It's been a long three-year wait for Tshisa
fans but the show's eventually back for a new season. Season 3 premieres on SABC1 tonight (Friday, 25 May) at 20h30 and sees the return of favourite characters as well as the show's signature format and an extension of the original storylines.
The delay in a new season has been the result of the financial woes that struck the SABC when Tshisa was at the height of it's popularity. The plan was always to bring it back for another season but no contracts could be signed until last year, which is when production for the season started.
The long break created various challenges for the show, most specifically getting the cast together again - which they've successfully managed to do. All except two of the starring cast are back to re-ignite their characters.
and Zukisa Matola
return to headline as Bafana and Ayanda, Innocent Masuku
returns as Baksteen and Mbali Mlotshwa
returns as Precious.
Also making a comeback are Thandy Matlaila
as Lindiwe, Given Stuurman
as Ayanda's brother Speedy, Arthur Mbambo
as Frank, Thembi Tshabalala
as Nomsa and Thembsie Matu
The biggest casting change surrounds the role of Ayanda's blind mother Thembela, who was played by blind actress Helen Ndamase
in previous seasons. Helen wasn't available for the new season so stalwart Vatiswa Ndara
replaces her in the role.
Also not available: Melusi Yeni
, who's too busy with Generations to return as Bafana's brother Bheki. He appears in the first two episodes and then he'll disappear. The season's been written in such a way that he could return if he wants to.
Joining Vatiswa as newcomers are Mxolisi Masango
and Thuli Phongolo
who play Spoke and Zama, two new Tshisa presenters who present the TV show within the show.
A number of celebrities will be playing fictitious versions of themselves - those confirmed so far include Toya Delazy
and Lulo Café
So what can we expect from the premiere and the season?
Series producer Mmamitse Thibedi revealed to TVSA that the season's about redemption and whether or not everyone manages to achieve it.
Mmamitse told us: "The character’s have gone through drug addiction, their pursuit of fame and all of that so we’re taking them through a redemption phase. They’re either going to make it out of the drugs or they’re not. That’s the big question: are they going to survive this lifestyle? How are they going to overhaul their lives?"
For Baksteen the real test is going to come when someone from his past returns.
For Bafana it's going to be what happens after he discovers that he can move his toes. He's been bound to his wheelchair and suddenly feels that he can move.
This is how the season opens, posing the questions: will he walk again? If he walks again, will he change his life for the better? Will he stop doing drugs? Is he going to stop cheating on his girlfriend?
For more, and to catch-up on previous seasons if you missed them or a want a refresh, see TVSA's Tshisa Mini-Site.