'Uzalo' officially SA's most watched show with over 10.2m viewers

The SABC has announced that by the end of September, the show had racked up over 10.2 million viewers, the highest ever recorded by a show of any format.

Uzalo's Nkunzi, MaMlambo and MaNgcobo. Picture: @Uzalo/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's biggest soapie just keeps winning. Uzalo has become the show with the highest viewership in the history of local television.

The SABC has announced that by the end of September, the show had racked up over 10.2 million viewers, the highest ever recorded by a show of any format.

The two-part episode where lead characters Nkunzi (played by Masoja Msiza) and MaMlambo (played by Gugu Gumede) were set to marry but were interrupted in a dramatic fashion by MaNgcobo (played by Dawn Thandeka King) is what helped push the show to hit the record.

A month ago, production came to a grinding halt when cast and crew went on strike after not being paid their August salaries by the SABC. The strike threatened to stop the show airing past the previously shot episodes, but Uzalo's production company, Stained Glass Productions, and the public broadcaster eventually reached an agreement.

"The partnership with Stained Glass Productions is one that keeps exceeding all expectations. We are confident that the programme is in line with our strategy of growing audiences, and meeting the needs and expectations of the South African public, by delivering on our public service mandate," says SABC's group executive for TV, Nomsa Philiso.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane also congratulated the show and its creators.

"This is the first time a project spearheaded by a young, black and female producer has hit such a milestone in South African television history. This is proof that where there are hard work and dedication, there is success."