The introduction of a telenovela format for the BET AFRICA channel is a significant investment into the local production industry. ISONO will broadcast to audiences across the continent and is set to take African storytelling to the world. ISONO is based on the story of a dysfunctional family and a heroic son who searches within himself for the strength to stand up against a powerful and evil matriarch who will stop at nothing to serve her own needs.
The edgy and fast paced telenovela features legendary and award winning actors, Nthati Moshesh and Rami Chuene who bring gravitas to the new show. Nthati Moshesh will play the protagonist and the antihero Mary, a ruthless woman of faith. Rami Chuene joins the cast as Jumima aka Juju, an eccentric gossipmonger who often buys into occasional conspiracy theories and gets the wrong end of the stick by making odd connections and pronouncements.
“Africans are amongst the most passionate and dedicated viewers of daily dramas. We are proud to be able to contribute to this rich culture of authentic local storytelling. ISONO features an award winning cast who deliver an edgy storyline that is set to resonate with local viewers. The daily BET original production will inspire, vividly entertain, intrigue and also educate audiences with surprising twists and unexpected cliff hangers. 21:30weekday viewing is set to change. Be sure to watch this groundbreaking TV experience,” said Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Editorial for ViacomCBS Networks Africa.
“I cannot express what a milestone this is for the South African entertainment industry. To take such an admired art form, celebrated by millions of South Africans and put it on a global platform is an accomplishment we can all be proud of. I am humbled by the opportunity and look forward to sharing this powerful story with audiences across the world,” says Nthati Moshesh, lead cast member and one of South Africa’s most revered actresses.
Senzo Radebe and Bohang Moeko are cast to play smoking young guns who will bring passion, excitement and betrayal into the storyline. By bringing young complex black characters to the screen, BET Africa continues to do what it’s celebrated for as a black entertainment platform; amplifying and educating global audiences about the richness and nuances of black culture.
Also joining the cast are celebrated actor and entertainer – Anga ‘Naakmusiq’ Makubalo, rising star – Tokollo ‘TK’ Sebothoma and 2019 winner of the Naledi Theatre Award – Didintle Khunou.
This is part of BET Africa’s continued investment in local talent and content. Recently the channel produced a local comedy sitcom, Black Tax, the successful reality show featuring Boity Thulo and The Big Secret with both Khanyi Mbau and Masechaba Ndlovu featuring as hosts.
Clive Morris, founder and CEO of CMP added, “We’ve been knocking on this co-producing door for some time now – and it’s wonderful to see it swing wide open with BET. It is a maturing of our industry. It’s a privilege that BET Africa partnered with us to bring their very first telenovela to life.“
“Developing young black talent is one of my passions and this project has enabled that in a big way. I watch with pride as new voices are breaking free and taking their gifts of storytelling to the world. Our COO, Khaylihle Dom Gumede and MD, Lala Tuku, are working tirelessly behind the scenes to raise the bar with ISONO, and we believe that with the dynamic, talented cast and crew, this show will be a trend setter,” concludes Morris.
The ISONO daily drama brings to audiences the suspense and intrigue of the dual nature of human personalities; the things we reveal about ourselves and the things that make people wonder: “what are you hiding?”.
Be sure to catch the first episode of this suspenseful new addition to screen. ISONO will air on BET Africa (DStv Channel 129) daily from 27 July at 21:30 CAT.