Soul City Television Series

Soul City "Its Rea"l is the Institutes flagship television show which has become one of South Africa’s most loved and watched television shows since the first season in 1994.

Set in the fictional Soul City Township, Soul City mirrors the social, health and development challenges faced by poor communities everywhere, but particularly in South Africa. 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 Series has multiple components Television, Radio, Print and Social Media. every series is based on a rigorous research and development process to ensure it speaks to the audience in a meaningful way. Through drama, the series challenges and changes social norms, attitudes and practice, and gives power to individuals and communities to make informed healthy choices. The "Edutianment" approach takes people through journeys that they too are going through, learning through social learning theory and uncovering the social determinants of health. 

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: SCI 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 prevention

Series 4 (1999)

  • Violence against women including sexual harassment and domestic violence
  • HIV and AIDS   
  • Youth Sexuality
  • Hypertension
  • Personal financial management

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 -  Gender based violence and services
  • Financial Literacy: Short-term Insurance, Savings

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