American business magnate Bill Gates has listed South African soapie Rhythm City as one of his favourite shows in his latest blog post titled Five Reasons I’m Hopeful about Africa.
Gates was invited to South Africa last year to deliver the the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture and, clearly, he enjoyed what the country had to offer. He said what captured his attention about the show was the different languages used, showing how far the country had come since the end of apartheid.
“When I was in South Africa last year for the International AIDS Conference, I caught a fascinating TV show one night. The show is called ‘Rhythm City’, and it’s the most popular soap opera in South Africa [Ed’s note: it isn’t really, but not to worry].
“The show, which has characters speaking in the four main languages of South Africa (Xhosa, Zulu, English, and Afrikaans), revolves around people trying to break into the music industry. Some of the storylines are a bit out there (it is a soap opera, after all), but when you see the show it really brings home how far South Africa has come since the end of apartheid.
“You take a step into the lives of everyday South Africans who are dealing with the relationship and business issues you’d see anywhere in the world. As the continent continues to develop and thrive, I predict we’ll see many other shows like this in other countries,” he said of the show.