“FELA’S TV “ is a half-hour comedy show built around the much loved performer JOE MAFELA, as well as introducing brand new young comic talent to the South African viewers and showcasing them in a fresh and exciting format. It will combine side-splitting sketches and character driven comic vignettes within the framework of a fictitious pirate TV show.
‘Fela (JOE MAFELA) is a cleaner at the SABC. When everyone goes home, ‘Fela takes the opportunity to achieve his secret dream – to temporarily take over the channel and to broadcast his own TV show. But it’s a show unlike anything else on TV – it’s comedy from a unique perspective under unique circumstances.
Every week, ‘Fela takes over an empty studio (when he’s supposed to be cleaning it!) and imagines himself broadcasting his own show to homes around the country. We are his audience and he’s got something he’d like to show us. Inside his water bucket, we find no water – instead, hidden by a cloth, we find piles of videotapes that ‘Fela has made for our viewing pleasure.
The tapes are full of comic sketches (or Fela’s Funnies) presenting a humourous view of situations experienced by every South African – at home, at work, at play, in relationships and out of relationships.
Whatever you expect to see on traditional TV – romance, domestic issues, news and even sport – will be found on ‘Fela’s TV. But with a slightly different spin…
But, deep in the bowels of the SABC, ‘Fela will not always be alone in the studio. ‘Fela has to keep an eye open for two regular visitors – Queen Ledwaba (LELE LEDWABA), the assistant to the assistant of the deputy commissioning editor, and Hercules Zulu (KENNETH NKOSI)– a rather over zealous security guard. The inopportune arrival of these two characters in ‘Fela’s booth will allow ‘Fela to have a comic interaction with them in every episode.
Fela strategically brings Hercules in on his plan and gets him to act as his cameraman. Hercules is besotted with Queen and is forever plucking up his courage to tell her his feelings. Queen is a conscientious worker with great aspirations to one day running the SABC. However, she is not as far up the corporate ladder as she likes to think she is. Fela occasionally uses her as his unwitting and unknowing co-anchor on his show. These interactions often complicate Fela’s desire to show his sketches to the viewers at home, but he manages.
Because humour is always subjective and an individual’s response depends on very personal taste, the many sketches are designed to cater to diverse senses of humour and to have broad appeal. The different gags cover a broad range of comedy, spanning from the visual pratfall to subtler humour to the offbeat, wacky and bizarre. The style will be eclectic, guaranteeing that ‘FELA’S TV’ will have something for everyone. The strength of a sketch show format is that so many different tastes can be organically slotted together within the same episode.
A strong troupe of comic actors has been assembled to bring the comedy sketches to life, including TUMISHO MASHA, ANTHEA THOMPSON, BONGINKOSI TWALA, HAMILTON DLAMINI, BRETT GOLDIN, SONIA ESQUEIRA, MEREN REDDY, MAKGANO MAMABOLO, TUMI MASEMOLA and JASON KENNET. They will film on location under the direction of BRENDAN POLLECUTT. A large team of over twenty writers has contributed material to the show. This included many first time writers. An initiative that invited writers from the membership of the South African Script Writers Association (SASWA) to submit material had successful results.
The studio shoot will be directed by VUSI DIBAKWANE. The programme will be produced by Penguin Films under the artistic direction of Roberta Durrant and Joe Mafela. It will be broadcast on SABC2 from Tuesday the 6th April at 21h30.
“ ‘FELA’S TV “ will deliver a diverse, entertaining and unique mix of comedy sketches and situation comedy on a weekly basis.