You can now stream ‘Tjovitjo,’ the popular South African drama series centered on pantsula dance, on Netflix. More than two years since its initial premiere, the popular South African drama series Tjovitjo can now be streamed on Netflix. When the show first aired on the national channel SABC 1 in August 20, 2017, it enjoyed a massive record-breaking viewership, pulling in an excess of 5.7 million viewers.
At the time, SABC1 Programme Manager Sane Zondi was quoted by various news sources as saying: “You can benchmark against previous drama series like Yizo Yizo which attracted around 3 million viewers. Tshisa pulled about 4,7 million and Zone 14 drew up to 4,5 million viewers. All of these were on SABC1. So, in a way, SABC 1 sets and breaks its own records.”
The show won multiple awards, most notably Best TV Drama at the SAFTAs (South African Film and Television Awards) in 2018.
Tjovitjo is centered on isipantsula (pantsula dance), which has been a part of South African urban culture for decades since the 1950s, and still continues to resonate across the world to this day. The show follows the dance group AmaTjovitjo and uses dance as an entry point to highlighting the plights faced by South Africa’s working class every day. Beloved and versatile actor Warren Masemola is the lead on the show which captured the hearts of South Africans. Tjovitjo was directed by Vincent Moloi, a veteran in South African television.
As maFred puts it: “We stay together. We fight for what’s ours. They can copy us and sell the fake to us. But they’ll never get to the depth of our souls. No matter how much they try to make us irrelevant, they can never be us. To be us is hard, you have to lose the privilege the world has allowed you.
“Even those who are supposed to be our protectors, our guardian angels against our enemies, we know they too fight us. They know, we know, we are gifted. We know they fear us. We fear them too, but we never gonna give in the fight for our existence. We have our stories to tell and a history to write.”