Egoli: Place of Gold

Shaleen Surtie-Richards. Images from Facebook/egold92/shaleen.surtierichards.3

South African soapie stars: From Egoli to everywhere

The South African soapie “Egoli: Place of Gold” did a lot for the careers of many South African soapie stars.

Egoli: Place of Gold

Shaleen Surtie-Richards. Images from Facebook/egold92/shaleen.surtierichards.3

Egoli: Place of Gold was a South African soapie that boosted the careers of many talented SA actors. Here is a closer look at some of these South African soapie stars.

Looking back

The late Franz Marx created Egoli: Place of Gold (commonly referred to as simply Egoli), the first South African soapie. It was a South African, bilingual television soapie that featured the lives of various families in and around Johannesburg.

Franz Marx was undeniably a legend and pioneer in the South African film and television industry. He was a writer, actor, director, and producer who paved the way for many South African film and television creatives.

The soapie’s name comes from Johannesburg’s isiZulu name is eGoli, meaning “city of gold”. After people discovered gold on the site, Johannesburg started in 1886. The city once provided more than 40% of the world’s annual gold production.

The first episode of Egoli aired on 6 April 1992 and continued for 18 years in the popular M-Net Open Time timeslot, ending with its 4 672nd episode in 2010.

Acting icons on Egoli

An array of famous South African actors featured in this soapie, for example, Brümilda van Rensburg, the late Shaleen Surtie-Richards, David Vlok, and Sandra Prinsloo, to name a few. The local singer Steve Hofmeyr made a guest appearance on the show. A few international stars also made guest appearances, for example the legendary actress and author Joan Collins, English pop singer Samantha Fox, and Belgian singer-songwriter Helmut Lotti.

Facebook/EGOLI - Place of Gold

Facebook/EGOLI – Place of Gold

SA actors’ careers boosted by Egoli

Many well-known soapie actors’ acting careers got a boost from starring in Egoli. Here is a look at three of them.

Firstly one of the best known South African soapie stars Vusi Kunene who played Jack on Egoli is known for his dramatic roles on shows like Blood & Water. Probably Kunene’s most famous role to date is his role as the villain Jack Mabaso in the soapie Generations.

An interesting bit of trivia: Vusi was born in Meadowlands, north of Soweto in Johannesburg. He was actually born on Friday the 13th, but one of the nurses thought this was bad luck and changed it to the 12th.

Veteran actress Thoko Ntshinga played Donna Makaula on Egoli. She also played Senior Superintendent Nomsa Dlamba on the SABC1 drama series Interrogation Room. In 2013, Ntshinga was nominated for a Fleur Du Cap award. Last year she received the Langa Icon and Legends award. She is an arts activist and teaches young people acting and performance.

Macks Papo (Macks Senatla sa ga Papo), South African actor and playwright, is best known for his role as Tsheko Mashabela in Egoli. Thereafter, he starred in the soapie Rhythm City as the businessman Ivan Tshinawa. Papo showed an interest in drama, poetry and music while still at school. He won an American Field Service scholarship to Columbus North High School in Indiana, USA, where he graduated with distinction in 1985.