Disillusionment: SABC 1 Generations has lost its touch!

Disillusionment: SABC 1 Generations has lost its touch!

By Tilo ngwana Rashaka Mokgopo

There is no need to tip-toe around the issue, Generations has lost its grip and the story line is foreign, fake and diluted to be precise. But make no mistake, I watch Generations but I wouldn’t beat myself up if I miss 5 episodes in five consecutive days.

There was a time and moment when Generations was thee soapie that people loved and admired so much. The days of Seputla Sebogodi, Camilla Wildman, Leleti Khumalo, Rapulana Seiphemo, Sonia Sedibe, and Connie Ferguson et al are dearly missed today.

Even though the story line was predominantly foreign, showing no compassion to destitute African people, at least it was very much better compared to what we are made to consume now.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that principal characters like S’busiso Dlomo, Dineo Tlhaole-Dikobe-Mashaba-Dlomo, especially, do not exist in real life. I’m not saying “hardly” but “do not”. Anyway, maybe I’m being forward, who said these people want to give a true reflection of reality?

Generations might still be the leading soapie in the land in terms of viewership but that alone cannot be interpreted as suggesting that people are pleased with the soapie. I’m one person who is not happy with the direction the soapie is currently taking especially with the representation of black women and struggling black people.

But nonetheless, every weekday at 20:00 I find myself tuning into SABC 1 to watch the very soapie I critically criticize. Do you want to know why, because the idea of tuning into SABC 1 at 20:00 is already internalized in my mind. Happy or not happy, it has become a habit to watch Generations, plus, there’s no real competition at the time.

Potential producers’ scepticism
I have also come to realize that television producers are sceptical of producing a programme that will compete with Generations for the same time slot. Very understandable, viewers are tied up to Generations and they have been following the programme for the past 20 years and to some certain extent there’s a connection between viewers at home and the characters on TV, and that could be the reason it is difficult to part ways with the soapie even when the level of dissatisfaction continues to mount up.

Economic power favours Generations.
If a show is not attracting many viewers, it cost the SABC  a fortune to produce and yet the expenses far surpass the income injection by a large margin and without any reasonable doubt,  the programme will be canned. Advertisers are concerned about viewership. The more viewers you have, the better your chances of securing adverts and the show will be in the SABC’s good books. Unlike the other programmes that I know, the SABC always make a plan for Generations, even if it means crossing the border to the sister channel on SABC 2 or not air the soccer match at all. Like we used to say in Critical Political Economy course, “he who pays the piper, calls the tune”

Currently Generations controls the 20:00 slot and if any programme attempts to occupy the same slot, it will run at risk of not securing enough adverts. From my perspective, I doubt the SABC will even consider giving out the 20:00 time slot to any soapie. SABC soapies, Isidingo airs at 17:30, 7de Laan 18:30, Muvhango 21:00. But 20:00 is a no-go-area. Even when crossing the border to SABC 2, Generations always occupies the same 20:00 slot.

Even though the story line was predominantly foreign, showing no compassion to destitute African people, at least it was very much better compared to what we are made to consume now.

So, what now?

Segageso se re: “Lehu re hwile la pitsana gobane la segwana le a rokwa.” Ruri, re tla no inama sa re tshela?

Picture: Zeleb.com


3 responses

  1. i total agree with u 100%

  2. mavis mamatlepa | Reply

    enough said

  3. what will sabc1 be without them…think twice

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