How much do you know about ‘Rhythm City’? Some of these facts might surprise you.
More than 2,000 episodes later, and ‘Rhythm City’ still manages to leave viewers’ jaws on the floor with its shocking storylines.
From Mamokete’s tear-jerking death scene to Themba’s eyebrow raising affair with both of his brother’s wives – there was no shortage of drama on the soapie.
But there are some things about the show that even the most loyal fan doesn’t know,
Here are 10 interesting facts about the ‘Rhythm City’ and its cast.
- Kelly Khumalo’s first major TV role was on ‘Rhythm City’. She appeared in the soapie’s first episode as feisty diva Sunay.
- Bill Gates is a ‘Rhythm City’ fan. The billionaire revealed in a blog post that he got to watch the show while attending the Aids Conference in South Africa last year. He described the soapie as “fascinating”. “…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 wrote in October.
- ‘Rhythm City’ temporarily shut down production when actor Dumi Masilela was killed in an attempted hijacking in August 2017.
- Dumi’s sudden death was incorporated into the show’s storyline. His character Sifiso was the victim of a hijacking that led to his death. “The show’s producers decided to use Sifiso’s exit story as a way to pay tribute to Dumi’s work as an actor and to highlight the tragedy of unnecessary violence that plagues our cities,” producer Yula Quinn said.
- The soapie celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017. The show made its debut on e.tv in July 2007.
- Actor Iko Mash, who played a transgender woman named Zahr on the show, died in July due to a terminal illness. When Iko joined the show in 2015, the actor hoped Zahr would help break transgender stereotypes. “Usually, we expect gay people and transgenders to be in the beauty and hair industry, but Zahr is here to show people that she’s not a stereotype. She’s an Events organiser, working for a corporate company.”
- Setlhabi Taunyane, who plays Kop Khuse on the soapie, was in exile in Canada for a decade. He was forced to live on the streets for six months when he returned to SA. But his hardships only made him work harder. Setlhabi once said in an interview that he was grateful for all the people who wrote him off, because their rejection helped motivate him to succeed.
- Setlhabi has many talents. He can play the percussion, drums, and bass guitar.
- Singer Pam Andrews’ (Gail October) real-life son, Cidjay plays her onscreen son as well.
- Several A-list musicians including Thembi Seete, Cici, Nadia Nakai, and TV presenter Boity Thulo have appeared on the soapie.
By Tamlyn Canham