In South Africa, satellite pay-TV service StarSat has announced that it is doubling down on dubbing foreign telenovelas into Zulu and other indigenous local languages. The announcement comes after eMedia’s E-tv and Openview platforms saw major success dubbing Turkish telenovelas into Afrikaans.
In a recent statement, StarSat said, “Telenovelas continue to dominate global television viewing, proving one of the most powerful entertainment genres in modern-day television and on-demand subscription viewing.”
The satellite pay-TV operator said telenovelas are distinct from soap operas.
“Unlike soapies that go on seemingly forever, the running time of telenovelas averages around 120 episodes. Whereas soapies can go on for decades, telenovelas usually run between six months and a year,” said StarSat.
According to media reports, StarSat launched its South African dubbing studios in 2021 with the objective to adapt its best-performing telenovelas to Zulu and other indigenous South African languages.
On Digital Media (ODM) CEO Debbie Wu said, “Our dubbing initiative continues to create many new jobs along the value chain.”
ODM is the company that owns and operated TopTV. StarTimes acquired the company out of business rescue in 2013 and rebranded the service StarSat.
Wu added, “Since the launch of our dubbing studios, we have recruited and trained numerous South African youth as voice actors, translators, directors, editors, and sound engineers.”
Following the success of the Zulu-dubbed version Philippine novella “The Blood Sisters”, StarSat has launched a Zulu version of the famous Zee TV novella “Waaris: Indlalifa”.
StarSat also indicated that it would broadcast English novellas, such as the Philippine show “La Vida Lena”, which will be on the ST Novella E Plus channel. In addition, it will also broadcast “My Left Side” — a Zee Novella.