SABC 3: Isidingo- The Need Ep 201 21/12/2018

Date: December 21, 2018
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Name of monitor: Patricia Mahachi

Name of Television station: SABC 3

Name of programme: Isidingo –The Need

Date of broadcast: 21/12/2018 

Genre: Drama Series

Episode: 201

Time: Time of broadcast: 19:00:19:30

GBV focus: GBV

Gem Classification:  Gender Aware

Theme: GBV, Crime and Violence


Scene 1: 18:12 – 19:12

Scene 2: 21:10 – 22:57



This analysis looks at two different scenes in episode 201 related to the same plotline. In the first scene Lungi, Marongwa, Wendy and other women of HD (Horizon Deep, the area in which the story takes place) march to the community centre to confront Sechaba, the mayor, about allegations of GBV. They were concerned about issues like rape and women been forced into prostitution. The situation got out of hand and almost turned violent. Lungi managed to calm the situation. In the second scene Sechaba responds to these allegations.


This episode is a clear reflection of what happens in many societies when women unite in mass protest, demonstration and march to get authorities to implement policies for the betterment of society. These remarkable efforts by fearless women who continue to advocate for change, defy the norms of patriarchy. Women are often portrayed as submissive and are not often shown challenging powerful men. Although plotlines containing GBV do exist in Soap Operas, the acts of violence are often ignored or implicitly condoned as they go unchallenged. This scene highlights how women from different backgrounds based on culture and race are able to come together and challenge the status quo. As a force they’re able to fight male figures, who are perceived as dominant figures in society and working contexts. Those who benefit from the patriarchy are usually in most cases unapproachable and rarely have direct engagement with citizens especially when it comes to allegations of gender based violence.

These modern women are challenging the archaic stereotypes of being meek and allowing a patriarchal  system to be upheld. Women have become are more empowered, as they are challenging assumptions, and asserting themselves so that allegations of sexual assault and violence are not ignored, but acted upon accordingly.

The second scene also challenges these common norms and assumptions about women. It shows that women are confident, strong and fearless to confront power. When Lungi says,’’ you know l hate the limelight…we must eradicate the unrelenting injustice happening to us… not only in HD but all over south ….today we demand answers regarding the safety of women and their livelihoods…today we say enough is enough….” The language used is gender sensitive and the visuals are of the women of Horizon Deep, who are tired of oppression and who are demanding answers.

It is important to note the language used in the final scene. Sechaba tries to free himself from blame and frame himself as a “good man” using the common language of perpetrators when he says “I have lived with women…I would not lay my hands on a woman”. His attitude towards the women of HD and their concerns is also condescending. Lungi dismisses Sechaba’s argument and stands up to him pointing out that he had touched her inappropriately the day before. She states that the march will not be called off and “the time for talking is over”. This highlights the importance of collaborative social justice against violence as talking about eradicating violence against women is not enough. The scene emphasises the importance of action, as opposed to conversation.

This episode encourages women and vulnerable groups to claim their space and rights. With unity of purpose and determination women can get a voice to air their grievances without fear.  A safe space for women is a right that authorities should not compromise on because it is a key Sustainable Development Goal for Gender equality.


It is important to note that in episode 202 of Isidingo, the audience is made to feel sympathy for Sechaba as Lungi is portrayed as lying about the allegations, even though Sechaba grabbed her arm and she feared for her safety. This undoes all of the good representation work done in the above episode as it perpetuates the idea that women cannot be trusted when it comes to allegations of abuse. Representing allegations in this way is dangerous. We cannot deny the fact that some allegations may be false, but the majority of them are true and victim blaming is a huge hindrance towards progress when it comes to GBV. In the current socio-political climate it is dangerous to have such a progressive scene where women come together to confront a powerful man, only to write the story so that the women end up being discredited. Writers should be wary of doing this. Try and strike a balance and be sensitive to the socio-political context in which you are writing.

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