UZALO Fights Back Against Critics | Tha Simelane — A Tainted History

Following criticism that UZALO SABC’s 1 telenovela was marginalising KZn talent and denying the province's natives opportunities — claims which I found to be erroneous and frankly laughable given the context that supported those who cried fowl, the show's people have decided to fight back with evidence discrediting the accusations leveled against the show. 

In a statement the show states that the production has not only captured South African audiences through compelling entertainment content (more than 5 million viewers tuned in the first month of airing) but is also proving to be an economic engine, bringing new jobs and economic opportunities to KwaZulu-Natal’s developing TV and film industry.

According to the statement, 
  • Approximately R20 million has been spent on local procurement on human capital and infrastructure investment. 
  • A considerable amount of the production's budget supports local industries such as the hospitality, property leasing and transport businesses in the Durban and KwaMashu areas. 
  • At least 39 crew trainees have received on-the-job training, ensuring skills transfer with an express aim to build up the province’s TV production capacity
  • .A bulk of the on-screen talent featured on UZALO and behind-the-scenes production crew is recruited from KZN, 

The authors of the rebuttal noted that the show, a Stained Glass Pictures production, is a wholly SABC-funded project that forms part of the public broadcaster’s regional TV development strategy.

The presence of UZALO in KZN is also said to have had far-reaching benefits ranging from skills and SMME development and job opportunities. Local residents have so far benefited from employment opportunities, which are permanent and casual in nature. 

Of course anyone in the business who knew about Uzalo knew that the accusations of the show ignoring KZN based talent was nonsense. You can't please everybody and I would not be naive to think the production has no flaws but this was just a far-fetched attempt by some overzealous fame hungry wannabes to get attention. 

Tha Simelane — A Tainted History

While on the issue of being fame hungry, interesting to note that the gentleman quoted in the initial article about these accusation, Tha Simelane, has a history of fabricating stories for media attention. 

A simple google search reveals that Tha once claimed to have had a relationship with Deborah Fraser's husband, a claim that led to an acrimonious end to his and Fraser's friendship. Fraser is quoted as having said of Simelane; 

“I want nothing to do with that boy. I don’t hate him – it’s just that I can’t be friends with him. 

“He embarrassed me and my public image as a gospel star.”
He apparently also has a not so rosy history with actor Melusi Yeni.

Sidenote: Apparently he calls himself "UNONTANDAKUBUKWA" (One who loves to be seen)

UZALO airs every Monday – Wednesday at 8h30p.m. on SABC1.

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