Mzansi Magic denies ANOTHER Yobe concept theft allegation

24 May 2018 - 06:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
Mzansi Magic show, Yobe, has attracted controversy after two young writers allege it was a stolen concept.
Mzansi Magic show, Yobe, has attracted controversy after two young writers allege it was a stolen concept.
Image: Via Mzansi Magic/Twitter

Mzansi Magic has come out to deny yet another claim from a young writer who alleges to have submitted a reality TV concept similar to Yobe being aired on the channel.

The show, which has been a hit on Twitter, has been credited as Siyabonga Thwala's creative baby together with Bomb Productions.

However, another young writer, Xolani Madinane, has come forward to claim the concept as his own and accuse Mzansi Magic of stealing his idea.

"In 2016 I found out about Mzansi Magic commissioning opportunities through their official website. On the 1st of June 2017 I sent my proposal to Mzansi Magic, on the email address that was stated on the website."

This claim follows a similar allegation by another young writer, Fezile Tshabalala, who also alleged to have submitted a similar concept to Mzansi Magic back in April. Fezile caused a Twitter storm when she shared her shock at seeing "her concept" televised on the channel without consent or consultation.

Both Xolani and Fezile provided proof of the emails they sent to Mzansi Magic with their original timestamps and original proposals to TshisaLIVE.

Xolani said he's couldn't believe it when he saw the show on Mzansi Magic in April and  said he has tried several times to get hold of the channel.

"I was surprised last month when I saw their new reality show called: Yobe, which is hosted by my favourite Actor (Siyabonga Thwala). I realised that this is my show. The only difference is the name since,  I called mine Eliny'Thuba."

"This really pains me as a young creative. I thought through this brilliant concept I would get my break in the industry."

The show in question is about convicts being given the chance to ask forgiveness from their victims and their families. 

In a statement to TshisaLIVE, Mzansi Magic disputed the allegations, claiming that the concept of the show was initially presented to them in 2014.

"We dispute any claims that the idea for Yobe was copied from any individual. Yobe is based on a concept that was originally presented by the show producer to Mzansi Magic in 2014, although it was only included on the Mzansi Magic schedule in 2017 in preparation for broadcast in April 2018," said M-Net's head of local entertainment Nondumiso Mabece.

The statement was identical to the one issued in April and was devoid of answers to specific questions with regard to Xolani and his claims. Instead, they pointed out how important it was for the channel to develop authentic stories.

"Mzansi Magic believes in the development of authentic stories and handles creative ideas with integrity. As an organisation, we receive numerous television programming proposals that may be similar or even identical, and in some instances they are similar to concepts already under development or that have previously been developed and/or produced."