SABC drama Uzalo has done the impossible and replaced perennial favourite Generations as the most-watched show on TV. We break down five reasons why Uzalo makes for such compulsive viewing.

1. Local setting, local language

Most big productions in South Africa are based in Johannesburg but Uzalo was shot in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal – an unusual setting for a local TV show. Despite the fact that Zulu is the most widely spoken languagein the country, Uzalo is also the first Zulu language-dominant show on SABC.

2. Relatable characters

Most South Africans would be considered as either poor or middle class, and yet most popular drama series and soapies revolve around big companies and rich families, and the baddies tend to be involved in white-collar crime like fraud. Uzalo, however, has opted to focus on working-class characters, who are ultimately more relatable. One of the main characters in the show owns a scrapyard, which is used as a cover for his hijacking activities.

3. Suspense-filled storylines

The very first scene in Uzalo shows the Zulu and Mdletshe babies being deliberately switched at birth. No one knows why, and just as the nurse who made the switch is about to confess to her pastor, she is shot dead. This sets out an a greater mystery that underlies everything else that happens on the show. Other mysteries include the question of how Gcabhashe (Mpumelelo Bhulose) got his scrapyard business running, something his brother keeps threatening to reveal. Not knowing of one of the main characters’ past dealings adds an element of suspense that other dramas lack.

4. Clever casting

The Uzalo cast is a clever mixture of old and new faces. Audiences are familiar with actor Bheki Mkhwane from Isibaya and Leleti Khumalohas been an industry favourite for years. These experienced cast members provide a touchstone for viewers while allowing producers to nurture new talent.

5. Timing

Generations: The Legacy, lost its previously captive audience when they fired its cast and the audience has been hooked to Uzalo ever since

Source : Online