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Still taken from trailer video

South Africans are Getting Ready for the First Xitsonga Telenovella

"Giyani: Land of Blood" shows that representation of ALL people matters.

South Africa has eleven official languages but some languages are seen to be more equal than others. Whilst isiZulu and isiXhosa are perhaps the more widely spoken of the Bantu languages, TshiVenda and Xitsonga, languages spoken in the eastern part of South Africa, are often marginalized. In a historic television moment, Giyani: Land of Blood, the first Xitsonga telenovella, will be airing on local screens for the first time ever today.


The telenovella is set in a fictional village called Risinga in the real town of Giyani which is in the eastern province of Limpopo. The plot, which is often the case in many South African dramas, centers on a conflict between two powerful families who have been warring over land and the banana plantation built on that land for decades.

Giyani: Land of Blood stars famed singer and humanitarian Yvonne Chaka Chaka and actor Obed Baloyi among many others. The telenovella has been endorsed by "Huku" singer Sho Madjozi and President Cyril Ramaphosa who both hail from Limpopo.

Speaking on the importance of the Xitshonga drama, actor Fumani Shiluvana said:

"For a long time our people have been complaining that our language is not well represented on TV and now a door has been opened for us, but for it to work they need to support us for more opportunities to arise for the Tsonga people through this series."

Watch the trailer for the telenovella below:

Giyani: land of blood - Eps 1 promo (1 April 2019) youtu.be

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Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage for Getty Images.

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