Bloem scriptwriter and team win at SAFTAs

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The team of scriptwriters for Scandal are, from the left: Nonhlanhla Simelane, Yonela Gatyeni, Kelly Robinson-Pranger and Tereska Muishond. PHOTO: ANDILE MTHEMBU PHOTOGRAPHY

Tereska Muishond, a Bloemfontein-born scriptwriter, and her team have once again proven their mettle at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).

They secured the Best achievement in scriptwriting: TV Soap Award for their work on the beloved TV soap, Scandal. This marks their fourth SAFTA win, showcasing their remarkable contribution to South African television.

Bloemfontein Courant spoke to Muishond who provided a glimpse into their creative process and the challenges of keeping long-time viewers engaged. She revealed that Scandal’s storytelling revolves around meticulous planning. According to her, every three months, the team of ten writers collaborates with producers to brainstorm new, relevant, and credible storylines, drawing inspiration from various sources.

Tereska Muishond. PHOTO: ANDILE MTHEMBU PHOTOGRAPHY

“These stories are informed and influenced by current affairs, other television shows movies, books, social media and sometimes our own personal lives. We strive to tell relevant stories which are realistic and credible,” she said.

Addressing the challenge of satisfying Scandal’s dedicated fan base, Muishond acknowledged the need for innovation within a familiar framework. They aim to surprise viewers with fresh angles and unexpected twists.

“Our viewers are also very familiar with our writing style and expect only the best from us. There are no new stories under the sun, so our aim is to tell each story from a different angle, with new twists, so as to keep the viewers guessing. It’s an art,” said Muishond.

She added that Scandal’s success can be attributed to their deep understanding of storytelling principles and their commitment to character integrity.

“We don’t tell stories for sensationalism. We investigate and weigh our stories thoroughly to ensure it meets our satisfaction. Having more than three million viewers, including children and young people who are easily influenced, we are very careful of the messages we send out,” she said.

Justine Fortuin
justine@mahareng.co.za