Isidingo is a South African soap opera, with dialogue mostly in English. The series premiered on SABC 3 in July 1998 and is broadcast evenings on SABC 3 from Monday to Friday at 19:00. Until 2001 it was titled Isidingo: The Need.[2]

Also known asIsidingo: The Need
GenreSoap opera
Created byGray Hofmeyr
Written by
Kagiso Mogale (Head of Scripts and story editor)
Allyzander Fourie (script editor)
Mimmy Mtshali Ntaka (senior resident writer)
Barang Sebatjane (storyliner)
Siphosethu Xolisa Tshapu (storyliner)
Chinaka Iwenze
Nonzi Bogatsu
Athos Kryiakides (storyliner)
Clive Mathibe
Wayne Robins
Liesl Wolmarans
Fanyane Hlabangane
Thuso Sibisi
Precious Sithole
Directed byNthabi Tau
Michael Sebonego
Kekeletso Mputhi
Pumla Hopa
Motlatsi Mafatshe
Theme music composerSiva Devar
Country of originSouth Africa
Original language(s)English (including a mix of various other South African languages)
No. of seasons21
No. of episodes5,080 (as of November 2018)
Executive producer(s)Pumla Hopa
Producer(s)Pomegranate Media
CinematographyKobus Van Niekerk
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Endemol Shine Africa
Pomegranate Media
Original networkSABC 3
Picture format16:9
Audio formatMonaural
Original release7 July 1998 (1998-07-07)[1] 
Preceded byThe Villagers
External links

Created by Gray Hofmeyr, the story is loosely based on another popular soap opera created by Hofmeyr, The Villagers, that was broadcast during the apartheid era in South Africa.[2] Former series Head Writers include Neil McCarthy, Mitzi Booysen, Ilse van Hermert, Christian Blomkamp, Busisiwe Ntintili, Loyiso Maqoma, Liam J Stratton, Rohan Dickson, Bongi Ndaba, and Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso.

On 29 November 2019 the SABC announced that the production is to be cancelled[3] with the final broadcast scheduled to be aired on 12 March 2020.


The main characters include the Haines family, the Matabanes, Vusi Moletsane the mine manager and the various residents of the boarding house owned by Maggie Webster. Barker Haines, owner of ON TV, is a high-living billionaire who often schemes his way into the lives of various people in and out of the mining town Horizon Deep, notably his daughter Leone.[2] The Matabanes are a close-knit family who comprise a stronghold, of sorts, in the populace of Horizon Deep, with Zebedee as the patriarch. Other central characters are Lolly De Klerk, Frank Xavier, Parsons Matibane, Georgie Zamdela and Calvin Xavier.

List of characters

  • Lincoln Sibeko (Lindani Nkosi)
  • Kgothalo Letsoalo (Katlego Danke)
  • Nikiwe Sibeko (Linda Sokhulu)
  • Nina Zamdela (Khabonina Qubeka)
  • Obakeng Zamdela (Anga Makubalo)
  • Sechaba Moloi (Motlatsi Mafatshe)
  • Ntando Sibeko (Loyiso McDonald)
  • Samuel Gatanga Masilo
  • Shadrack Bhekiziswe Sibiya
  • Makgorometsa
  • Anja Lategan (Lee Visagie)
  • Zandre Lategan (De-Andre Reinders)
  • Lalage Lategan
  • Wendy Van Onselen ( Michelle-Beling Pretorius)
  • Morongwa Kau (Soso Runqu)

Notable former characters

  • Georgie Zamdela (Darlington Michaels)
  • Agnes Matabane (Keketso Semoko)
  • Angelique Scott (Shannon Esra)
  • Aphiwe Nzimande (Khanya Mkangisa)
  • Benjamin Le Roux (Arno Marais)
  • Barker Haines (Robert Whitehead)
  • Lerato Tsotetsi
  • Kamogelo Tsotetsi (Makgotso Monyemorathule)
  • Katlego Sibeko (Kgomotso Christopher)
  • Cherel de Villiers (Michelle Botes)
  • Derek Nyati (Hlomla Dandala)
  • Dusty da Silva (Milan Murray)
  • Bradley Haines (Izak Davel)
  • Calvin Xavier (Maurice Paige)
  • Priya Kumar (Leeanda Reddy)
  • Rajesh Kumar (Jack Devnarain)
  • Tiffany Steyn (Carmen Pretorius)
  • Samantha Sharma (Zakeeya Patel)
  • Charlie Holmes (Michaella Russell)
  • Frank Xavier (Kevin Smith)
  • Sizwe Zondile (Jet Novuka)
  • Harriet Thompson (Grethe Fox)
  • Joey Ortlepp (Nathalie Boltt)
  • Len Cooper (Chris Beasley)
  • Kimberly Lewis (Marisa Drummond)
  • Kyle Ortlepp (Owen Meyer)
  • Kieran Harriman (McGregor)
  • Leone Haines (Ashley Callie)
  • Lesedi Moloi (Gugulethu Zuma)
  • Letti Matabane (Lesego Motsepe)
  • Lolly van Onselen (Kim Engelbrecht)
  • Maggie Webster (Karin Van Der Laag)
  • Nandipha Sithole (Hlubi Mboya)
  • Natasha Wallace (Jo da Silva (actress))
  • Parsons Matabane (Tshepo Maseko)
  • Paul McPherson (Carl Beukes)
  • Erin McPherson (Tessa Jubber) – 2005
  • Philippa de Villiers (Bianca Amato) – 1998–2001
  • Pradashan Naiker
  • Sean Kumar (Silvem Pillai)
  • Siyanda Mazibuko
  • Stella Fouche (Judy Ditchfield)
  • Jaseel Gonasalen (Ishq Pitamber)
  • Georgie Zamdela (Darlington Michaels)
  • S'khumbuzo Nzimande (Sisa Hewana)
  • Zukisa Zondile (Noluthando Neje)
  • Yvette (Charmaine Weir Smith)
  • Janine (Caitlin Kilburn)
  • Steve Stethakis (Emmanuel Castis)
  • Stuart Buller (Colin Moss) – 1998–2000
  • Ted Dixon (Clive Scott)
  • Tim Wilson (Nathan Ro)
  • Elize (Lynne McCarthy)
  • Tommy "Mad Dog" McCulum (David James) – 2004–2006
  • Vusi Moletsane (Meshack Mavuso)
  • Yvette Meyer (Shannon Esra) – 2004
  • Zak (Fikile Mthwalo)
  • Zebedee Matabane (Don Mlangeni)
  • Parsons Matabane (Tshepo Maseko)
  • Dr McNamara (Mary Ann Barlow)
  • Gabriel Mothusi (Aubrey Poo)
  • Hendrik Lategan ( Gérard Rudolf)

Lungi Biyela ( Jo-Anne Reyneke)

Major character exits

Actress Michelle Botes, who had played villainess Cherel De Villiers since Isidingo's 1998 debut, announced her imminent departure from the series in October 2006, a week after being "snubbed" by The South African Television Awards (though Isidingo had taken home the most awards). Botes next portrayed Ingrid in the rival soap Binnelanders, which directly competes with Isidingo on the pay-channel M-Net.[4] She returned to Isidingo from 2010 to 2013.

Soon after winning Best Actress Award at the South African Film and Television Awards for her portrayal of Leone "Lee" Haines, 32-year-old actress Ashley Callie died following a car accident in February 2008.[5] The role was not recast, and the character was written out by having Lee went missing as she didn't showed up for work and later revealed she had died in a deserted field without specifying her cause of death.[6]

Six months after Callie's death, the series killed off original character Letti Matabane (played by actress Lesego Motsepe) in a similar car accident, prompting a "nationwide outpouring of grief".[7]

See also


  1. "Isidingo". The South African TV Authority. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  2. Willoughby, Guy (28 April 2006). "Isidingo's lustre will never fade while Barker remains his nasty self". Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. "Final episode of Isidingo to air on SABC 3 in March 2020 | IOL News". Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  4. Engelbrecht, Gerda (19 October 2009). "Michelle Botes: Elegant and charming". Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  5. "Isidingo actress Ashley Callie dies". Mail & Guardian. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  6. Xulu, Nomfundo (19 February 2008). "Isidingo won't replace Ashley". The Times. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  7. Kennedy, Christina (23 January 2014). "OBITUARY: Lesego Motsepe". Financial Mail. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
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