A South African adaptation of the popular TV show ‘Ugly Betty’ is in the works and will reach our screens on April 5, to be aired on SABC 1 and via video streaming platform Viu. The broadcast channel recently cast MTV presenter and actress Farieda Metsileng, also known as Pharoahfi, in the lead role.

The hugely popular series holds the Guinness World Record for the most successful telenovela and has been adapted in 19 territories, aired in 180 countries, and dubbed into 15 languages. The South African adaptation will be the first globally to feature a black Betty, and a majority-black cast.

The South African adaptation will be called “uBettina Wethu”, and Metsileng will play Bettina Sikhakhane alongside Zweli Dube as the character Dingaan Jiyane. Tsholofelo Mashishi will play the family’s matriarch Linda Jiyane and Lesego Tlhabi aka Coconut Kelz rounds out the cast in the role of Zaza Moloi.


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The show will follow the journey of the “wholesome, intelligent, but gawky, people-pleaser” Bettina as she lands a new job at Nubia, a brand management company that values image over substance,

Bettina Sikhakane is a kind-hearted, smart, career-focused woman, with a dream of running her own company but when she lands a job as the PA to Nubia’s new MD, she has to contend with her colleague’s assumption that because of her quirky style and kindness, she must be stupid; all the while battling her growing love for her boss which clouds her already blurred boundaries posing a risk to a job that means everything to her,” explains the official uBettina Wethu site.

UBettina Wethu is perfect for the SABC1 brand, said SABC1 channel head, Phumzile Zonke.

“We are very proud to call ’uBettina Wethu’ our own as SABC1; the production value is astounding and is a great fit for our growing brand. This first-ever simulcast with Viu is breaking new ground and we are glad to be part of broadcast history in the making.”

Picture: screenshot from video

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