SABC 1: Skeemsaam S7 10/12/2018

Date: December 10, 2018
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Name of monitor: Your name Madikana Matjila
Name of Television station: SABC 1
Name of programme:  Skeem Saam
Date of broadcast: 29 November 2018
Time: Time of broadcast 18:30 – 19H00
Genre: Type of programme
Gem Classification: Gender Aware

Provide a link: Link to where this scene can be accessed
04:42 – 06:44

Brief description of scene:
Sphola and Mapitsi are separated. As expected the scene follows Sphola as he finds it difficult to let go off the relationship. He feels he is entitled to Mapitsi and cannot let her go without making her pay.

The scene deals with the issues on both physical and emotional abuse and the concept of ownership. Sphola claims that Mapitsi is spreading lies about him.As Sphola finds it difficult to let off a relationship, his actions become worrisome to Mapitsi and she feels her life is in danger. episodes show Sphola taking responsibility and letting her go.

Why it has been given this GEM classification: Gender aware

This scene explores the widely held belief that women are merely sexual objects in relationships and they are obliged to have sex with their partners. This storyline however, shows a man speaking sense to another about relationships. Katlego tells Sphola that Mapitsi does not owe him anything and that people love and hate each other, he too should move on. This scene could have addressed the problematic ideas about gender roles in relationships and power dynamics in a more direct way. Although Katlego says that Mapitsi doesn’t owe Sphola anything, he could have explained why. The writers of the show missed an opportunity for Katlego to explain to Sphola that women don’t exist in relationships purely as sexual objects. Women don’t owe men anything and the idea that they do contributes to the idea that men have ownership and therefore power, over women’s bodies.


This article highlighted the following:
● Addresses the stereotype that men own women
● Addresses the belief, stemming from toxic masculinity, that women are sexual objects and just because they are in a relationship with a man, they owe them sex.


This scene shows a young man, Sphola, who finds it difficult to let go of a partner in a relationship. Sphola seems to think that he is entitled to Mapitsi who now wants to leave the relationship. His actions about the separation seems to worry those around him. The scene portrays him as a bitter lover who does not want the relationship to end, which is typical of culturally salient norms that men will always have a hold on women.

This feeds into the the norms and values that contribute to gender based violence as, traditionally, a man would beat a woman who opposes him and have her stay in the relationship forcefully. To address this stereotype, the scene uses another man, Katlego, to speak sense to his friend. Man to man, the bitter lover is told that a woman has a right to break up with him and that he should not feel that she owes him anything.

Typical portrayal of storyline of this nature might portray Mapitsi as dependent on Sphola. Sphola is a wealthy businessman and Mapitsi is a student. This would usually introduce a power dynamic in which Mapitsi finds it difficult to leave Sphola but she is actively seeking to end the partnership. His money or cars or any material assets are not used to lure the lady to reconsider her decision.

Focus: The scene focuses on the two men having a conversation about the separation. Sphola seems concerned about the advice he is getting from his friend. This scene is addressing problematic power dynamics in relationships directly. It is important to note that it aired during the 16 Days of activism period. The story featured ways to deal with emotional abuse, and also found a way to get men to talk about abuse in ways that correct stereotypes that men are entitled to women. The fact that a man is advising a man to not act on his stereotypes and misconceptions about women gives a sense of security that not all men are abusive. It is important to note that although this scene addresses the problematic nature of Sphola’s beliefs, Katlego’s reaction to his friend is more sympathetic than is deserved. The writers of the show missed an opportunity for a man to show justified outrage that his male friend believes his female friend owes him sex just because they are in a relationship.

People in the programming. There are two young men in this specific scene, however the entire storyline features a number of people engaging with issues around GBV and how both women and men should proactively deal with it.

Visuals. The conversation takes place in a restaurant. The atmosphere is relaxed. Sphola looks tense and angry while Katlego’s expression is calm and concerned. The camera made necessary emphasis when Katlego advices Sphola.

Conclusion: I believe the scene made sense. Typically, many soapies would consider the “abuse and correct” storyline were men abuse women first before they start respecting them. This scene portrays gender awareness and it deal with the issue of abuse head-on. The good thing about the scene is they didn’t wait for Sphola to abuse Mapitsi. he gets advice from his friend before acting on his beliefs. Although this scene does show gender awareness, an opportunity was missed to address how men speak about women to each other. Katlego could have been given more dialogue calling his friend out for his belief that women owe him sex. He could have shown more outrage instead of reacting sympathetically.

Social Media Response


1. Mapitsi hurt Sphola’s feelings…..She Should have not have strung Sphola Along …she led him on,gave him hope, then boom dumps him😕😕😕😕Sphola will get over it…. it’s just that it’ll take time to sink in.
1. Ja Botshelo said it. This kind of behaviour will lead to something bad, Mapitsi must report him for her safety.

The responses above do not address the problematic belief underlying the scene. Some men believed that Sphola was justified in his anger, while some responses recognised him as dangerous to Mapitsi.


1. The mighty and holy mapitsi has unleashed the beast in Sphola..who ever thought Sphola was this scary.
1. İts only a matter of time he stab mapitsi with a knife this obsession of his is annoying

Female responses seem to recognise the underlying danger in Sphola’s behaviour and associated this foreshadowing with an inevitable outcome of violence. Women implicitly recognise that men’s attitudes of ownership over women’s bodies often lead to violence against women.


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