Puppet Nation ZA

Genres: Comedy, News & Actuality, Satire



Add to Show Favourites


Season 6

Puppet Nation ZA (formerly known as ZA News) is a South African satirical puppet web and television series created by Thierry Cassuto and Zapiro and produced by Both Worlds which uses puppets to parody the formulaic style of media broadcasting in order to remind people that it is possible to engage humorously with societal issues that can often be a source of tension and frustration.

The series began as a web exclusive in 2009 after a television pilot was vetoed by the SABC and was picked up as a TV series by TopTV's Top One channel for the start of the fourth season, in 2011. It premiered on Top One on Sunday 11 September 2011, at 21h00, beginning with Season 4; and after two seasons was renamed Puppet Nation ZA, when Top One became StarSat.

See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.

Season 6 aired on Star One from 9 November, 2013 to 3 May, 2014, on Saturdays at 21h00. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 26 episodes in the sixth season.


Contemporary puppet based satire shows are by no means a new idea - the British television series Spitting Image enjoyed great success during the Conservative ruled era of the 80s and 90s, and the French equivalent Les Guignols is still a popular television series.

Nor is Puppet Nation ZA the only African show of its kind, as Kenya produces The XYZ Show.

What all of these shows have in common though is that they are all produced locally for a local audience with puppet caricatures of mostly local politicians, celebrities and the everyman with the aim of holding a mirror to their respective societies so that the audience can look, laugh and learn.

Puppet Nation ZA keeps an ear to the ground, bringing the audience a mix of the latest and most controversial current events in a witty and unorthodox way - parodying the formulaic style of media broadcasting in order to remind people that it is possible to engage humorously with societal issues that can often be a source of tension and frustration.

From Julius Malema's ramblings to Jacob Zuma's soothsaying and Helen Zille's calculated tirades, Puppet Nation ZA captures the strange, rainbow-coloured wilderness of South African politics in our own quirky, latexed fashion.

With puppets designed by renowned satirical cartoonist Zapiro, Puppet Nation ZA offers a scathing yet side-splitting take on the local milieu of South African life.

No one is safe, but everyone is welcome.

Inspired by the work of cartoonist Zapiro, the series is written by Thierry Cassuto, Osiame Molefe, Rebecca Davis, Tom Eaton, Andrew Donaldson, Anne Hirsch and Marianne Thamm, among others. Cassuto and Zapiro are executive producers.

The show features the voice talent of a large ensemble cast which includes Aggrey Lonake, Nik Rabinowitz, Nikki Jackman, Adam Behr, Mamello "Mum-Z" Mokoena and Louw Venter.

The puppet design is by Zapiro and Lindsay van Blerk and the puppet makers include Matthew Sanna, Franci van den Heever and Geon Nel.

The fifth season of the show won three awards at the eighth annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) in April 2014:

Best TV Comedy

Best Director of a TV Comedy
Aaron Naidoo, Thierry Cassuto

Best Writing Team of a TV Comedy
Andrew Donaldson, Anne Hirsch, Marianne Thamm, Thierry Cassuto

Season 5 also received a nomination for Best Ensemble in a TV Comedy.

Related Articles

ZANews lands primetime slot on TopTV


Note: the series began airing on Top One from Season 4 - the first three seasons aired exclusively online. After two seasons on Top One the channel was discontinued and rebranded as Star One, with the name of the show changing to Puppet Nation ZA from Season 6.

Season 4 (26 episodes)

Channel: Top One | Premiere: 11 Sep 2011 | Finale: 4 Mar 2012 | Sun, 21h00

Season 5 (26 episodes)

Channel: Top One | Premiere: 12 Aug 2012 | Finale: 3 Feb 2013 | Sun, 21h00

Season 6 (26 episodes)

Channel: Star One | Premiere: 9 Nov 2013 | Finale: 3 May 2014 | Sat, 21h00

Season 7 (26 episodes)

Channel: Star One | Premiere: 10 May 2014 | Finale: 1 Nov 2014 | Sat, 21h00

Season 6 Cast

Various Characters

Various Characters

Various Characters


Legacy 2 on M-Net Teasers - July 2022

Stefan and Sims go "undercover" and face many dangers.

New on TV today: Tuesday 28 June

Curiosity documents the Battle for Goose Green as Power Book II: Ghost returns to 1Magic.

Arendsvlei Teasers - July 2022

A secret is revealed on someone's last breath.

New on TV today: Monday 27 June

The comedy Maxxx debuts on S3, the BET Awards air live and delayed and two new dramas start on M-Net.

New on TV today: Sunday 26 June

CBS investigates When Diets Go Horribly Wrong as HISTORY documents Jews who were Numbered.

New on TV today: Saturday 25 June

The only new show tonight is Restaurant: Impossible 19 on Food Network.

Imbewu Teasers - July 2022

Zithulele knocks someone over and kills them! Also, a fake baby dies.

New on TV today: Friday 24 June

It's the battle of the streamer comedies, with Man Vs Bee on Netflix and Loot on Apple TV+.

Gomora 3 Teasers - July 2022

There are 2 separate knife incidents.

The River 5 on 1Magic Teasers - July 2022

Morena wants to sample from different menus...


More activity at TVSA Central




You browser doesn't have Flash, Silverlight, Gears, BrowserPlus or HTML5 support.