e.tv has announced the cancellation of its long-running daily drama which has been on air for over 13 years. The very first episode of Rhythm City aired on 9 July 2007 as a replacement for Backstage.
This is despite the very fact that the soapie has been performing well with over 5.2 million viewers this year alone, making it one among the highest 10 most-watched soapies in Mzansi.
According to the channel, decommissioning the soapie is only a business decision and a part of a greater business strategy.
Managing Director at e.tv, Marlon Davids said during a statement: “e.tv continues to seem forward to fulfilling its mandate of manufacturing exceptional and relevant local content, and therefore the production has successfully achieved its a part of the requirement throughout the past 13 years. Rhythm City has secured its place in e.tv’s history books, and a legacy mark has been made. we would like to increase our gratitude to the whole production staff, crew, and cast for his or her incomparable craft.”
We can’t help but wonder if something bigger is at play as five lead actors all resigned just a couple of months apart.
These are a number of the actors who left the soapie recently:
Simphiwe Mtshali (Bash)
The actor confirmed his departure from the soapie in September 2019. He had been with Rhythm City for 10 years. He cited performing on a reality show together with his wife together of the explanations for leaving while the channel said they were making way for upcoming actors.
Jamie Bartlett (David Genaro)
In February 2020 the legendary Jamie left Rhythm City after 13 years on the soapie. Jamie said he had other projects lined up.
Samkelo Ndlovu (Lerato)
Samkelo announced her departure from Rhythm City during a detailed Twitter post where she mentioned that she had initially resigned the year before but was asked to remain longer by the producers. She mentioned that she was leaving on good terms with the assembly .
Amo Chidi (Rene)
Amo resigned every week after Samkelo announced her resignation and in contrast to her co-stars, she gave no reasons for her departure which prompted tons of speculation.
A tweet by Rhythm City actress Mapula Mafole has also added fuel to the hearth as she seemed even as surprised as everybody else at the news that the show is coming to an end. She wrote within the since-deleted tweet: “Rhythm City… Ending??? What??!! #RhythmCity”
I have worked with Rhythm City since 2011. This is heartbreaking. The family that brought you so much heart and soul and truth now coming to an end. But in the name of All That Is Good no crew member or cast member or office staff member will suffer from this. Malachi 3:10.
— Thishiwe Ziqubu (@thishiweziqubu) November 20, 2020
Meanwhile, actor Thishiwe Ziqubu said they (Ziqubu doesn’t conform to any gender) were heartbroken, as that they had worked on the assembly since 2011.
Yho this year has been such an emotional roller coaster 😭
— Mapula Mafole (@mapulamafole) November 21, 2020
Apart from the drama which will have gone down behind the scenes, our hearts leave to the assembly staff and actors who will now be presumably without jobs.
Just last month, Mohale Motaung made waves after his debut on the show. His casting was met with backlash on social media, with accusations that Mohale only bagged the role due to his hubby, Somizi Mhlongo.
Although the channel won’t divulge much immediately , it’s been confirmed that Rhythm City are going to be replaced by another local daily drama in 2021.