Mzansi Magic has been called into question since viewers of Izangoma Zodumo circulated a petition to cancel the show, based on its controversial depiction of traditional healing.
Mzansi Magic’s Izangoma Zodumo, which premiered on Wednesday, 7 October 2020, caused pandemonium on social media because of its concept and context. The show centres around traditional healers, Prudence “Ngwe” Magagula and Makgotso “Gogo” Maweni, who continue to maintain a conventional modern life whilst fulfilling their ancestral callings.
According to public reaction, a significant number of viewers have questioned the premise of the show, as they believe it inaccurately portrays spiritual and traditional healing in an obscene and offensive way. The negative reaction caused for a group of Mzansi Magic viewers to start a petition, with the intention to have the show removed from the channel.
Created by Slash Productions on change.org, the petition, which has garnered over 4 500 signatures, claims, “The show Izangoma Zodumo is discriminating the traditional healing industry and is spreading fake news about sangomas and their gift. The show is tarnishing our reputation and is discriminating against our rights to practice as traditional healers.”
In a statement issued to JustNje today, 9 October 2020, Nomsa Philiso, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net, commented on the backlash. She stated, “Izangoma Zodumo is a show that portrays the lives of two spiritual healers, Gogo Maweni and Baba Ngwemabala – who juggle both their traditional and personal lives. These characters were cast according to their true stories. The show does not intent to mock and disrespect anyone’s religion, spiritual practices or anyone practising ubungoma. The show intends to share stories that will be told with a refreshing and unapologetic style, to allow the truth to be judged by the viewers.”