BET Africa announces star-studded cast for the channel’s first-ever telenovela ‘Isono’

Rami Chuene to take on new role in BET Africa's latest original series Isono | Image: Supplied

‘Isono’ will reportedly be the first African telenovela to air to an international market according to BET.

In another global first for BET Africa, a star-studded local cast has been unveiled ahead of the launch of a gripping and sensational BET Africa Original daily drama titled Isono (The Sin).

The vernacular titled daily drama is co-produced by BET Africa and Clive Morris Productions.

According to the channel, their introduction of a telenovela format to their repertoire 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.

Moshesh will play the protagonist and the anti-hero Mary, a ruthless woman of faith, while 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.

Monde Twala, senior vice president and general manager in editorial for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, said in a statement: “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. 9.30pm weekday viewing is set to change. Be sure to watch this groundbreaking TV experience.”

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Moshesh said: “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.”

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.

Isono will be the first African telenovela to air to an international market and is produced by Clive Morris Productions (CMP), who have successfully produced award-winning content, have a depth of industry understanding and won accolades both locally and internationally.

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 trendsetter,” concluded Morris.

Isono will air on BET Africa (DStv Channel 129) daily from 27 July at 9.30 pm CAT.

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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