It's not a fear any more. It's a lived reality.
It must have been early 2013 when I was visiting one of my mum's friends. I was propped up on one of her comfy sofas - sturdy but oh so comfortable - and doing more of a catch up on what was new on DSTV than I was talking to her. I'm a welfare TV princess who generally watches Satellite TV when I'm visiting people. That's the day I saw the first ever promo for Isibaya - back when the premise was a Taxi rivalry and I got a bit of a Romeo and Juliet varb too. So, I'm sitting there like "whaaat?! Lawdwt, yes! Gimme Satellite TV because I was born ready for this show! I sure was."
As an aspiring writer, TV lover and proud Zulu that promo carried all the things I'd been needing from a South African TV show and didn't even know before that moment. Back when I used to watch Generations with some fucks to spare (Circa 2007) I enjoyed editing their isiZulu dialogue. Sometimes I'd edit their English subtitles for the rare gem of dialogue delivered in isiZulu. IsiZulu is electric and segzy but Mfundi Vundla and his people rarely do it justice.
So I'm sitting there -- sturdy and comfy sofa that's isn't mine -- and imagining all the sexy Zulu men, the dialogue, the stories. The SHADE. Zulu people shade is one of my top fave. I even considered making trips to this woman's house during Generations' broadcast and arriving in time for Isibaya - like old times. Only in the "old times" people were coming to my grandparents' house to watch Hlala Kwabafileyo. The only reason I abandoned this nutter plan is that a generally hate watching TV [read shows I like] in other people's homes.
Every "yaaasssss! #Isibaya" tweet that's ever landed on my Twitter timeline has been a kick in my FOMO ravaged gut. I missed the death of uZungu(?) Which had fans in arms and his character subsequently written back into the show. The next time I would see anything Isibaya-related would be a few months after that early promo captured my attention and sent my
TV life into crisis. I was at a stylist's home getting my huur did and there Zungu was in a cage. I started asking myself if he was umkhovu (a zombie) - this prospect and storyline excited and scared me. I grew up [birth - 8 years] in a small, rural village outside of eThekwini and ghosts, dark magic and horror stories were all the rage.
These days I don't know if they managed to zombify Zungu, if Thandeka managed to get more beautiful or exactly what Iris' trifflin' is. More than missing out on Isibaya I feel like I'm missing out on an important moment in South African pop culture. I mean, the tide in Satellite TV is changing. More local, black, authentic stories are on the rise -- sharrout to Mzansi. I just wish I was there to "habe! #Isibaya" with y'all at all the historic and great parts. **frowny face**
Have you been watching Isibaya? Tell me all about your favourite character/storyline/episode. Your favourite quote?
Image via Mzansi Magic