Entertainment news: What had us talking

"Ashes to Ashes" (Monday to Thursday at 8pm), which stars some of Generations’s axed cast members, tells the story of the Namane family who are funeral parlour owners.

"Ashes to Ashes" (Monday to Thursday at 8pm), which stars some of Generations’s axed cast members, tells the story of the Namane family who are funeral parlour owners.

South African television just got exciting with new drama series and telenovelas springing up on our screens. Last night eTV debuted two of its new shows, Ashes to Ashes and Umlilo on prime timeslots, giving the SABC channels something to worry about. Ashes to Ashes is now competing Generations: The Legacy (SABC 1) for viewership on the 8pm slot and Umlilo with Muvhango (SABC2) on the 9pm slot.

ETV also reshuffled its programming schedule. The soapie  Rhythm City, which is nominated for four SAFTA awards, has moved from 6:30pm to 7pm on weekdays.
Rhythm City used to share the 6:30pm timeslot with shows, 7de Laan (SABC 2) and Skeem Saam (SABC 3).

*See list of the SAFTAs nominees here.

Ashes to Ashes (Monday to Thursday at 8pm), which stars some of Generations’s axed cast members, tells the story of the Namane family who are funeral parlour owners. The first episode got off to a slow start and wasn’t quite gripping enough but dark family secrets are sure to be exposed making for more compelling viewing.

Umlilo (Mondays 9pm) is about a polygamous city-based household that gets rocked by betrayal and lies. Umlilo stars Hamilton Dhlamini (Mnqobi), Gcina Mkhize (Cebisile) and Nomzamo Mbatha (Dumile). Umlilo stands out because of its storyline, that happens to be relevant to the South African audience and the plot’s twists are unpredictable. The response to both shows on social media was positive, but the viewers prefer Umlilo on the 8pm slot.

Twitter’s reactions to the shows:

Cassper Nyovest shines at the Metro FM music awards 
Mafikeng rapper Cassper Nyovest stole the show during the 14th Metro FM music award ceremony that was held at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban over the weekend. The Doc Shebeleza rapper walked away with five awards for best hip hop album for his debut album, Tsholofelo, best male album, listener’s choice award, song of the year and best hit single for the single, Doc Shebeleza. He took to social media to thanks his fans for the support.
“You guys are the best fans in the world!!! I am blessed to have such a following and such a strong support structure. Thank you for choosing me. God bless you,” he wrote.

Acapella group, The Soil, received two awards for best-produced album and best duo/group for their second album, Nostalgic Moments. Esteemed acts, the Mahotella Queens and Tsepo Tshola both received the lifetime achievement award and performed their hits on stage. The Mahotella Queens are celebrating 51 years in the music industry, while 2015 marks Tshola’s 39th year in the industry. 

Actor Leonard Nimoy laid to rest
Star Trek star, Leonard Nimoy, who was best known for playing the character of the “half-human, half-Vulcan” science officer, Mr Spock, in the 60s science fiction series, was laid to rest on March 1 in Los Angeles. He died on February 27 at his home in Los Angeles at age 83. The actor died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy told the New York Times. He had been hospitalised at UCLA medical center following breathing difficulties days earlier, The Guardian reported. The White House released a statement with the United States President, Barack Obama stating just how much Nimoy will be missed.

“Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future. I loved Spock,” Obama said in the statement. 

Leonard Nimoy’s last tweet

Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell of 90s R&B group Brownstone died in a freak accident on February 27 and according to BET reports, Maxwell’s husband, Carsten and son, Nicolaj, have released a statement “expressing their grief”.   
 “She was the center of our world as a devoted mother and wife. We miss her so much. We would like to thank everyone who has been there for us and expressed your condolences. They have given us comfort over these incredibly difficult days,” said Carsten Schack and son Nicolaj Hojer Schack in a joint statement to BET.com.

The cause of death is still unknown. However, TMZ reported, that the 46-year-old singer fell backwards out of a doorway with a glass of wine in her hand and cut her neck on broken glass at her home in Los Angeles. Maxwell’s brother, Brandon, expressed on Twitter just how heartbroken he is.

“Bad things happened to the most innocent people. My sister died in the most terrible way and I’m in so much pain right now,” he tweeted. Brownstone is known for 90s hits, 5 Miles To Empty and Grammy award single, If You Love Me.

Jodeci debuts new video 
Another 90s R&B group that gave us some memorable hits, is Jodeci. The “badboys of R&B” have made a comeback this year after the group’s 20-year hiatus. They gave fans a taste of what their album, The Past, The Present, The Future, will sound like, by releasing the video to their second single, Every Moment. Award-winning director, Hype Williams, directed the Every Moment video. Their fourth studio album is scheduled for release on March 31. The group worked with artists such as Timbaland and B.o.B on their latest offering. Fans will be happy to hear that Jodeci stayed true to their smooth 90s sound, that still sounds fresh in 2015.

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