Indeed, after the Indian
remake of Keeping up Appearances in 2003, the South African TV channel SABC2 has
bought the rights to adapt a local version of the acclaimed show. Location:
Johannesburg and Soweto, Title: Mponeng which means " Look at me" .It took a
year to Vesto Mrdjen from the production company "Word of Mouth", to finalise an
adaptation after Sechaba Morogele and his team wrote a script based on 60% of
the original Roy Clarke's script.
"Its not just about
translating words, we had to create characters that truly worked in a South
African context, that were recognisable stereotypes. Even finding he right
locations has been a challenge. Where in Johannesburg can you find two
houses that aren't separated by a wall!" said Vesto Mrdjen.
Pontso (payed by Lilian
Dube) and long suffering husband Richard (Moshoeshoe Chiabeli) have just moved
to Linden, a white suburb of Johannesburg and live next door to "white
neighbour" Dineo (Nakedi Ribane) who does everything to avoid tyrannical Pontso.
Pontso's sister Seithathi (Clementine Mosimane) and her sweaty car mechanic
husband Mohlommi (Owen Sejake) live with the youngest boyfriend hunting sister
Moratua (Mmabatho Mogomotsi) in a low class area and are avoided by snobbish Pontso. South African famous actors such as Magic Hlatswayo, David Mohloki or
Peter Mashigo also appear in the show. The combination of a great cast, a
quality script and a never-used-before advanced filming technology, is likely to
result in a very successful TV show, BBC worldwide said. Like the Indian