By Taiwo Okanlawon
ISONO, BET Africa’s first original daily drama marks 100 episodes since the launch in September 2020. The suspenseful drama brings to audiences authentic African storytelling from love, betrayal, intrigue, twists and turns of the dual nature of human personalities; revelations of self and shadow behaviour which gets community members asking, “What are you hiding?”
ISONO viewers across the African continent were introduced to Mother Mary, played by seasoned actress Nthati Moshesh. Mother Mary hides under the façade of the Mother of The Nation sheltering orphans at the House of Grace.
You would never connect this powerful community leader to the shadowy crime, illegal adoption operation, murder and drug business in Vosloorus which she runs with her henchmen Gabriel and AB.
ISONO also celebrates cross-cultural diversity by rounding off the Pan African talent pool that includes Nigerian cast members like Anthony Oseyemi, Christine Osifuye and Chioma Umeala to depict multiple narratives and continental resonance.
The first 100 episodes of ISONO has played an integral content role in tackling societal issues that resonate strongly with audiences across the continent, from Gender-Based violence to drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental health issues.
Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa and BET International Peer Lead commented, “BET Africa is proud to celebrate this significant milestone, the 100th episode of ISONO. Our intent at BET is to take African storytelling and talent to the world.
“The daily drama is testament to our commitment to educating global audiences on the richness and nuances of African culture and storytelling. This is a big thank you to our audiences who have inspired us to bring innovative home-grown content production to life.”
BET Africa’s commitment to driving black excellence and culture equally celebrates powerful women who are forging a path of their own and ISONO provided African women a platform that enables them to tell their stories authentically. In addition to a stellar female cast, ISONO’s narrative and creative direction is steered by Manchester Mahapa as lead writer and director. Mahapa is a remarkable young talent who has created an innovative approach to film making.
Manchester Mahlogonolo Mahapa said, “The show hitting episode 100 is major milestone and no easy feat to accomplish especially under COVID-19 restrictions. It has been a real learning curve and also nothing short of amazing.
“We set out to create an authentic daily drama like no other for an African audience and we have seen it land in ways that excites us and show us that there is an appetite for a gritty show like Isono.
The star-studded African talent that headlined the launch of this gripping and suspenseful original daily drama includes TV thespians Nthati Moshesh, Moshidi Motshegwa, Rami Chuene, Charmaine Mtinta, Hamilton Dhlamini, Dumisani Mbebe , Bongani Gumede and popular Presenter Lalla Hirayama. Bohang Moeko, Didintle Khunou, Senzo Radebe, TK Sebothoma, Anga ‘Naakmusiq’ Makubalo, Ayanda Nhlapo and Natasha Thahane were cast to play smoking young guns who continuously bring passion, excitement and betrayal to the storyline. The original daily drama welcomed young and rising stars Kgosi Mongake, Tshepo Ledwaba, Mpho Sibeko and Mpule Matlhola.
BET Africa and Clive Morris Productions introduced new faces and upcoming talent from Dimpho More to Omphemetse Tolo.
The suspenseful original daily drama airs Monday to Thursday on BET AFRICA (DStv Channel 129) at 21:30 CAT/ 20:30 WAT.