JOHANNESBURG — A scene in South Africa’s popular daily drama “Yizo Yizo” showing the prison rape of a gangster who had raped a schoolgirl has outraged local auds.
Viewers flooded pubcaster SABC with complaints. But MPs from the ruling African National Congress tabled a motion in parliament demanding that the show be axed.
The series is made with the cooperation of the education ministry, which believes it mirrors the grim reality of learning difficulties, crime, ill-discipline and over-crowding in schools that were reserved for “blacks only” under apartheid.
The Council of Education Ministers, made up of Minister Kader Asmal and his provincial counterparts, stands by the show.
They have called on the public “to respond positively to ‘Yizo Yizo’ by using the opportunity created by it to discuss the challenges we face.”
“Yizo Yizo,” township slang for “the way it is,” is now in its third run and tops the ratings with more than 3 million viewers tuning in for its slice-of-life shock value.
In the absence of a strong local film industry, TV shows occupy the same place in society as they do in Brazil, where the big stars are on the small screen.