Arts and culture Entertainment Lifestyle

Coming soon to M-Net: Legacy, a dazzling local telenovela with a to-die-for ensemble cast

A ground-breaking South African soap opera is to be launched by M-Net in September, when the new drama Legacy is broadcast for the first time. 

Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said the serial would add  new dimension to the variety of content on DStv, with daily broadcasts that were likely to quickly capture a strong following among DStv viewers.

“Legacy will feature brilliant storylines set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires, with a sterling, diverse cast,” she said.

“It’s specifically aimed at DStv Premium audiences and without doubt is destined to become a hit. The series features Machiavellian mega-rich characters living dysfunctional lives, as in the award-winning HBO series Succession, but in a distinctly South African context. Add a dose of The Bold and The Beautiful, colour the concoction with pure escapism in the topical and aspirational style of the best Brazilian telenovelas, and you have Legacy in a nutshell.”

 This will be first time in many years that M-Net viewers have been offered daily South African drama in a popular genre that sees M-Net take exciting step. Steered by an acclaimed production company and featuring a cast that combines top-flight established soap stars and hottest up-and-coming talent, it is hoped Legacy will offer scintillating  and new styles of filming.

“Viewers can expect all kinds of innovation to cement M-Net and MultiChoice’s reputation as Africa’s most loved storyteller,” said Ms Dziva.

Legacy’s story of conflict is set in an upmarket investment empire that was established by Sebastian Price, the patriarch of the super-wealthy Price family when he was in his early twenties. Now a ‘silver fox’ approaching retirement, it is clear that a family member will soon have to take over the reins. But who will it be? And, at what cost? Sebastian’s bitter ex-wife and ruthless daughter will do whatever it takes to ensure that Sebastian’s second wife, Dineo, does not push her playboy son into the position of CEO.

“Of course, the power struggle turns nasty. A witches’ brew of betrayal, secrets, lies and revenge,” said Ms Dziva.

Stepping into the roles of the current Mrs Price, Dineo, and Sebastian’s ex-wife, Angelique, a former lawyer who is now a woman of leisure, are two of South Africa’s most formidable leading ladies: Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes, both known for creating unforgettable soap characters.  After a long stint on Isidingo, Kgomotso this year clinched a SAFTA award, her third, for her performance in Scandal. She is cut out for the role of Dineo, a beautiful yet tragic second wife with a heart of gold beneath all the Gucci. Michelle rose to fame in the 1980s with star turns in series like Arende and Konings, and ruffled the feathers as At Koster’s wife in Binnelanders.

In Legacy, Mary-Anne Barlow will be the villain everyone loves to hate. As Felicity, Sebastian’s daughter. Mary-Anne will bring her proven mettle from shows  like Egoli, the British drama Wild At Heart and 1Magic’s  The River, for which she scooped a Best Supporting Actress SAFTA.

Seasoned film, television and theatre actor Deon Lotz is Legacy’s Sebastian. Deon had a starring role in Skoonheid, South Africa’s Academy Award entry for 2011, and the first Afrikaans film to be shown at the Cannes film festival, where it won the Queer Palm Award. He also played government kingpin Kobie Coetsee in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and boasts a long list of accolades for his work in kykNET films.

The charming stud who will set the hearts aflutter with his dazzling good looks is Sebastian’s wastrel son, SJ. The role fits Anton David Jeftha like a glove. He has made international inroads in US series filmed in South Africa, most notably Strike Back, Homeland and Dominion.

 Legacy is the brainchild of  Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon from the multiple-award-winning production company Tshedza Pictures.  Their latest feat, The River, made a clean sweep at this year’s SAFTA awards with ten Golden Horns. Johnny Barbuzano (Still Breathing) shares director’s duties with Catharine Cooke and Krijay Govender. Trevor Brown is the director of photography.

 Legacy will be launched in September on M-Net Channel 102 and DStv Premium viewers can also catch the series on Catch Up, or stream the episodes live via their mobile devices on DStv Now. News about the show is available on the M-Net website  and viewers can join the conversation with #LegacySA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv) and Facebook (@MNet).

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende