Yizo Yizo, in all of its series, has been an effort to use entertainment to stimulate national debate on difficult issues. "Yizo Yizo presents a reality, which many chose to ignore; it addressed the taboos in society from gun wielding students, to the hushed topic of teenage sexuality."
Specifically, the first series examined the crisis in education prevailing at the time, taking a look at the tentative process of transformation without offering glib or unrealistic solutions. Aimed at teachers, students, and parents, the series examined the harsh reality of some South African schools.
"The popularity of the series, which attracted record-breaking audiences, encouraged the SABC to commission a follow up. This time the team requested 1-hour episodes so that they could deal with difficult issues within the framework of 1 episode and not let solutions hang over many episodes. Thus series 2 was created in a classic episodic style. Yizo Yizo 2 celebrated the courage and determination of a school community overcoming obstacles in the way of good education. They learn that the best resources are not buildings and money, but people."
That is, Yizo Yizo 2 was about ordinary people's struggle to learn, play, change, read, love, dream, and find their place in the world. One key message was that schooling is not only about passing exams; it is also about nurturing young lives and grappling with problems that young people face – hunger, fear, drugs, indifference, cruelty, and violence.
Yizo Yizo 3 follows the central characters and familiar faces from Yizo 1 and 2, depicting post-school youth who leave school, home, their families and the familiar world of the township to face new challenges in the city. The story follows the characters to the inner city, some to university and technikon and others as they look for work, face unemployment, or explore entrepreneurial possibilities. Some deal with these challenges by remaining in the city; others return to the township.
Youth, Gender, Sexual Health.
SABC Education, Department of Education's Culture of Learning, Teaching and Service (COLTS), Bomb.
Letter sent from Lesley Fahey to Soul Beat Africa on March 5 2004.