EVERYBODY in Mzanzi loves the telenovela Uzalo. That is if you’re not dead and buried . . . then, you are very angry!
This is according to residents of KwaMashu in the north of Durban, who claim their ancestors are irritated. They accuse the telenovela of being disrespectful of the dead by invading the resting place of their loved ones and shooting their scenes on their graves. This was without their consent.
They don’t want Uzalo to use the graveyard where their families’ graves are ever again.
“Our ancestors are angry. They just trample on their heads. I saw some tombstones damaged. We don’t know who is responsible. One of my neighbours told me the tombstone of the grave of his family member was covered in plastic. This happened after we spotted Uzalo cars and people holding cameras in the graveyard last month.
“We don’t know where they get the permission to use the graveyard. We don’t need them near our loved ones ever again. They’re disturbing their rest,” said a resident, who wished to remain anonymous.
Another resident Thokozani Zondi, who is a community leader, said they will choose a day to discuss this issue.
“We want to ask the eThekwini Municipality not to give Uzalo permission to use the graveyard here in KwaMashu.”
But it seems residents have some other bones to pick with Uzalo’s production team.
“Sometimes our roads are closed without us being informed. And when we ask why the roads are closed, we’re told Uzalo is having a shoot. We’re not against them shooting on our roads, but we have a problem if we’re not informed. It inconveniences us,” said Zondi.
Musa Sakweni, who claims to be representing the youth in the township, said: “They [producers] don’t give us jobs, but use our graveyard as playground.”
Ethekwini Municipality’s head of parks and recreation Thembinkosi Ngcobo says it is not wrong for a TV drama to shoot in graveyards.
“If a soapie asks for permission to shoot in the graveyard, we can’t contact the families first for various reason,” said Ngcobo.
He did not reply on whether the municipality had given Uzalo permission to shoot in the graveyard.
But a source confirmed to the SunTeam that they use the KwaMashu graveyard for certain shoots. But Uzalo publicist Marang Setshwaelo denied the allegations, saying they have never shot the series in the KwaMashu graveyard.
– Sunday Sun