SABC2's new Xitsonga series Giyani: Land of Blood - what we know

Written by TVSA Team from the blog SABC2 on 28 Feb 2019
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Phathutshedzo Makwarela | Yvonne Chaka Chaka | Gwydion Beynon

A year ago TVSA ran a Casting Call for Mzansi's first Xitsonga drama series and now it's time for Giyani: Land of Blood to debut on screen.

It premieres on SABC2 on Monday, 1 April at 21h30, pitting itself against's crowd puller Imbewu: The Seed.

"On SABC2??" - we hear you ask. Aren't they as broke as an old shoe?! That's what we thought too so we're pleased to see there's hope on the horizon for the channel.

This is what we know about Giyani so far:

1. *Think trailer voice"...

"From the writers of 1Magic's The River, comes Mzansi's first ever Xitsonga series..."

It's written by Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon of Tshedza Pictures who are writing together so much we're nicking them Phatudion.

2. Giyani's stars include Muvhango star Ndivhuwo Mutsila, Charles Baloyi (Hola Mpinji!, The River), Obed Baloyi (Ga Re Dumele, Soul Buddyz) and... musos Candy "Tsa Mandebele" Mokwena, Linah "Ebony" Ngcobo and Yvonne Chaka Chaka in her first TV role.

So is it a musical? Word from the production is that it isn't.

3. The series was filmed partly in Giyani in Limpopo and partly in Joziburg, at Q-Studios. 

4. It's going to air two nights a week.

We'll spill more as new deets come to light.

Channels in this post: SABC2


28 Feb 2019 12:16

Tashi edited on
2/28/2019 12:22 PM

Mmmm... the twice a week set-up could be a problem. It was a problem for Keeping Score when it aired in the same timeslots.

When I interviewed Sonia Mbele during the first run of Keeping Score she told me that people were often confused about when it was on because of the two nights set-up.

Keeping Score still performed well despite this -  ranged between 2 and 3-million viewers - but that was before Imbewu was on in the same timeslot.

28 Feb 2019 15:39

Just as i was about to celebrate, urgh. Why 2 days a week though? It would have been great if it was on 5days. Imbewu has lost itz plot for me so i would definatly love to watch this

12 Mar 2019 15:26

Update alert!... it's been extended from two nights a week to three - it's going to air Mondays to Wednesdays.

A first snap of the cast: 

12 Mar 2019 15:30

This is what it's about...
The telenovela brings to life the conflict of two families - the Mudau and Baloyi families - who are locked in a bitter, decades-long squabble over a contested piece of fertile land and the banana plantation built on it. 

The first episode opens with a jubilant celebration of the land being returned to the community as a result of a successful land restitution claim.

Under the apartheid regime, the land had been assigned to the Van Reenen family who had built their considerable wealth through the banana plantation, which supplied every major supermarket in South Africa.   

The farm, reclaimed by the community, is renamed Tiakeni - a Xitsonga phrase meaning “Build Yourselves”, in tribute to the community’s perseverance and success in taking back their land.  

Giyani: Land of Blood brings to life the ageless themes of love rivalries, forbidden passion, stolen land, and corruption.

12 Mar 2019 15:40

TVSA Team edited on
3/12/2019 3:44 PM

... the theme song is composed and performed by the Tsonga group Dr Thomas Chauke and the Shinyori Sisters.

12 Mar 2019 17:52

Ndzi xeweta vamakwerhu Phathu na Gwydion, All Vatsonga, all Limpopo residents and South Africans at large. I should not forget the SABC and Tshedza Productions, Bravo to you all.
I am passionate about language and culture, this was long over due, and it is just a beginning. There are still a lot of untold treasurers and cultural riches in Limpopo.
The procrastination in the BDM (Analog to Digital) which would yield about eighteen channels. My view is that 21h30 is too late, but because of thirsty for Xitsonga content, we will wait. 
I am a member of Pfukani Vatsonga Machangana, full force behind the promoting language and culture.

16 Mar 2019 11:01

Can't wait to see another beautiful language aired on our screens. I will stick to the subtitles though for now.

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