Sarafina Breaks Television Records With 5.6Million Viewers

For the first time ever, this year in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the ‘Soweto Uprising’ of 16 June 1976  Ster-Kinekor, Nu Metro, Times Media and hosted free screenings of the South African musical Sarafina! But it was the television channel that scored the most from the historic event. 

Directed by Darrell James Roodt, the film which stars legends Leleti Khumalo, Mbongeni Ngema, John Kani, Robert Whitehead, Miriam Makeba and Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, attracted the highest number of viewers for the channel for the entire month on June — of all shows. 

Sarafina pulled an impressive 5 615 725 viewers when it aired on etv on Thursday June 16th 2016, easily beating the channel's highest rated show Scandal which pulled 4 902 055 viewers. The film had a 59.3 share with a 16 AR. 

Set in Soweto, the story of a group of students who adopt a campaign of resistance against police presence in their schools has become a significant portrayal of the brutality suffered by black people under apartheid. Clearly a story that still has resonance with South Africans. 

The film was also one of the most talked about topics on social media, giving etv one of its most talked about television moment on such platform in a very long time. 

Impressively, Sarafina's almost six million viewers rating is the highest audience etv has pulled ever. Not only was Sarafina the biggest watched film on etv of any show ever, it was also the most watched film on tv to ever hit that number across all channels.

While films on SABC1 can pull impressive number of viewers, especially on their weekends block, this was the very first time that a film has surpassed the 5 million mark on any channel — a local film nogal, about our story!

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