In soccer, for example, when dissatisfied with a particular player, fans take the liberty of instructing the coach to make a substitution; and in politics people have recently taken to booing leaders at auspicious ceremonies. This engagement does not only end in real life but extends to art and fiction as well.
Social media provides significant feedback these days when producers of drama series and soapies need to gauge how popular certain characters are with their audience. And with the advent of shows such as Isibaya on Mzansi Magic it is commonplace at the neighbourhood tavern for men to discuss plotlines alongside football and politics.
As if the drama of being South African is not enough, millions still tune in to watch Generations, 7de Laan, Rhythm City, Isidingo, Scandal, Zabalaza and Muvhango on a weekly basis. With so much to choose from, the viewer has become well-versed in the craft of drama.
Soapies are like sport, albeit with scripted action, drama and thrills. Viewers can be as fickle as soccer fans when it comes to their opinions on who can act or not, or if a storyline is too ludicrous or far-fetched.
With the exception of musician Kabomo thus far, entertainment practitioners have fared rather well when featured on dramatic series. Minnie Dlamini was consistent in The Wild and Rockville, Boity Thulo was competent in Rockville and Pearl Thusi looks a consummate professional in Isidingo (and previously in Zone 14 and Jacob’s Cross).
If production sets put one metaphorical foot out of line they can rest assured that viewers are watching closely and, via social media, the people shall govern.