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 fact that the soapie has been performing well with over 5.2 million viewers this year alone, making it one of the top 10 most-watched soapies in Mzansi.
According to the channel, decommissioning the soapie is purely a business decision and part of a greater business strategy.
Managing Director at e.tv, Marlon Davids said in a statement: “e.tv continues to look forward to fulfilling its mandate of producing exceptional and relevant local content, and the production has successfully achieved its part of the obligation 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 want to extend our gratitude to the entire production staff, crew, and cast for their incomparable craft.”
We can’t help but wonder if something bigger is at play as five lead actors all resigned just a few months apart.
These are some 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 working on a reality show with his wife as one of the reasons 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 in a detailed Twitter post where she mentioned that she had initially resigned the year before but was asked to stay longer by the producers. She mentioned that she was leaving on good terms with the production.
Amo Chidi (Rene)
Amo resigned a week after Samkelo announced her resignation and unlike her co-stars, she gave no reasons for her departure which prompted a lot of speculation.
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A tweet by Rhythm City actress Mapula Mafole has also added fuel to the fire as she seemed just as surprised as everybody else at the news that the show is coming to an end. She wrote in the since-deleted tweet: “Rhythm City… Ending??? What??!! #RhythmCity”
Mapula later posted:
Yho this year has been such an emotional roller coaster 😭
— Mapula Mafole (@mapulamafole) November 21, 2020
Meanwhile, actor Thishiwe Ziqubu said they (Ziqubu doesn’t conform to any gender) were heartbroken, as they had worked on the production since 2011.
‘See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’
– Malachi 3:10
— Thishiwe Ziqubu (@thishiweziqubu) November 20, 2020
Apart from the drama that may have gone down behind the scenes, our hearts go out to the production staff and actors who will now be most likely 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 because of his hubby, Somizi Mhlongo.