Whether you watch soap operas or not if, somewhere down the line in your past you’ve been told that you’re not worth what you ask for, for a job well done, you will relate with the axed Generations actors whose acting careers are hanging by thin threads of an old blanky. Apparently they were fired for toyi-toying for a descent wage offer. This is a duel that has been going on for a year or so. To fire en masse pivotal actors of a prime time series is unheard of. How are you going to push the fundamental narrative? It might just give you enough courage to recall the death of Mpiyakhe Zungu on Isibaya season one, how his untimely death infuriated viewers to an extent that they threatened to boycott the series. Viewer continue to watch watched after being reassured of the fact that the plot was being concocted. The outcry on social network died into a hiss and Zungu was brought back as a Zombie.
Now since I am not at the center of the Generations debacle I cannot report with accuracy. Mine is a simple musing. I can only speak for myself as a side telly muncher. By default, because I happen not to live alone, I am forced to stoke up on a dose of soap operas every evening of the week. Now Generations has a fair share of my attention as well, except this week because we’re on a strike of some sort apparently to join the actors and viewers in solidarity of boycotting the series. I am in form, sweat and all and in step as I bellow mozabalazo incantations!
Will something give? I wonder. Bless and respect the actors who haven’t yet thought of going on a rampage to destroy the production sets. As it is a South African thing to do to destroy the infrastructure that enables us to survive, just imagine Sbuda in his civvies carrying a sledge hammer and rummaging through everything in his office or Dineo finally escaping from the dungeon where she is being held captive and screaming ‘this place is not that scary anyway!’. But seriously we ought to learn from these actors duel decorum tactics, it’s in a class of its own. Doubly so they are shaping how actors will be seen and valued in years to come. Respect!
Now Generations has a fair share of my attention as well, except this week because we’re on a strike of some sort apparently to join the actors and viewers in solidarity of boycotting the series. I am in form, sweat and all and in step as I bellow mozabalazo incantations!
I have heard colleagues and strangers alike, fueled by the seducing jealousy, pointing out that the actors are being greedy in demanding a better wages on top of what they get. Apparently the mythical characters are asking that their salaries, which, depending on which media report you read, range between twenty thousand odd or so to around sixty grand per month to be upped. This, seen from the other side of second binocular it’s quite a substantial dough for someone who appears on our screens for a few scenes on our weekly evenings. One may feel that the actors are being unreasonably greedy. However if you were to take a dip into the fray, turn the binoculars the right way ‘round and look at the situation from the perspective of the actors, the plot swells crystal clear.
According to media reports the actors are required to work seven days for around 13 hours a day on weekends and public holidays and there is no sympathetic leave or such should you lose a loved one; you need to report to work anyway and act jovial despite your personal tragedies. Your role might also be written out: i.e. you die suddenly in a plane crash or battle with a dreadful disease that finally claims your life. Psst, I just made that last up. This is the jest of the deal we’re told has been dished up for the actors.
As television is what a bonfire was for the brutes who were our ancestors when they related their hunting or gathering exploits to their people before the tribe turned in under the starlit night blanket, so is Generations. It is a staple diet for those of us who came of age throughout the nineties with it as the backdrop at the corners of our eyes. Although recently, even I myself will admit, the soap opera in question has lost its charm. I wonder what the thoughts of the outies I grew up with ekasi are on this one? I am sure they are not sated as well. Most of ‘em are toppies right now rearing their kids and taking care of their manly house chores. And catching generations for its novelty for throughout our mischief we made time for Generations. Anyways all the soaps that found their way into our consciousness in later years following Generations inception took their cues from it. Although they may claim originality of plot and so forth, but we know how it all started.
Perhaps you and I, we will feel as if we have been forced to down gall bladder juice cocktail should the present characters be replaced with new characters come next week. Yes I’ll admit, as a law abiding television subscription license paying hombre, Generation needs a facelift but there must be a better way. Unfortunately we’re on a corny lane right now. The moment politicians start to be involved in something that has nothing to do with politics it hits home that things have gone too far; presently as far as Generations is concerned fact, fiction and myth are having a nasty jol. Politics should never interfere in art, art should intervene in politics. Otherwise propaganda for a particular political ideology is bound to be spun and burned into the public’s mind.
© Mmutle arthur Kgokong 2014