Soul City Television Series

Soul City Its Real is the Institutes flagship television show which has become one of South Africa’s most loved television shows over the past 21 years.

Set in the fictional Soul City Township, the Soul City mirrors the social and development challenges faced by poor communities everywhere. It weaves health and social issues into real-life stories for the millions of people who have grown to trust the powerful messages of this very popular programme.

The Institutes rigorous research methodology produces television, radio and print materials and continues to entertain and inform on newer platforms. Through drama, the series changes social norms, attitudes and practice, and gives power to individuals and communities to make informed healthy choices. Launched in 1994, the Soul City television drama series is part of a multimedia health promotion and social change project by the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SC IHDC).

Thirteen half- hour prime time TV episodes carrying riveting drama air on the national broadcasters SABC 1 channel. The Drama has also been broadcast in many other countries to millions of viewers. Designed to keep people talking about the issues raised in the drama: SC takes these discussions to other supporting mediums such as:

  • Radio: Popular and important topics highlighted in the respective series’ are further debated in depth on community and commercial radio stations across the nine provinces, where target audience participation is ensured
  • Print: Around 1 million full colour easy to read booklets covering health and development l topics raised by the TV series are distributed for each series. The booklets deal with the topics carried by the series in greater detail and can be kept by readers for future reference. To date X million copies of X booklets have been distributed
  • Social Mobilisation: Engaging and motivating a wide range of partners at local or national levels to raise awareness and shift in social norms within communities.


Series 1 (1994)

  • Mother and Child health
  • Diarrhoea
  • Immunisation
  • Breast feeding
  • Infant Nutrition
  • Respiratory illness
  • Safe Motherhood
  • Child Abuse
  • Accidents

Series 2 (1996)

  • HIV/AIDS (prevention,   care and support)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tobacco
  • Housing and Land

Series 3 (1998)

  • Alcohol Misuse
  • household energy/power usage (electricity, paraffin, gas)
  • HIV/AIDS (prevention)
  • Violence – awareness and prevention

Series 4 (1999)

  • Violence against women  including sexual harassment and domestic violence
  • HIV and AIDS   
  • Youth Sexuality
  • Hypertension
  • Micro Enterprise including personal finance

Series 5 (2005)

  • Treatment, care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Disability
  • SMME – Small business development
  • Rape

Series 6 (2006)

  • HIV/AIDS and Children
  • Adult Basic Education and Reading
  • Depression
  • Asthma

Series 7 A and B (2007)

  • Volunteering and community   service
  • Equity in SA health system
  • HIV/AIDS & treatment and stigma
  • Masculinity/manhood
  • Cancer of the cervix

Series 8 (2008)

  • HIV prevention
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Maternal health

Series 9 (2009)

  • HIV Prevention: Multiple Concurrent Sexual Partnerships

Series 10 (2010)

  • HIV prevention
  • Violence Prevention –focusing on alcohol misuse

Series 11 (2011)

  • Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention
  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
  • Financial literacy
  • Active citizenship

Series 12 (2014)

  • Re-engineering of Primary Health Care: Community Health Workers; Quality of Care; Community Participation
  • Teenage pregnancy, Maternal & Infant Care; Fertility Management
  • Thuthuzela care centres -  Increasing Services for Survivors of Sexual Violence
  • Financial Literacy: Short-term Insurance, Savings

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