• TV

African superhero lands on screen

Jongo Pic1The world's first mainstream African superhero, "Jongo", is poised to make its South African TV debut on BET (DStv channel 129), this Monday 15 February at 21:05 CAT.

Fast-paced, beautifully shot and proudly South African, the new 8-part series, produced by independent film studio, Motion Story, stars Pacou Mutombo (pictured). Mutombo, one of the world's top hip-hop dancers, plays Eli King, a young man who acquires incredible super powers after an alien crystal (left to him by his murdered miner father) is found in a cave at the Cradle of Humankind.

Imbued with immense physical strength, Eli sets out to find the culprits responsible for his father's death. However, he soon discovers that the men he is hunting have crystals of their own and need Eli's stone to fulfil an ancient and devastating prophecy which will threaten the lives of millions.

Mutombo is delighted that "Jongo" will be flighted first in South Africa on BET: "It's an enormous honour to first be chosen for the title role in Africa's first-ever superhero TV show and then for our show to debut on BET. We're holding thumbs that viewers will fall in love with Eli King and his fellow characters. Make no mistake, "Jongo" is like no other superhero franchise in the world."

"Jongo's" diverse cast balances familiar faces such as Luthuli Dlamini with exciting newcomers like Katlego Baaitse who plays Eli's best friend and Pauline Zwane who is Eli's girlfriend.

Produced by Johannesburg-based film and TV studio Motion Story, "Jongo" is executive produced by Chris Lawrance and Colleen Lawrance with Phillip Wolmarans as producer. Nick Keulemans is the cinematographer and the series is co-directed by Gareth Crocker and Fred Wolmarans. The show is distributed internationally by FCCE.

To find out more about "Jongo", visit www.jongo.tv or contact:

Oprah has lots to offer

Oprah 16After immersing yourself on "The Voice SA" vocal talent, remember to tune on to TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) as the channel continues to bring all-new inspiring Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) programming this February.

Explore humankind's ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves with new episodes of the moving series, "BELIEF". Also catch a special edition of Oprah's "MASTERCLASS" featuring celebrities who open up on how turning to a power greater than themselves guided them through the most pivotal moments of their lives.

Tune in on Sunday, 7 February at 8pm for a new episode of "BELIEF: THE PRACTICE". The show features Shi Yan Fei, a young Buddhist monk at the Shaolin Monastery in Dengfeng, China, who came to the monastery because of his passion for kung fu. While Shi Yan Fei has nearly mastered kung fu's physical movements, he has encountered difficulty mastering the spiritual elements. Watch as this episode reveals his commitment to a spiritual life through study, practice and compassion.

The series continues on Sunday, 14 February at 8pm as we discover how beliefs help us face the fear of death and the mystery of what happens after we die. In "BELIEF: A GOOD LIFE", Oprah narrates us through a journey to Mount Everest where Buddhist monks make devotional works of art called sand mandalas, which they then destroy in a ritual that symbolises the impermanence of existence. In this episode, we also witness a young Buddhist monk at the Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute as he learns a valuable lesson about the fleeting nature of life and how death can be a powerful call to action, compelling us to embrace life and those we love.

Later, Oprah serves as the host for a special edition of 'Masterclass' featuring a group of celebrities, including: Sharon Stone, Jay-Z, Morgan Freeman, Lenny Kravitz, Susan Sarandon, Robin Roberts and Billy Bob Thornton. Don't miss "MASTERCLASS: BELIEF" on Sunday, 21 February at 8pm as they share personal accounts of faith and loss, rituals and spiritual lessons that have helped shape what they believe today and how this continues to inform their every move.

Join in the TLC Entertainment conversation by liking us on Facebook at "TLC South Africa" and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TLC_Africa

The Voice SA gets louder

The Voice Lira 1South Africa loved the first episode of "The Voice SA", which made its debut on M-Net this past Sunday. Now, there's exciting news for viewers who don't have access to M-Net Channel 101.

From Saturday, 6 February, there will be a repeat of the unique, feel-good singing contest on M-Net's sister channel M-Net City, channel 115 on DStv, at 6pm. This means that DStv Compact viewers will also have access to "The Voice SA" – six days after its Sunday night premiere on M-Net on DStv Premium.

"The response to "The Voice SA" has been absolutely phenomenal," says M-Net's Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. "Social media has been abuzz with positive comments about the incredible talent, the chemistry between the formidable coaches and the passionate way they were battling it out to get the best singers into their teams. There have been several requests from DStv's Compact viewers to make the show available to a wider audience and we're thrilled to have found a repeat spot for the show on M-Net City."

For DStv Premium viewers there's another great "The Voice South Africa" treat waiting on Sunday at 5.30pm. "You can look forward to seeing how the coaches respond to a variety of singers – from ones who are music teachers themselves to talent who are braving the stage with unusual music genres and loads of gutzpah. Also stay tuned for a dramatic moment where one contestant is so overcome by her Voice experience that she collapses on stage!"

The big question of course remains: Which of the coaches will be able to nab the best talent, as the final decision is in the hands of the performers themselves.

At the end of last week's episode each of the coaches had two singers in their teams, with the exception of Kahn, who walked away with the phenomenal Prime Zulu who impressed with his deep voice and emotionally-laden rendition of Tracey Chapman's "Give Me One Reason". This means that all eyes will be on Kahn to see if he can catch up this week. There are also still six episodes of Blind Auditions remaining, so the coaches will have to pace themselves during this strategic round of the series.

For more information about "The Voice SA" visit mnet.tv/thevoice or be sure to download the exclusive The Voice SA app on Android or iOS to play real-time games, and to keep up to date with the latest developments from the coaches and the talent.

You can also join "The Voice SA" conversation on "The Voice SA" Facebook page, and via Twitter on @VoiceSA with the hashtag #TheVoiceSA, or use your WeChat account and check in with the ID MNetTV.

The Voice South Africa is produced for M-Net by AMPN and is the headline sponsor is Dialdirect. Keep an eye on the official website for details about the viewers' competition, where you could win fantastic prizes courtesy of Samsung.

Justin Bieber heist on focus

Wright Ngubeni 16When Justin Bieber was in town, a darring heist happened at the very venue where he was performing and made headlines. Now e.tv is telling the dramatic story behind the drama on "The Heist" starting on 09 February.

Starring the iconic Jerry Mofokeng, who is feeling revived and revved up as he gets to work with young acting names Warren Masemola, Wright Ngubeni (pictured), Solomon Twalo, Sayitsheni Mdaki, Mbali Ka Ngwenya and more, the new thrilling action drama also features Kenneth Nkosi and Meshack Mavuso, and produced by Branded Soul, who also created the captivating rural drama "Matatiele".

Heist is inspired by the mysterious cash heist that took place at the Justin Bieber concert in 2013. The drama series is both entertaining and engaging with deep character lines. It is a very timely exploration of the lengths and impact money has on our daily lives. Side by side the drama series also showcases the survival and extremes people are willing to go through to improve their livelihood. It's a story of resilience.

The story is filmed in various parts of Alexandra adjacent to the affluent northern suburbs of Sandton, focusing on social challenges people face in townships. To portray these realities, the action drama series is filled with Mzansi's best TV and film talent. Viewers can look forward to the likes of Jerry Mofokeng who is known for his hilarious humour. He plays a lead character called "Talent", who is the old stadium grass cutter that gets unfairly dismissed. He then puts a gang together to help him pull a heist at a concert.

"These young actors sparked something inside me," said Jerry at the launch of the event. "They looked up to me and felt inspired to do the best they could. At the same time, doing that they made me up my game as they were equal to the job, and ended up making me having to keep with their energy. It resulted in a polished production that will excite the people."

Heist is a story about survival and the lengths some people are willing to go in desperate times. This series will indeed capture the hearts of our viewers after the success of Z'bondiwe. In 2016, our viewers will enjoy more innovative and diverse local content. We want to bring more action, edge and thrill to the channel," says Monde Twala, Managing Director for e.tv Channels.

Heist is an action drama not to be missed every Tuesday night on e.tv at 9:30pm from 9 February 2016. Viewers will now get the opportunity to watch the drama in HD quality on eHD on both OpenView HD and DStv Explorer.

The after of teen pregnancy on "Teen mom OG"

Teen Mom OG 2As the country is embroiled in a conversation about a KZN mayor giving bursaries to virgins, "Teen Mom", renamed "Teen Mom OG" since the fifth season, couldn't have come at a better time.

The American reality TV series follows the lives of Farrah Abraham, Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Amber Portwood who were featured on the first series of "16 and Pregnant" back in 2009. The show documents their first years of motherhood and places additional emphasis on strained family and romantic relationships.

Audiences have watched them unexpectedly face young motherhood as they grew up, broke-up, made up, and encountered major obstacles to become the young women they are today. Now it's time to find out where the original girls of the MTV series "Teen Mom" are in life, love and parenthood.

Each episode will give an unprecedented look into these young mothers' lives and how they're facing the responsibilities as their children enter kindergarten, start little league and attain numerous other milestones of growing up...

Catch the fifth season on MTV (DStv channel 130) from Thursday 4 February at 9:15pm. Follow the show on these platforms: Twitter: @mtvza, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mtvza/?fref=ts  and Instagram: @mtvza

TLC documentaries based on true stories from inspirational individuals

Without limbs TLCThis month TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) premieres a brand new, thought-provoking series, 'TLC Inspires' documentaries - based on true stories from inspirational individuals.

In "BORN WITHOUT LIMBS", we meet Nick Vujicic, who for no medical reason was born without arms or legs. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick constantly wondered why he was different to all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or if he even had a purpose.

Now, according to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God, his family, friends and the many people he has encountered along the journey. Today, this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He's an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming. Despite his differences, Nick is always ready to take on the world and push himself to be the best son, husband, and father he can be.
Catch his journey in "BORN WITHOUT LIMBS", premiering on Tuesday, 19 January at 8:55pm.

Then, "NO LIMBS NO LIMITS" follows the extraordinary story of Irish born Joanne O' Riordan. Joanne is one of seven known people in the world living with Total Amelia, meaning she doesn't have any arms or legs. It is everyday life that poses many challenges especially with the tasks that most people take for granted. Being able to feed herself, type 36 words a minute and text using just her nose, chin and tongue are huge achievements in themselves. Directed by her brother Steven, "NO LIMBS NO LIMITS" takes a look at the life of Joanne and how her syndrome has affected her and her immediate family. Don't miss the premiere on Tuesday, 26 January at 8:55pm for a look into Joanne's day-to-day life, her accomplishments and how her positive outlook on life and cheery personality prove that she won't let her situation bring her down in any way.

Moving into February, "FIRST HEARTBEAT", premiering on Tuesday, 2 February at 8:55pm, is an intimate self-shot documentary by husband and wife. While as many as one-in-four pregnancies end in miscarriage it still remains a taboo subject. In this intimate documentary Lisa, a freelance TV producer and presenter, and David Kirk challenge that taboo by sharing their personal story as they bid to overcome five miscarriages and undergo treatment in an attempt to build their family.

Finally, "SURGERY SHIP" explores how, out on the ocean, a ship of doctors and nurses are travelling to aid the destitute in Africa. The ship carries lifesaving medical services for people who have none: children who suffer with terrible leg deformities, women outcast from their communities by birthing fistulas and vast tumours of all shapes and sizes. With no medical help, sufferers must survive the best they can – unless the ship is in port. It is the last hope for so many – and if they miss the boat, there is no other chance.

By the end it is not just the patients who are transformed. The young nurses and doctors will be challenged to the limits of their training and abilities. Premiering on Tuesday, 9 February at 8:55pm, "SURGERY SHIP" tells this story through their eyes as we follow the dramatic and confronting events as they unfold.
Join in the TLC Entertainment conversation by liking "TLC Africa" on Facebook and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TLC_Africa

eNews deliver news differently

enews directe.tv presents "eNews Direct", a half-hour distinct and innovative news bulletin.

"eNews Direct" will deliver robust and contextually relevant news content in an unbiased manner from Monday, 18 January 2016 at 6:30PM on e.tv.

The delivery of news is fast-paced, forthright and engaging, with news reports and news stories that are suitable for the modern-day busy and connected viewer. Skilled anchor, Dudu Ramela will walk and talk the viewers through the breaking news of the day directly from the newsroom.

The bulletin's approach to news coverage is entrenched on independence, fairness and courage to explore different actualities in a responsible manner. This news service covers key stories of the day on general issues, economy, sports, entertainment and weather.

"eNews Direct is like no other news bulletin that the South African audience has seen. South Africans have changed how they consume information and news, and we have changed our format and delivery in response to these trends. eNews Direct is more for the on-the-go experiential viewer as it brings features that are trending and it is engaging with the viewer," says Monde Twala, e.tv Channels Division Managing Director.

Don't miss the big stories and latest news you need to know from Monday, 18 January 2016 on eNews Direct at 6:30PM and eNews Direct Weekend at 7pm only on e.tv and eHD. eHD is available on OpenView HD and DStv.

Top actors back on "Saints and Sinners

Saints Nthati TumishoPut together top acts such as the iconic Tumiso Masha, Nthathi Moshesh, S'dumo Mtshali, Siyabonga Radeba, Sibulele Gcilitshana and Thuso Mbedo, and you have the suspenseful and explosive "Saints and sinners".

The six are the leads on the multi-generational Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) drama, "Saints and sinners", that returns on Sunday, 10 January at 8PM. Season two, will pick up the story from this suspense and the damaging consequences that this dark act has had on the lives of so many characters.

The 13-part first season featuring the Khumalo's and Moloiswa's launched to great acclaim in 2014 and its memorable moments included the tragic death of a young character whose demise devastated his loved ones, fracturing a once solid marriage. The action escalated and culminated in a gripping cliff-hanger finale that saw leading lady Phindi being kidnapped.

Included in the new season will be the sensational rediscovery of a long-lost father, whilst a domineering matriarch finds herself at odds with her shattered family. Along the way the contrasting elements of revenge and forgiveness, destruction and redemption, greed and sacrifice, trust and betrayal all simmer under the surface, in line with the new series tagline: 'A Second Season Grounded in Truths'.

In confirming the second season of "Saints and sinners", M-Net Director of Local Entertainment Channels Nkateko Mabaso highlighted the appeal that well-produced drama holds for Mzansi Magic viewers, "Our audiences have demonstrated that they will continue to engage with dramatic storylines if these are well scripted and well executed, simultaneously relevant and escapist, and populated with characters who are highly believable. These were the key ingredients in the success last season and it is what will continue to fuel the viewership in season two."

He goes on to say, "Mzansi Magic is not just focussed on launching exciting new shows but also on growing those proven properties that have delivered great value for viewing audiences. We are also pleased that we have been able to bring back the same stellar cast and are delighted with their commitment to the series."

Simphiwe Ngema is for "Isiko"

Simphiwe Ngema picIn 2016, eKasi+ will bring its viewers, "Isiko", a show that documents the colourful mix of South Africa's rich and diverse cultures. "Isiko" will premiere on Sunday, 10 January 2016 at 7:30PM on eKasi + channel 105 on OpenView HD.

Produced by King Chauke who is the founder of Kincha Media, the show will be presented by the level-headed actress, Simphiwe Ngema. King has worked on various cultural festivity projects including Annual Hangar, Traditional Music Arts Festival, Collins Chabane Heritage Festival and also produced a radio drama show called "Mina Hi Mina" for the past 10 years on Munghana Lonene FM.

Each episode will explore and enlighten the viewers about how the aesthetics of South African cultures by presenter of "The Game" and "Muvhango" fame. It takes an insightful look at the past, present and future of the various cultures. Viewers will enjoy seeing how the different cultural practices such as chieftainship, polygamy, traditional music and initiation rituals have evolved over the years.

Simphiwe travels the country to meet with traditional leaders and community members of the Va-Tsonga, amaZulu, amaXhosa, amaNdebele, maSwati, Vha-Venda, Basotho, Batswana, Bapedi, Jewish, Indians and Afrikaans groups.

The 13 episode docu-series which features 13 different cultures, is a fitting celebration of the innovative, rich South African spirit. All the vibrant and expressive dance and music moves such as xibelani, makwaya, dinaka, indlamu, volkspele and umteyo will be explored.

"South Africa is known as the hub of diverse and indigenous cultures and the beauty of Isiko is that it will capture all the different elements that make us unique to the rest of the world," said Monde Twala, Managing Director for e.tv Channels Division. "We are proud to be showcasing local content that will take our viewers on a cultural journey. "

"Isiko" will premiere on eKasi+ channel 105 on OpenView HD on Sunday, 10th January at 7:30PM