One of the biggest shows to come to South Africa, uBettina Wethu, opened entries to the talent search competition to find the series lead, and the two main characters.
The show is the South African adaptation of the international smash hit show Yo Soy Betty La Fea, also known as Ugly Betty. 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.
uBettina Wethu’s main premise follows the journey of a wholesome, intelligent, but gawky, people-pleaser with a dated unsophisticated sense of style, who finds her self-worth and image challenged when she is employed at Nubia, a brand management company, a place where at times people value 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
uBettina Wethu is co-produced by Viu South Africa and local production company, Known Associates Entertainment, with Tshepiso Sello as producer. The project is also supported by the Department of Trade and Industry.
In a first of its kind public audition format for a drama series in South Africa, hopefuls who want to audition can do so simply by downloading the audition script for the character they wish to audition for and uploading it via WhatsApp.
The script can be accessed from http://www.ubettinawethu.co.za. After this, participants can take the video of themselves, recorded via smartphone, and send it to the following WhatsApp number: 087 240 5150.
There are three characters the public can audition for. Bettina the titular character, Dingaan, a main character and a love interest of Bettina’s, and Linda, Dingaan’s mother and boss to Bettina.
Competition entries close on the 15th of January 2021. A selection process, taking into account audience votes will result in 3 preliminary selections for each character. These people will then proceed to the closed auditions stage.
The public will be able to vote for their favourite auditions by going to the website as soon as entries are uploaded. Short listed candidates will be announced soon after the 15 January closing date.
Ryan Solovei, Country Manager: Viu Africa says, “These public auditions are an exciting and appropriate way for us to welcome uBettina into our lives and on our screens. This production is already capped with many firsts and for Viu, it echoes our commitment to developing local productions and unearthing local talent in South Africa. We’re excited to see the entries and the final outcome for the three main characters of the story, and we look forward to the public’s participation as they have their say into who gets to be the next big stars of Mzansi.”
“The social climate in which we find ourselves necessitates a coming-of-age story with a twist – It is meant to allow the audience the chance to see themselves in the characters of the story. To not only root for their success or downfall but see the characters as an extension of themselves. The road to achieving this starts with finding the right talent, by engaging the public we want our audiences to feel part and parcel of the show from the onset of our production process before it even hits their screens, after all its uBettina WETHU!”, says producer, Tshepiso Sello.