SA’s ‘Ugly Betty’ adaptation:

Farieda Metsileng will play the role of Bettina. Image via Instagram @pharoahfi

SA’s ‘Ugly Betty’ adaptation: Farieda Metsileng to play lead role

Presenter Farieda Metsileng, popularly known as Pharaofi, is set to play the lead role in an upcoming SABC adaptation of ‘Ugly Betty’.

SA’s ‘Ugly Betty’ adaptation:

Farieda Metsileng will play the role of Bettina. Image via Instagram @pharoahfi

Popular MTV presenter Farieda Metsileng will play the lead role of Bettina in SABC 1’s adaptation of Ugly Betty, to be titled uBettina Wethu and set to air in April.



The character of Betty was made famous by actress America Fererra in the 2006 comedy Ugly Betty, which ran for four seasons. Ferrera moved on from that American TV series and went on to star in another sitcom series, Superstore.

Farieda Metsileng will be the first black actress globally to play the role of Betty in the Ugly Betty franchise. 

“We are very proud to call ‘uBettina Wethu’ our own as SABC 1. The production value is astounding and is a great fit for our growing brand, and spot on in terms of our market domination strategy,” SABC1 channel head Phumzile Zonke said. 

“This first-ever simulcast with Viu is breaking new ground and we are glad to be part of broadcast history in the making. As the largest television brand in Southern Africa, we’ve always set the tone and dominated the landscape with authentic storytelling.”


uBettina Wethu will have a combination of young and experienced actors. 

“We are currently experiencing an outcry of young aspiring actors through social media discussion vehicles as #OpenTheIndustry. Young talent often does not have accessibility to the industry and an opportunity to audition,” casting director Ayanda Sithebe said.

“The mandate from the producers was very clear to me to find balance in casting experienced actors and also young new/fresh talent.”


Farieda Metsileng plays Bettina Sikhakhane alongside Zweli Dube as Dingaan Jiyane. Tsholofelo Mashishi will play the role of Linda Jiyane.

Lesego Tlhabi, popularly known for her social media alter ego Coconut Kelz, will also be in this series as Zaza Moloi. The character of Zaza was written from watching Coconut Kelz tackle body image and politics on her social media accounts.

“We wanted to cast the net as wide as possible, and in order to give a fair chance to talented actors and actresses who may not usually have access to agents or auditions,” Known Associates Entertainment producer Tshepiso Sello Phiri said. 

The supporting cast of the show is: 

  • Michael Potter as Brandon Thomas;
  • Elliot Makhubo as Israel Sikhakhane;
  • Mbasa Msongeli as Mpilo Hadebe;
  • Brighton Ngoma as T-Bang Moeketsi;
  • Ayanda Bandla as Lakhe Amon;
  • Mhairi Fergusson as Amanda;
  • Motshabi Tyelele as Ethel;
  • Jason Willemse as Wendell; and
  • Alex Sono as Reggie.