number of stories dramatically and repeated old news stories.

"Programming on television has gone ahead as planned with no interruptions," said SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago in a statement.

"Out of the 19 SABC radio stations, only three were affected, namely Thobela FM, Munghana Lonene FM and Ikwekwezi FM."

"Their respective current affairs shows that did not go on air, as a result of presenters pulling out of the shows at the last minute".

The SABC said that the broadcaster "had received reports of intimidation of employees entering the work premises and blockage of entrance points by those who are participating in the strike".

"Management views this matter in a serious light and will be engaging with the SABC's Protection Services, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the joint planning committee to attend to this matter urgently, to ensure the safety of all employees who are not participating in the strike".

The SABC said it has "heightened security plans in place" within and around the premises of the SABC".

His former female make-up artist says Carter Oosterhouse forced her to give him multiple blowjobs during episode shoots, ejaculated on her face; feared losing her job.


His former make-up artist Kailey Kaminsky says the home renovating TV presenter Carter Oosterhouse forced her to give him multiple blowjobs and would ejaculate on her face, while Carter Oosterhouse insists it was "an intimate relationship" that was "100 percent mutual".

The lesbian Kailey Kaminsky has come forward claiming that she gave in to Carter Oosterhouse's demands for oral sex because she, 34 at the time, feared losing her job, while Carter Oosterhouse in a statement claims that it was never "indicated to me in any way that Kailey was uncomfortable".

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the story, with Carter Oosterhouse saying "the reality is that I knew it was consensual because she initiated it the first time and many of the 15 or so times we had oral sex thereafter".

Carter Oosterhouse is the star of shows like Carter Can on The Home Channel (DStv 176) and a judge on The Great Christmas Light Fight on M-Net (DStv 101).

Kailey Kaminsky is according to Carter Oosterhouse the only person working on the same show as him where he is the star, that he had sex with.

According to Kailey, Carter Oosterhouse persistently harassed her, saying "You know what would be a good idea? If you went down on me". " I made it clear that I did not think it would be fun," she says, noting that Carter Oosterhouse was "determined to get a blow job".

He allegedly kept pestering her until she gave in, fearing that she might get fired. After the first time, Kailey gave Carter Oosterhouse oral sex several more times, typically in the middle of episode shoots.

"When he would assault me, he insisted on finishing on my face - every time - knowing that I had to go back out and work. I asked him about that. He said, 'It's just what I wanted to do".

Kailey Kaminsky told two female producers working on Carter Can during the production about what was happening and one producer confirmed that Kailey had spoken with her.

Kailey eventually lost her job on Carter Can and is no longer a professional make-up artist.

In a statement Carter Oosterhouse says "I had an intimate relationship with Kailey 9 years ago and it was 100% mutual and consensual. In no way did I ever feel, nor was it ever indicated to me, that Kailey was uncomfortable during our intimate relationship."

"I would have never done anything that I was not sure was mutually agreeable."

"The reality is that I knew it was consensual because she initiated it the first time and many of the 15 or so times we had relations thereafter."

South African film, The Wound, with director John Trengove makes the list of 9 shortlisted films for the 90th Oscars.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed the 9 films advancing in this year's 90th Oscar race for best foreign language film with South Africa’s The Wound from director John Trengove making the shortlist.

The Oscar committee will whittle down the list to a top 5 and those final films in the category will be announced alongside all of the other Oscar nominations on Tuesday, 23 January 2018.

The Wound has been a controversial film in South Africa that some traditional leaders want banned, and that follows a closeted gay relationship between two men in the context of the Xhosa initiation ritual.

The 9 finalists for nominations in 2017 as per the Academy’s press statement are:

Chile, “A Fantastic Woman”, Sebastián Lelio, director
Germany, “In the Fade”, Fatih Akin, director
Hungary, “On Body and Soul”, Ildikó Enyedi, director
Israel, “Foxtrot”, Samuel Maoz, director
Lebanon, “The Insult”, Ziad Doueiri, director
Russia, “Loveless”, Andrey Zvyagintsev, director
Senegal, “Félicité”, Alain Gomis, director
South Africa, “The Wound”, John Trengove, director
Sweden, “The Square”, Ruben Östlund, director

The 90th Oscars will take place on Sunday 4 March 2018 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

On Wednesday, The Wound was named the year’s Best Foreign Film by the African American Film Critics Association.

The AAFC, the world’s largest group of professional black film critics, will present the award at the 9th annual AAFCA Awards ceremony on 7 February in Hollywood.

MultiChoice launching a 'thorough investigation' after an employee claims that she was raped by more than one senior DStv colleague in 2014.


MultiChoice says the satellite pay-TV operator operating the DStv service will be launching what it called in a statement a "thorough investigation" after a South African woman claims that she was raped by senior MultiChoice colleagues in 2014.

When the victim complained to a MultiChoice executive about further issues regarding the alleged abusive culture inside MultiChoice, the executive called Simon allegedly told her in an email: "cheers".


"MultiChoice has noted with grave concern very serious allegations via a parody social media account of an alleged rape of one if its employees by her senior colleagues."

"The employee had previously advised the company that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted in 2014, but made no allegation of the involvement of co-employees," says MultiChoice.

"The company has provided the employee with support since this traumatic incident."

"The accused staff member identified by the account denies the allegations."

"Given the serious nature of the offence, the company will immediately conduct a thorough investigation of this matter," says MultiChoice in its statement.

On social media support has been building for a public protest to MultiChoice's MultiChoice City headquarters in Bram Fischer Drive in Randburg, Johannesburg on Friday morning 15 December at 10:00 under the hashtags #OccupyMultiChoice and #JusticeforGabiseleNgcobo.

Protesters are furious that MultiChoice has allegedly not done enough to protect and to help the woman and are planning on taking their public grievances to the pay-TV operator's door on Friday morning.

Julia Modise, MultiChoice's general manager for human resources on Wednesday this week sent an email to the alleged victim, asking to "meet with you to understand the matter and establish how the company can provide further support".

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Disney buys majority of 21 Century Fox in historic $52.4 billion deal that will not just reshape Hollywood but also the TV and content production landscape internationally including Africa and South Africa.


On Thursday morning the expected announcement was made that The Mouse House has taken over the Fox Hole when The Walt Disney Company said that it's buying the majority of 21st Century Fox in a historic entertainment biz deal that will have not just massive ramifications for Hollywood but a rippling effect internationally and that will also impact content and TV channels as seen in Africa and South Africa.

The Disney-Fox deal will change Hollywood and the content production and distribution landscape internationally forever.

Disney is doing it so that it can start its own, well-populated subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service that would be able to successfully compete against the growing global dominance of Netflix.

In an memo to Fox staffers, Fox boss Rupert Murdoch hinted at possible firings, saying "we are deeply committed to finding opportunities for our people as well as ensuring that anyone impacted is well taken care of".

Fearful Foxers globally are scared and dismayed, apprehensive about the potential firing of staffers since there's huge global overlap and duplication in terms of the distribution, marketing and international divisions between Disney and Fox - with Disney topping Fox in all areas.

In the deal worth $52.4 billion, Disney will gain control of Fox Networks Group International and its 350 TV channels ran globally in 170 countries.

Several of these channels are seen in Africa and South Africa on several pay-TV services ranging from MultiChoice's DStv, StarSat operated by China's StarTimes Media SA and On Digital Media (ODM), as well as Cell C's new video streaming service, black, and on StarTimes elsewhere in Africa and pay-TV operators like Zuku.

Disney in the deal is also taking over what will amount to a seismic shift in Hollywood's content business.

Diseny takes over Fox's 20th Century Fox movie studio (Avatar, The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool) and the Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 film studios.

Disney also gets Fox's TV production studios called 20th Century Fox Television and FX Productions that produces shows for both the FOX channel like The Simpsons but also for other channels like This is Us, Homeland and Modern Family seen on M-Net (DStv 101).

Disney also gets the pay-TV channels like National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD through taking over National Geographic Partners - something that quickly became evident during early negotiations, but also all of the FX channels, and the 39% stake in the Sky pay-TV operator in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Disney also takes over Star India that operates 69 channels reaching 720 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries, with some of the Star pay-TV channels that are also being distributed in South Africa and Africa.

Disney also takes over the international Endemol Shine Group that also operates in Africa and South Africa and Endemol Shine Africa that produces shows ranging from Isidingo on SABC3 to My Kitchen Rules South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101).

In relation to South Africa and Africa, Disney gets things like the nascent production unit, FOX Networks Group Original Productions, that the FOX Networks Group Africa headquartered in Johannesburg for instance conceptualised last year and got off the ground just this year.

Disney will also gain a majority share in Hulu since it will be taking over Fox's 30% share and added to its own existing 30% gets a 60% controlling stake in the American streaming service.

Fox will keep the FOX broadcasting channel in America (but in America only), the FOX News Channel, the FOX Business Channel and the FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 channels.

It creates the very awkward situation where, although the FOX channel in America belongs to Fox, the FOX channel as seen on DStv and StarSat and FOX and FOX+ on Cell C, will actually belong to Disney that already runs its own set of channels in South Africa and Africa.

In a statement released by The Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger, Disney chairperson and CEO confirmed that Disney is acquiring National Geographic Partners and FOX Networks Group International.

"The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world."

"Bringing on board 21st Century Fox's entertainment content and capabilities, along with its broad international footprint and a world-class team of managers and storytellers, will allow Disney to further its efforts to provide a more compelling entertainment experience through its direct-to-consumer offerings".

"The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite The X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love."

"Through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic - whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it."

Disney says the Fox assets acquisition is expected to yield at least $2 billion in cost savings "from efficiencies realized through the combination of businesses".


In a 1998 episode of Fox's The Simpsons entitled "When You Dish Upon a Star", the show predicted that Disney would one day buy 20th Century Fox and would become "a division of Walt Disney Co."

BREAKING. Discovery's TLC Entertainment on DStv dropping the 'Entertainment' from January 2018 as it goes back to its abbreviated name after 4 years.


Discovery's TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform will be reverting back to being known as just TLC and will be dropping the "Entertainment" add-on from its name from January 2018.

Discovery changed TLC to TLC Entertainment in October 2013 when it added programming from Oprah Winfrey's OWN but after 4 years it is now changing back to just TLC.

According to Discovery and in response to a media enquiry, Discovery tells TVwithThinus that the move of TLC Entertainment back to just TLC is part of a wider global brand alignment. "The channel itself and its content will remain the same," says Discovery.

In other changes to Discovery Networks' African TV pride, the Animal Planet (DStv 183) channel is abruptly getting culled from DStv at the end of December 2017 in just two weeks' time. Animal Planet was carried on DStv for 14 years since October 2003.

These changes are very likely big parts of the reason why Discovery Networks didn't hold any year-end upfront presentation for South African advertisers and media this year, marking the first time in at least 7 years that Discovery in South Africa broke with its own annual upfront modus operandi.

New shows on TLC will include Dr Miami, Judge Jenkins and The Healer while new wedding shows Diva Brides and Curvy Brides Boutique will join returning seasons of 90 days to Wed and Surrounded by Daughters.

Discovery Networks in South Africa's big local push on the back-to-abbreviated TLC in early 2018 will be around its new local show with Thando Thabethe. 

Her upcoming TV talk show on TLC (DStv 135) in early 2018 that will be entitled Thando Bares All.

BREAKING. Discovery's Animal Planet axed from DStv after after 14 years at the end of December; MultiChoice says other 4 Discovery channels will remain in new carriage deal.


Animal Planet (DStv 183) is the next channel getting culled from MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service, with the channel from Discovery Networks International that will go dark in two weeks' time at the end of December after 14 years.

TLC Entertainment on DStv is also dropping the "Entertainment" and reverting back to just being known as TLC from January 2018.

These changes are very likely big parts of the reason why Discovery Networks didn't hold any year-end upfront presentation for South African advertisers and media this year, marking the first time in at least 7 years that Discovery in South Africa broke with its own annual upfront modus operandi.

Discovery Networks International for the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) region didn't respond when asked on Monday through its FleishmanHillard SA PR agency if Animal Planet is being removed off DStv, but on Thursday morning MultiChoice confirmed that Animal Planet is getting axed.

DStv added Animal Planet in 2003 but started cutting it back two years ago when the channel from Discovery was scaled back in December 2015 and removed from DStv Compact, making it only available to DStv Premium and DStv  Compact Plus subscribers only.

Recently DStv subscribers watching Animal Planet noticed a warning advisory on the Animal Planet DStv electronic episode guide (EPG) saying the channel will be discontinued on 30 December.

Interestingly, Discovery Networks CEEMEA didn't have any end-of-year upfront for advertisers and the press in South Africa for the first time in years.

Discovery's conspicuously absence at the annual upfront show-and-tell circuit was noticeable since Discovery in South Africa's upfront is widely regarded by the TV, advertising and media industry as the best annual upfront presentation year after year for over the last half a decade since at least 2010.

MultiChoice says despite Animal Planet being removed from DStv, "customers will not miss out, as some of the much-loved shows will be available on the other Discovery channels, including shows such as Treehouse Masters, which will move to Discovery Channel, while shows such as Tanked and Insane Pools: Off The Deep End will move to Discovery Family."

MultiChoice says it will be launching a new channel from Discovery in mid-2018 with some of Discovery's other animal and wildlife content that will be made available on this unnamed channel as well.

Animal Planet has been left out of a new MultiChoice carriage deal with Discovery Networks International that will see the Discovery Channel, TLC Entertainment, Discovery Family and Investigation Discovery (ID) continue on the DStv platform.

MultiChoice says the new carriage agreement includes "extended video-on-demand and Catch Up hours for Discovery’s entire portfolio" and for the first time TLC Entertainment, ID and Discovery Family shows".

"All four of Discovery’s channels will be available to launch on DStv Now from early 2018, meaning DStv customers will be able to enjoy the best of Discovery, anywhere, any time".

MultiChoice will also upgrade ID, Discovery Family and TLC Entertainment to high definition (HD) channels on DStv soon.

"Our customers love the Discovery family of channels and we're pleased that we could renew this agreement, including offering this world-class content to our customers wherever they are, to watch whenever they are ready," says Yolisa Phahle, CEO: General Entertainment at MultiChoice.

Discovery has included a statement in the MultiChoice statement, but isn't saying anything about the axing of Animal Planet.

"Our channels and content have been providing hours of enjoyment for DStv customers for many years and we’re thrilled to continue this legacy, with an unbeatable slate of programming across our portfolio which, thanks to this renewed agreement, DStv customers will now be able to access whenever and however it suits them," says Dilek Doyran, the vice president and country manager for Africa at Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

Discovery has been asked again for a comment on Thursday on Animal Planet's axing after confirmation that the channel will be removed from DStv.

When or if Discovery CEEMEA responds about its channel leaving the airwaves in South Africa after 14 years, that response will be added here.

Discovery's TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) channel will also from January 2018 revert back to just being called TLC and will be dropping the "Entertainment" add-on from its name, TVwithThinus has confirmed.

Discovery changed TLC to TLC Entertainment in October 2013 when it added programming from Oprah Winfrey's OWN but after 4 years it is now changing back to just TLC.

According to Discovery the move of TLC Entertainment back to just TLC is part of a wider global brand alignment. "The channel itself and its content will remain the same," says Discovery.

White House to Omarosa: 'You're fired', again, as villainous reality star tries to storm Donald Trump and is thrown out.


The villainous reality TV star and now White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman (43) just got abruptly fired by Donald Trump. Again.

The pot-stirrer, infamous for whipping up a torrent of conflict and infighting in those around her wherever she goes, was dramatically thrown out of the White House in Washington D.C. and banned from the premises, although the White House is trying to put a nicer spin on it saying Omarosa has "resigned".

The truth is however that Omarosa - who rose to fame on the American version of The Apprentice in 2004 where she got fired by Donald Trump and again in the later Celebrity Apprentice and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice seasons - was dumped by the White House.

The ruthless Omarosa reportedly flew into a fit of rage - screaming and cursing in a tirade as she tried to make her way to Donald Trump himself to try and plead her case, just like she did in the TV show.

That's when things got physical and Omarosa was unceremoniously removed from the White House's West Wing and her access card cancelled.

While White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that Omarosa has "resigned" and will be gone by 20 January 2018 to "pursue other opportunities", Omarosa was actually fired by Donald Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly.

The Daily News reports that according to sources, Omarosa "threw a tantrum in the White House and demanded she be allowed to speak with the president" on Tuesday.

"General Kelly didn't allow her to speak to him. That’s why she was cursing and threatening. Omarosa was then unceremoniously escorted from the West Wing. It got physical and she had to be removed".

White House reporter April Ryan who work for America's Urban Radio Networks, reported that Omarosa "acted very vulgar and cursed a lot and said she helped elect Donald Trump". General Kelly said "no, you did not".

General Kelly told Omarosa that "this was not like going to the principal's office".

According to The Wall Street Journal, a White House official said that Omarosa was "physically dragged and escorted off the campus".

Another White House official told The Daily Beast that the shocking incident "was actually the closest thing to reality TV I'd experienced since getting here".

According to insiders, Omarosa has been another one of the larger-than-life personalities inside the White House causing chaos as they all battled for supremacy, Apprentice-style, feeding Donald Trump gossip about each other, jockeying for position and telling Donald Trump bad news that would inflame situations and infuriate him.

Donald Trump appointed Omarosa as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, although insiders say they were never sure what Omarosa in this PR post actually did or were responsible for and helped to create the same toxic and hostile environment inside the White House as she did on The Apprentice.

In August Omarosa made herself the focus of a chaotic National Association of Black Journalists Convention in New Orleans where things quickly got confrontational as the aggressive Omarosa refused to answer questions about the Trump administration and told journalists to "ask me a question about me".

Then there was her jaw-dropping, unannounced 39-person "bridal party" and extended lavish photo shoot at the White House that shocked White House security and caught everyone off guard.

America's Secret Service in a statement confirmed that Omarosa has effectively been banned from the White House and that it "deactivated the individual’s pass which grants access to the complex".

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SA film critics react to latest Star War's latest film, The Last Jedi: 'Sh*t, that was amazing!'


Ecstatic and teary-eyed South African film critics walked out of the cinema yesterday evening after Disney’s closely guarded press preview screening for the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, unable to contain their emotions and excitement with comments ranging from "shit, that was amazing", to "I enjoyed that the most since Empire".

Directed by Rian Johnson, The Last Jedi picks up where Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended in 2015, with Episode VIII that will likely become the 4th biggest film opening of all time, and definitely the biggest film earner of the year, including South Africa.

While American and United Kingdom reviews are out and available online since late Tuesday, TVwithThinus that has seen the film along with all other South African print and online publications are under an embargo and can only publish online reviews on Thursday 14 December from 10:01am.

Reviews of The Last Jedi in South Africa may only appear in print from Friday.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in South African theatres on Friday 15 December with Disney Africa that has created a dedicated, special website, www.thelastjedi.co.za for South African audiences.

It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis and will introduce new planets, hew characters and several new creatures ranging from crystal foxes to penguin-like porgs.

While reviews are strictly forbidden until Thursday and critics have been requested not to include spoilers in reviews so as to keep the many twists and surprises a secret for cinema-goers, the insta-reactions of film critics to the film as they leave cinemas can be reported.

On Tuesday South African critics got their first glimpse at the next installment in the Lucasfilm story set in that galaxy far, far away.

In Cape Town, a Disney staffer, aptly named Luke (but not Skywalker), told the gathered critics before the preview started that the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (Safact) is present and monitoring.

Luke said he himself wouldn't be watching the preview screening; Disney staffers are all getting together on Friday to watch The Last Jedi together.

Critics were sternly told that cellphones need to be packed away and that any person seen with even the smallest light from any device will immediately be escorted from the cinema, the device checked and content, if any recorded, immediately deleted.

Two and a half hours later, chattering critics emerged from Cinema 2, with several looking emotional.

Some stood around in groups in the Ster Kinekor Nouveau lobby at the V&A Waterfront, momentarily huddling and not dispersing – as if to first recollect themselves and to get somewhat of a grip on what they’ve just seen and experienced.

"Shit, that was amazing!" was one critic's immediate reaction, while another said "I enjoyed that the most since Empire [Strikes Back]; every single scene".

At least two critics looked emotional, as if close to shedding physical tears. "Did you expect that?" one asked the other.

"Nope," was the reply.

On Wednesday NASA confirmed that The Last Jedi will also be shown in space. 

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will soon get to see the new Star Wars film when the film will be beamed up as a digital file.

SABC News correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease re-elected as president of the United Nations Correspondents' Association (UNCA).


The SABC News correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease in New York has been re-elected as president of the United Nations Correspondents' Association (UNCA) for a second term.

Sherwin Bryce-Pease is the first journalist and correspondent from Africa to ever be elected to hold this position.

REVIEW. Tali's Wedding Diary on Showmax a funny, cringe-filled mock-doc series for our self-obsessed age.


Successfully managing to channel a vain yet unsecure, a bossy yet socially powerless, and a self-obsessed yet with low EQ self-awareness type persona worlds removed from her "Suzelle DIY" character, comedian Julia Anastasopoulos delights in her cringe-filled new Showmax mock-doc series Tali's Wedding Diary.

Produced by Sketchbook Studios, created and executive produced by Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger, and also executive produced by Akash BhatiaCandice Fangueiro and Shaamila Fataar, the 8-episode mockumentary series was filmed in Cape Town during this past winter (although you won't be able to tell).

While Julia Anastasopoulos is the bona fide star of the show, the real comedic success of and in Tali's Wedding Diary derives from something not related to any of the actors or their varying acting abilities.

The bulk of the comedy in Tali's Wedding Diary derives from incredibly successful editing and directing.

The camera is (allowed to) sway and veer off to the sides from the mainframed characters, with the end of scenes often masterfully edited to linger for just a split second longer to a secondary character or object, creating wonderful "sight-gags".

This directing and filming technique, coupled with supremely clever editing are the true stars of the show.

As scenes are allowed to breathe, viewers are able to not just grasp, but to laugh at the sharp irony and often cringey, socially awkward, non-verbal, visual humour cleverly locked into the scenes of this satirical series.

The visual gags - purposefully and cleverly "lifted" out through micro silent moments - and the meticulous editing to allow the camera to "linger" for just the right few seconds more, is what unlocks the "punchlines" throughout the delightful series.

Credit should go to the director of photography, James Adey, and Richard Starkey for the clever editing.

Tali's Wedding Diary with an omniscient cameraman and Julia Anastasopoulos as the constantly socially-striving Julia - appearing in a first-person role narrating directly to camera - is a first-of-its-kind for a South African production, taking what kykNET (DStv 144) has done with its mockumentary Hotel one step further.

Surrounded by a coterie of long-suffering passive (but not aggressive) "subjects" all revolving around (and unable to escape) Tali's histrionic orbit, Julia Anastasopoulos deftly amps up the egotistical and out-of-control vagaries of a woman not just obsessed with "selfies" but also wanting to create the appearance of a "perfect" wedding.

Viewers who are possibly familiar with Chris Lilley's superb Australian mockumentary Summer Heights High and Angry Boys, Netflix's new American Vandal, or even The Office and Parks and Recreation will instantly get, like, and understand Tali's Wedding Diary on Showmax.


There's somewhat of an unevenness between some of the episodes of Tali's Wedding Diary, although fortunately the first episode that sets the scene and introduces most of the characters, is the best of the first bunch and fulfills its purpose to get a viewer into binge-watching the whole season.

Some episodes, like the second episode in which Tali chooses bridesmaids, comes across as just a tad too rough; a bit too bluntly on-the-nose.

While rooting for the main character, by the second and third episode, viewers will get an inkling that the show that starts out on a bright Cape Town beach, is going to veer into darker and more negative territory.

The fact is that several aspects of Tali's personality actually isn't likeable or laudable but it's a given that once you start watching, you will likely continue to find out if a wedding will ever really happen.

The language in Tali's Wedding Diary also deserves a mention.

It's perplexing as to why Showmax and the show did it - since it makes it less suitable for a mainstream audience and means less viewers will be able to watch it - but a warning that the producers and scripts include explicit language including "shit" and "fuck".

The salty language makes Tali's Wedding Diary not suitable as family viewing with a higher age restriction that what the show should have. Not having these four letter words in scenes wouldn't have made scenes weaker and their inclusion doesn't make scenes feel more authentic.


Anton Taylor is a treat as the "dynamic sensitive" and energy-absorbing husband-to-be Darren with the actor exhibiting smart "underplay" restraint to remain the straight foil to Tali's over-the-top antics.

An earnest and funny Glen Biederman-Pam as the real estate agent up-and-comer Rael displays excellent comedic timing as the run-along sidekick.

Tali's Wedding Diary could easily do a spin-off series following the hapless Darren and Rael's real estate ventures, with their pitiful and hilarious side-show adventures that could honestly be a show of its own.

Tali's Wedding Diary is available on Showmax from 14 December 2017.


ALSO READ: Showmax on its first real original production, Tali's Wedding Diary: "Part of a fundamental shift in our content strategy where we knew we needed to be different".

Showmax on its first real original production, Tali's Wedding Diary: 'Part of a fundamental shift in our content strategy where we knew we needed to be different'.


Showmax's first real own, original local South African production, Tali's Wedding Diary, available from 14 December, is the result of a content strategy shift at the video streaming service that realised that it had to be different from competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and had to start making its own local South African stories.

Tali's Wedding Diary, filmed in Cape Town, is rolling out from 14 December 2017 on Naspers' subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service as a quirky, 8-episode mockumentary show starring comedian Julia Anastasopoulos, produced by Sketchbook Studios.

Besides being Showmax's first real local and original South African production not co-produced and cross-financed with one of MultiChoice's DStv TV channels, Tali's Wedding Diary is also the very first local South African mockumentary-style show with a main character acting as a first person, straight-to-camera narrator.

While Netflix already has several of these American-made mockumentary styled shows with a few that have also been made for linear broadcast channels in recent years in countries like Australia, the genre is very new and still largely unfamiliar to South African viewing audiences, with Tali's Wedding Diary breaking new ground for South Africa's TV industry.

Tali's Wedding Diary is created by Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger, and executive produced by Akash Bhatia, Candice Fangueiro and Shaamila Fataar.

"Tali's Wedding Diary is our first, first real Showmax Original production, says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax's head of content for Africa.

"We launched Showmax two years ago and this year we saw a fundamental shift in our content strategy where we knew we needed to be different."

"We needed to be different. We had to start creating content; producing local stories that South Africans would come to fall in love with and the passion and dedication of Julia Anastasopoulos is testament to that."

"Just by her Instagram following you can see that South Africans love her. So I think we're heading in the right direction."

Candice Fangueiro says Showmax is starting to give "writers and directors a canvass for their visions, and an opportunity to showcase all of the amazing South African talent we have in the country".

"We have to start acquiring new and different shows that have never been seen before and we had to start pushing the boundaries of putting our customers first."

About possible further seasons for Tali's Wedding Diary, Candice Fangueiro says "there's no looking back and there's only looking forward now. We're looking forward to possibly a Tali's Baby Diary. And a Tali's Travel Diary."

About the commissioning and production process Candice Fangueiro says "we've had our ups and our downs; we've learnt lessons, but we've come out on the other side with something really cool, really unique, something different and something that we've seen that South Africans really connect with at this point in time."

Showmax is looking at possibly dubbing Tali's Wedding Diary and also making it available in Poland where the streaming service also has a presence.

"We're so proud of Tali's Wedding Diary," says Chris Savides, Showmax head of Africa.

ALSO READ: REVIEW: Tali's Wedding Diary on Showmax a funny, cringe-filled mock-doc series for our self-obsessed age.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LET THE RIVER RUN. Sindi Dlathu to shock as devil diva in 1Magic's new diamond drama.


The new diamond drama, The River, will start as a new locally-produced telenovela on the new 1Magic channel on Monday 29 January 2018 with M-Net that's managed to lure well-known TV talent like Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala, Don Mlangeni and Motshidi Motshegwa to put a face to the new channel.

Like SABC3's Isidingo produced by Endemol Shine South Africa, The River, produced by Tshedza Pictures, chose a South African mining community as the fictional setting where a clash between downtrodden yet aspiring blue collar workers and high-society wealth-wielders will play out when the telenovela starts on weekdays at 20:00.

Similar to the first local drama forays of Mzansi Magic, The River will combine the conflict inherent in township struggles where ordinary working class South Africans have bigger dreams, but are in part prevented from realising those aspirations due to capitalist greed and pervasive corruption within the upper classes.

The River will be the flagship show on the soon-to-launch 1Magic (DStv 103) that is replacing the VUZU AMP channel after three years that tried to court a younger viewership.

The creation of 1Magic is signaling M-Net's latest shift to a bigger focus on broader, general local entertainment through telenovelas and dramas to try and lure a wider audience than just youth viewers, something that the VUZU and VUZU AMP channels have struggled with.

"The River is just the type of drama that fans have been waiting for," says Reneilwe Sema, the M-Net director of local entertainment.

"The storyline combines the allure and ruthlessness of the business world, with the raw essence of township struggles, making for the type of story lines our viewers love."

Sindi Dlathu who left SABC2's Venda-soap Muvhango for this new top billing role, will now appear as Lindiwe, the ruthless matriarch of a mining family.

It will be a stunning role-reversal character portrayal for Sindi Dlathu, beloved by millions of South African viewers for her Thandaza Mokoena character in Muvhango, with viewers who are going to be shocked and bowled over by her cunning, vicious and "love to hate her" new evil on-screen persona.

When the stiletto'ed Lindiwe, living in an upper-crust mansion one the one side of a river, discovers that a township community on the other side is unaware that they're sitting on a valuable diamond treasure, she is adamant to secure the land and riches and will let nothing stand in her way.

Desperate to unearth the diamonds, she is as quick to put bodies into the ground when people stand in her way.

Hlomla Dandala who was in Isidingo and headlined M-Net's very first "Africa drama" Jacob's Cross a decade ago in 2007, returns to M-Net as Zweli, the husband of Lindiwe.

Newcomer Larona Moagi plays Itumeleng, a young character from the township, described as a "feisty rebel who refused to be silenced and roll over when her family and community become casualties of greed and excess" and who wants to put an end to Lindiwe's "ruthless gluttony" at the expense of the local mining community.

The veretan actor Don Mlangeni plays Thato, Itumeleng's dad, with veteran actress Moshidi Motshegwa appearing as her mom, Malefu, a "pillar of strength in the family and township community".

Lawrence Maleka will appear in the role of Zolani, the adopted son of Lindiwe who "bites into forbidden fruit" and is the eyewitness to a terrible tragedy.

Monday, December 11, 2017

M-Net replacing VUZU AMP with 1Magic on DStv Premium from February 2018, adds local dramas like The River, Unmarried.


Three years after launching the M-Net AMP and M-Net Edge channels in October 2014 with M-Net Edge that had already fallen away at the beginning of 2017, M-Net and DStv are now also ending VUZU AMP and replacing it from 29 January 2018 with 1Magic (DStv 103).

Like VUZU AMP, 1Magic will only be available for DStv Premium subscribers.

For now, M-Net says that the lower-tiered VUZU channel on DStv channel 116 will remain, although M-Net says the change from VUZU AMP to 1Magic is to align all the channel names to the "Magic" moniker.

"For now VUZU on 116 will remain as a channel as we will communicate should there be any changes to that channel."

VUZU AMP has struggled to gain ratings traction the past three years and with the rebranding to 1Magic and a content programming shuffle, M-Net hopes to help lift the existing VUZU AMP ratings closer to that of the existing set of Mzansi Magic channels.

M-Net says 1Magic will carry local drama series, telenovelas, reality shows, movies and international reality, drama and films.

1Magic will broadcast series like The Fixer, How To Get Away with Murder, The Real Housewives, Power and later in 2018 the latest seasons of Ballers, Queen Sugar and Insecure.

In response to a media enquiry about the channel change, M-Net says 1Magic will be "introducing a bigger exclusive local content slate than what we currently have on VUZU AMP".

"The name change was necessary in order for the brand to fit into the M-Net brand architecture where all our channels across the continent carry the name "magic", for instance Zambei Magic, Africa Magic, Maisha Magic and Mzansi Magic".

"The new name is memorable and not specific to any language group as we are appealing to a wide audience that has a viewing appetite for local and international content".

M-Net says this will include firsts like a daily local telenovela to the channel.

On 29 January 2018 when VUZU AMP changes to 1Magic, it will launch a new local telenovela entitled, The River, with Sindi Dlathu, Hlomhla Dandala, Moshidi Motshegwa and Larona Moagi like SABC3's Isidingo set in a mining community.

On 2 February 1Magic will start the new urban drama Unmarried, which unpacks themes of love, urban hustle and bustle, and the daily challenges faced by young urban couples in trying to juggle life and aspirations. 

Unmarried stars Fezile Makhanya, Thembisa Mdoda and Renate Stuurman.

"In line with our vision to be the best African storytellers in the world, M-Net has identified a need to invest in more local entertainment for our viewers, in the premium segment. 1Magic will fill a viewing gap by combining new and exclusive local shows with international content,” says Nkateko Mabaso, M-Net general manager for South Africa.

M-Net’s My Kitchen Rules South Africa couple Machiel and Jamandi after their R1 million win: 'We’re going to have sex tonight'.


After winning R1 million in the first season finale of My Kitchen Rules South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101) on Sunday night, the overjoyed Bloemfontein couple Jamandi (31) and Machiel Bekker (36) talked about boob jobs to the press and said they’re definitely having sex to celebrate their win.

After taking home the title of South Africa’s best home cooks, beating out best friends Charnell and Kerry from Johannesburg in a tense five course cook-off in the final episode of the Endemol Shine South Africa produced show, husband Machiel at the post-show press conference held at MultiChoice City said "me and her tonight are probably going to make love – with the cheque next to us".

"We're going to start dreaming about that money only now because you can't dream of something that's not yours. We were up against very, very tough competitors and very strict judges."

"The thing that's most amazing about what's happened to us now is we didn't expect it. We never in a million years thought that we would get to this point. And Machiel and I have been crying for the past three days, preparing to lose," said Jamandi. "I'm just so overwhelmed."

About the experience Jamandi said the testing and grueling kitchen cooking experience against other teams "were worse than matric".

"On the day that the final episode was filmed, it was our 10 year wedding anniversary. And you know what's so amazing – my mother and father passed away when I was still young but to win today is amazing because it's my father and mother in law's wedding anniversary as well," said Machiel.

Jamandi said "this was the first wedding anniversary we didn't have sex on. So ja, it was difficult."

"For us being common, everyday people, the attention was a lot, but when we got a challenge we stuck together and did what Jamandi and Machiel wanted to do," said Machiel.

"Do you think in a lifetime you would experience something like this?" said Jamandi. "We're this plain, platteland [rural] Kurt Darren, Nicholis Louw people. Yes. Common. We are common," she joked to laughter. "But that's the way we are."

Jamandi said Machiel wanted to marry her "and I just got a boob job – that was the first thing he saw actually", after which Machiel interrupted and said "there was a second boob job as well!"

Jamandi said "until today and winning you never get that confidence that you are good enough. And until today, it's amazing that we won and I still can't believe that we've won. And this is going to change our lives."

"For us it is important to stay humble. And for us the most important person in our life is God and we just give all the thanks to Him because we wouldn't be anywhere without Him. And we have found the purpose for our lives. We have found the purpose why we are here."