July 29, 2023

Trouble behind the scenes of e-TV production Nikiwe

The drama Nikiwe has not seen much growth despite many people saying they resonate with the story
Picture: Supplied

They were over the moon to have a new show on e-tv. On the premier day of shows Nikiwe and Smoke & Mirrors, the channel, cast, and crew spoke passionately about the new body of work that was set to shift the narrative of the world of drama series. Produced by Thomas Gumede and Lungelo Radu’s company Parental Advisory Productions (PAP), the show Nikiwe has seen not enough rapid growth as other shows and has allegedly booted its head writer due to this.




Nikiwe is a story that revolves around the Radebe family, a powerful clan based in the surrounds of Diepkloof Extension, Pimville and Orlando, Soweto, and whose wealth and influence are threatened from within their ranks. The story tackles inheritance, wealth, power, and influence and how one can be stripped away of this by their flesh and blood. Since its premiere on 17 April 2023, the show is currently the slowest growing drama series than the channel’s other shows, namely Scandal, ranked at the top, followed by House Of ZwideIsitha-The Enemy, and Smoke & Mirrors. 



When the show started, Thomas said they were pulling out all the stops to make sure that the show is a success. "We’re pulling all the stops with this show, splitting shoots between studio and location. This will result in non-stop and back-to-back dramatic scenes for the audience." According to an actor on the show who does not wish to be named, Nikiwe’s days are numbered. "It is not doing well at all. This is in comparison to the other shows," he says. "They expected PAP to deliver. If you remember, they canned The Black Door by Black Brain because it was too explicit and sort of replaced it with Nikiwe, hoping it would be amazing but the numbers have not moved," he says. 



The show has also since booted the head writer, Siphosethu Tshapu, and replaced her with former Generations employee and writer Bongi Ndaba. According to an actor, "Bongi is a seasoned scriptwriter, and she has done amazing work. They hope she will revive the show. But we also can’t blame Sethu for the show doing badly. You tell me, you will keep chopping and changing staff every time a show fails." She has worked as a scriptwriter for several shows, including Jozi-H, Gaz’lam, and Hillside. At the time of publishing, e-TV had not responded to the questions.

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