The end of an era. Skeem Saam gets the axe

The end of an era. Skeem Saam gets the axe

post The end of an era. Skeem Saam gets the axe


How did Mzansi’s third most-watched soapie lose millions of viewers and lose its signature third position in seven months?

7 months ago the show began season 9 with the devastating loss of its iconic character, Big Boy Mabitsela played by the late Charles Maja. The show was sitting on 7.8million views when Maja passed away in April 2020 after suffering a stroke.

Then the show introduced actress and musician, Candy “Tsa Mandebele” Mokwena to play Leshole Mabitsela’s mother, Bafedile to somehow fill the role of his father, Big Boy Mabitsela.

Whilst Mokwena was outstanding as Dayina on Giyani – Land of Blood, she wasn’t as authentic and appealing to the fans of Skeem Saam as Bafedile. She and Leshole had no connection whatsoever! Perhaps fans compared her greatly to the late Maja’s character and the unmatched chemistry he had with his on-screen son. Perhaps the show could’ve brought in an uncle instead…

Then the show lost 800k views after the departure of its other iconic character, Rachel “Dynamite” Kunutu played by actress, Lesego Marakalla who gave up acting to study fulltime.

According to the storyline, Marakalla’s character went to study medicine abroad in Cuba when her marriage to her villainous husband, Marothi fell apart. Other storylines that unfolded at the time: the sexual harassment case between Nimza and Pretty Seakamela, more unsolved cases by the Turfloop police station, Leeto and Mokgadi’s separation and Koloi’s on-going feud with his step-mother (Sis Ouma).
post The end of an era. Skeem Saam gets the axe
These were really lukewarm storylines in comparison with ETV’s Scandal which was seeking ‘her’ Romeo at the time.

Then, there were rumours that their other iconic character Lelo Mthiyane played by Amanda du Pont left the show for BET’s Isono. Though the actress plays the role of 21 year old Mamba on Isono, the rumours of her leaving the show were unfounded as Lelo is set to return to the show this February.

The introduction of Durban Gen which also plays at 18:30 in October sent the show’s views into a further decline as the educational soapie went from 6.7million views in September to 5.9million views in October, whilst Scandal was sitting on 5.1million views in October. This decline created a gap that Scandal needed to overtake Skeem Saam and land in third position in the country.

Scandal’s fantasy was finally fulfilled in December when it overtook Skeem Saam and acquired third position in the country for the first time since it was knocked over in 2014.

Although Scandal’s views dropped from 5million in November to 4.6milion viewers in December, it still toppled Skeem Saam from its signature third position as the show lost a further 1million viewers between November and December.

Skeem Saam went from 5.4million views in November to 4.4million views in December. Let’s hope Captain Malebana and Sergeant Babeile will solve this case before the show is thrown out by the SABC.

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