End of the road for Isibaya
Gibson is the creator of Isibaya and owner of Bob Production, which uShaka is part of its production. A story that was initially meant to run for a year went on for seven more years, thanks to the public demand, forcing Mzansi Magic to allow the story to continue.
The daily drama series that enjoyed popularity and success, winning 25 South African TV and Film Awards (Saftas) as well as 22 Royalty Soapie Awards, had to desist. Last month, the cast shot the last episode to be aired on April 5, and Gibson addressed the cast, thanking actors for bringing the story to reality.
The Isibaya story worked because of many elements and characters like Samson Ndlovu (played by Bheki Mkhwane), Mpiyakhe Zungu (Siyabonga Thwala), Mandlenkosi Ndlovu (Bongani Gumede), Mkabayi Zungu (Thembi Nyandeni).
Other characters that made the story worked was Skhaleni (played by Zakhele Mabasa), Pam (Lolo Mphephi), Mamthembu (Celeste Ntuli), Bhekumuzi (Melusi Mbele), Jabu Zungu (Pallance Dladla), and Lillian Nyandeni (Linda Sobezo).
Sowetan met Gibson, who boasts more than 30 years of experience in film and television, and the interview was done at the Bomb Production offices in Randburg, northern Johannesburg.
The 63-year-old tried to pull a brave face as he spoke about one of his successful shows ending, but you could see deep down it was special. He refused to reveal how the story will end, inviting the public to watch the finale.
“I feel okay about it coming to an end. I mean… part of me feels that the first season should have run for a year and when the audience showed interest in it there was a desire to continue. It has been eight great years and a great journey and that comes to an end, making way for new things like the new show uShaka. It is the same as Yizo Yizo, I was willing to do the first season and we had to do the second season of the show due to high demand from the viewers and we had to oblige,” Gibson says.
“We don’t know when uShaka is going on air due to Covid-19 regulations. We have not started filming it because we cannot shoot battle shots at the moment. As soon as the Covid-19 regulations are relaxed we will start casting. We are using the time to continue research and hoping to start building the sets as soon as possible..”
Isibaya started like a house on fire, with the public enjoying the taxi industry wars-related storyline, polygamy and chieftainship battles while balancing rural and urban life.