Yizo 1 - A gritty, uncompromising television drama series set in a township
school that has achieved record-breaking audiences and cult status amongst South
murder, prostitution, abuse, HIV/AIDS. Serious issues. We wanted to contextualize
them for people with the power of music, laughter, friendship and glamour to match
the gritty authenticity of the work. Simple, universal themes proved their power
to move audiences.
language made it into the family lounge and gave different generations the insight
to a shared vocabulary with which to describe their reality. It is a stirring
thing to see audiences screaming at the screen, dancing to the music and taking
ownership of what we thought was ours.
first series won 5 Avanti Awards including Best Production and Best Director.
It also won the Japan Award and is being screened at festivals in London, Rotterdam,
New York and Barcelona.
Nyakale gave such a riveting performance as Papa Action that gangsters across
the country saluted him as the ultimate thug. Ronnie won the Best Supporting Actor
have lived a lot of my life in prison. Since I was 12 I have been in and out of
jail. In prison you die inside. One day I just got tired of it all, of jail, of
the black hole I called my life. And I decided to change. I am out on parole now.
Getting a part in the YIZO YIZO series was the first miracle!"after
my first hijacking, I knew I had made a mistake. I tried to get out. It was like
I was in a river and couldn't stop myself from flowing down with it"
YIZO is the story of an ordinary school overcoming extraordinary obstacles.
It is about the struggle of ordinary people to learn, play, teach, read, dream,
love and find their place in the world. The school year starts at what seems a
well-ordered Supatsela High. This reflects the efforts of the current principle,
a strict and conservative man who attempts to make the most of limited resources.
It soon becomes clear however, that his authoritarian style holds together by
force a situation that is fundamentally unsound, and that it cannot continue to
do so when the cracks in the ordered relationships of the school and its community
begin to widen.
a student is badly beaten at his hands, the principal is replaced by a charismatic
BMW-driving colleague, who is in the pocket of the local township gangster. An
end of term bash plummets Supatsela High into chaos. The start of the new term
finds students and teachers facing a situation that has turned from bad to worse.
Will drugs and gangsterism mean the end of Supatsela High? Can students and teachers
work together to turn this ugly situation around?
the education crisis, students grapple with the realities of teenage social life,
where social confidence, academic success, emerging identities and sexualities
are played across and between the boundaries of different social groups.
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