Mzansi Magic told The Citizen on Wednesday that the show wasn’t ending but rather their yearly review process was not exclusive to Isibaya only.
However, the channel has changed its tune, confirming on Thursday the show was coming to an end.
Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, said: “It’s always sad when a show that was popular and loved ends, as it is the case with Isibaya. However, times change and television is about adopting and adapting. As Mzansi Magic, we are thrilled about the new partnership with Black Brains Productions. They will be bringing in fresh content that is innovative and captivating.
“Furthermore, the other exciting element is the fact that this is their first telenovela production. It is a great opportunity for Black Brains to broaden their base and creativity.
“Our platforms are fundamentally created to help producers to grow and reach new frontiers.”
The airing of the last episode has not been communicated.
Isibaya premiered in 2013, garnering a large audience countrywide and a strong fanbase over the years. The show centres around the taxi industry, predominately in KwaZulu-Natal. It tells the story of the battle for wealth and power between two rival families, the Zungus and the Ndlovus.
The show showcased young talents such as Nomzamo Mbatha, Sdumo Mtshali, Pallance Dladla and Abdul Khoza, making them household names. There have been many departures over the years, with big names such as Mbatha leaving, but in October 2020 there was the surprise exit of veteran actor Siyabonga Thwala. He bid farewell to the lead character Mpiyakhe Zungu. Thwala now has a recurring role on M-Net’s telenovela Legacy.
Viewership for the show dropped despite numbers in October to December increasing to around 900,000.
Even moves such as casting of veteran actress Palesa Mocuminyane, seen as a way for producers to arrest the decline, did not help.