Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Isidingo dumps the struggling SABC3 soap's last original roots with South Africa's black middle class, as the Matabane family is written out.

SABC3's struggling local weekday soap Isidingo produced by Endemol South Africa got rid of its last original South African middle class roots as Ma Agnes, the last original character of the beloved Matabane family, exited the soap on Tuesday evening.

Keketso Semoko's character of Ma Agnes Matabane left The Deep as hotel manager for a farming business in Thaba 'Nchu - her on-screen husband Zeb Matabane (Don Mlangeni) already gone and written out and not appearing on screen due to acrimonious fighting behind-the-scenes - as the soap finished the family's storyline after 16 years on South African television.

Conflict behind the scenes between the soap producers and Don Mlangeni which Endemol South Africa decided to make public, as well as a creative decision to try and renew the soap with new working class characters, led to the decision to jettison the Matabanes after 15 years on South African television.

That decision also meant the loss of Keketso Semoko's character of Ma Agnes, who got an undignified send-off in the soap, leaving alone and walking off of the empty set that served as the Matabane home.

Don Mlangeni's last day on the Isidingo set at Sasani Studios was on Tuesday 29 April, so neither he nor the character was on-set or present for the final real exit scene of Ma Agnes and the Matabanes which was broadcast on Tuesday evening on SABC3.

Following the disciplinary hearing of Endemol South Africa with Don Mlangeni, there hasn't been any further developments between the production company and the actor, however, he won't be back and Keketso Semoko remained a month longer to film further final scenes for the arranged Matabane family exit from the soap.

The script however kept referencing the character of Zebedee after his on-screen departure, and Keketso Semoko filmed her last scene - broadcast this evening - a month after Don Mlangeni's last working day - on Friday 30 May.