The third season starts with strong emotion with Thapelo's father dying of AIDS. It continues to explore the theme of HIV and AIDS focusing on education, educators and learners.
This is examined through Nozipho (learner) who is brave enough to disclose that she is HIV positive and Clinton (teacher) who chooses to hide when he discovers that he is HIV positive.
Despite Tumi's visual impairment she is included in a mainstream school environment. The role of school governing bodies is also profiled in this series.
Pule, a teacher, played by Stoan Seate of Bongo Muffin fame is a positive role model who is well-liked by the learners. However, he has to learn to manage his finances as he is living beyond his means.
Issues of nutrition and lifestyle are highlighted in a story where Bonnie's weight issues come to the fore when she wants to be part of the school dance troupe. She is pressured to be thinner.
Family relationships are shown through sibling support with Thapelo getting his sister into school (a child-headed household), Sipho's protection over his HIV positive sister and Siya's interference in Zandi's friendship with Mak, which blossoms through their common interest in poetry.
Kylie experiences her father's anger when he loses his job as a police captain and her efforts to please him are in vain. Tumi is afraid to tell her mother about dropping her tape recorder into the swimming pool.
The Soul Buddyz are always there to lend support. They offer comfort to Thapelo, when his father dies; they assist Tumi to fix the tape recorder; they keep an eye on the poor in their community - and an equally sharp eye on Karabo's attempt to take money from their savings due to peer pressure to have a cell phone.
Nozipho's pneumonia diagnosis creates suspense at the end of the first half of Season 3.
Living positively with HIV is the main thread of the season, which opens with Nozipho sick in hospital. Nozipho begins treatment and her brother becomes her treatment partner. With the support of her parents and Soul Buddyz she becomes well again.
Thami's journey is a difficult one. He is still trying to deal with the loss of his mother, who he desperately wants to find. He gains a lot of support from Hamilton and Batsi.
Parental and sibling love are strong themes. As spirits lift, the energy focuses on the Buddyz' Side by Side concert, a theme that brings home the message of acceptance and support for people living with HIV, and disabilities.
The importance of nutrition and lifestyle is tackled through changes at the tuckshop when Aunty Baps introduces some healthy alternatives to the usual sweets and chips. The other teachers also rally support for healthy living.
Clinton runs a competition to promote fitness and Mr. Mofokeng - who manages the athletics team - is delighted to discover Thapelo's potential as an athlete.
Nazli Adams is the new social worker at the school. She helps the school live up to the ideal of being a node of care for vulnerable children.
This season has a number of exciting romances with many ups and downs.
The lessons about money management and how to understand the difference between what one wants versus what one needs are learnt through Brett's harsh experience with loan sharks, when he borrows money to pay for costly car repairs, and Sipho stealing to buy cool jeans.
Pule's financial woes continues when his car is repossessed and his credit card account closed.
There are many new real life heroes in this story – Musa Njoko, Victor Vermeulen, Edwin Cameron and Doctor Khumalo, who all help the Soul Buddyz and participate in the Side by Side concert.
They are important role models, but the real heroes are the Soul Buddyz and their families who bravely confront the difficult issues they deal with every day.
Soul Buddyz was specifically developed for 8 to 12-year olds, with consistently the highest audience ratings in its category.
Due to the success of the first two seasons, SABC moved the 18h30 prime time slot to a later prime time slot of 19h00.
The series appeals not only to children, but also to the broader family, specifically the parents of 8 - 12 year olds. With strong real-life stories that affect children, their parents and their teachers, it delivers the positive message that all irrespective of age should – and can talk about issues.
Soul Buddyz was developed specifically with this age group in mind because attitudes are often formed during this critical time and yet, in the context of a rapidly transforming society with technological changes as well as social changes, the needs and aspirations of children between the ages of 8-12 years old are often neglected.
Emotional and health problems often originate or become embedded in this age group, with social problems such as physical and sexual abuse severely retarding the potential of many children.
It also breaks the stereotype that children are incapable of making informed choices and reinforces the message that kids can be active citizens in society.
Season 3 stars Shaughn Reyneke, Gift Kubheka, Tertia Coetzee, Claire Zijlestra, Thando Dlamini, Gift Mokhampanyane, Mathapelo Matseke, Vuyelwa Booi, Tsholofelo Wechoemang, Jafta Mamabolo, Mortimer Williams, Stoan Seate, Xolani Mali and Nomathamsanqa Baleka.
Season 3 was split into two halves of 13 episodes each. Season 3a aired from 6 July to 28 September, 2005, on Wednesdays at 19h00. The second half of the season (known as Season 3b) returned with Episode 14 on 27 July, 2006, in a new timeslot of Thursdays at 19h00.
Season 3 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Shaughn Reyneke ... Hamilton
Gift Kubheka ... Thami
Tertia Coetzee ... Bonnie
Claire Zijlstra ... Kylie
Thando Dlamini ... Nozipho
Gift Mokhampanyane ... Sipho
Mathapelo Matseke ... Tumi
Vuyelwa Booi ... Pabi
Tsholofelo Wechoemang ... Karabo
Salamina Mosese ... Zandi (as Salamina Mphelo)
Jafta Mamabolo ... Thapelo (as Japhta Mamabolo)
Mortimer Williams ... Clinton
Stoan Seate ... Pule (as Serai "Stoan" Seate)
Xolani Mali ... Bheki
Thami Baleka ... Ntombi (as Nomathamsanqa Baleka)
Dominic Fundam ... Bheki
Tumi Morake ... Pabi
Ipeleng Matlhaku ... Tshidi (as Ipeleng Mathaku)
Recurring / Guests
Connie Mfuku ... Gogo
Setlhabi Taunyane ... Jackson
Boikie Pholo ... Mr Mulaudzi
Ferry Jele ... Aunty Vi
Lionel Newton ... Uncle Tommy
Innocentia Lumadi ... Ndivhuho (as Ndamulelo Lumadi)
Sihle Mangqu ... Siya
Kagiso Mtetwa ... Tshepo
Tshidi Vera ... Batsi
Norah Ringane ... Mrs Gumbi
Reuben Roets ... Criminal
Neels Clasen ... Brett
Lee-Ann Shepherd ... Cathy
Melusi Yeni ... Policeman
Samson Khumalo ... Mr Raboroko
Bajabulile Masombuka ... Reporter
Magi Williams ... Ma Catherine
Jill Middelkop ... Brenda
Tamia Ameen ... Brooke
Sizwe Dlamini ... M.C.
Mak Manaka ... Mak (as Mac Manaka)
Denise Newman ... Aunty Baps
Athi Fongoza ... Young Thami
Mlungisi Zondo ... Bully Boy
Natasha Slack ... Cynthia
Phadu Baholo ... Joshua
Sibusiso Mkhize ... Skhu
Ishmauel Songo ... Stompie
Wesleigh Kapotis ... Andre
Darren Verouiel ... Boy 1 (as Darren Vercueil)
Lillian Dube ... Sister Bettina
Magic Hlatshwayo ... Manager
Allan Bevolo ... Salesman (as Allan Bavolo)
Thomas Lishi ... Employment Agency
Khumo Dolo ... Kebone
Maungo Dolo ... Rebone
Cedric Dladla ... Mr Matobane
David Dennis ... Sol Grootboom
Phumla Radebe ... Shop Assistant
Bheki Ntombela ... Taxi Driver
Musa Njoko ... Musa
Amanda Lane ... Clown 1
Phillippa de Villiers ... Clown 2
Gift Motaung ... Clown 3
Marlene Bahdul ... Mrs Bahdul
Moipone Mokhutle ... Batsi
Karabo Vundla ... Orphanage Head
Doctor Khumalo ... Doctor Khumalo
Thulani Zwane ... Richard
Lerato Makgatho ... Woman at Bazaar
Given Stuurman ... Neo
Duke Motlanthe ... Zakes
Tiffany Barbuzano ... Gallery Assistant
Tebogo Hlagala ... Mr Radebe
Du Plessis ... Mr Ishmael
Phillip Mahlaba ... Mr Nkosi
Victor Vermeulen ... Victor Vermeulen
Isobel Vermeulen ... Victor's Mom
Mashnee Darmen ... Mrs Naidoo
Aakash Odhav ... Rashaad
Sphiwe Msiza ... Mrs Dlamini
Sybrandt van Niekerk ... Mechanic
Mnikazi Myeza ... Stalker
Shannon Bishop ... Dance Teacher
Natasha Mabulaweni ... Dancer
Tanith Blom ... Dancer
Roxanne da Conceicao ... Dancer
Edwin Kgarose ... Dancer
Ayanda Kgarose ... Dancer
Melissa Mourao ... Dancer
Lee-Ann Shepherd ... Cathy
Lawrence Joffe ... Loan Shark
Craig Jackson ... Motorist
Wilson Dunster ... Antique Dealer
Delia Meyer ... Nazli
Edwin Cameron ... Judge (as Judge Edwin Cameron)
Renate Scherwath ... Secretary (as Scherwath Renate)
Babalwa Rabula ... Nurse
Stanley Marota ... Policeman (as Marota Stanley)
Linda Sebezo ... Thami's Mother
Jerry Maimela ... Mr Mofokeng
Moses Bapela ... Mr Morafe
Musa Njoko ... Musa