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The problems with Discovery Channel's new miniseries Madiba

Written by Tashi from the blog Tashi's TV on 19 Sep 2017
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The twilight zone that exists between America and Africa strikes again in November with the premiere of the miniseries Madiba.
 
It's a three-part BET series about the life and struggle of Nelson Mandela but it's not airing on BET and it isn't in three parts.

It's going to air in six hour-long episodes on Discovery Channel, starting on Monday, 6 November at 21h00. 
 
This is how it goes with many of the international channels that we get. They do one thing in America, another in Africa and we see the impact months later.
 
The series aired on BET in America in February this year so we're already far behind the times with it and the twilight zone extends to the cast because it stars Laurence Fishburne as Madiba.
 
I like Laurence but I'm very iffy and frustrated by the fact that South African actors don't get to portray Madiba in international series and films and that this trend goes on and on.
 
The South African cast includes Terry Pheto as Winnie, Hlomla Dandala as Govan Mbeki and Meren Reddy as Ahmed Kathrada but this doesn't make up for it.

Also, the starring roles of Oliver Thambo and Walter Sisulu are played by American and English actors Orlando Jones and David Harewood which means our South African actors don't even get a look-in with these activist roles.
 
I imagine Laurence was cast to "sell" the series to Americans because they know who he is and I want the world watching our story but I also want us to be seen completely.
 
Ultimately the whole situation puts a growl on my dial.
 

Shows in this post: Madiba

Channels in this post: Discovery Channel, BET



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