Rebuilding the South African black family in Khumbul'ekhaya: a textual and reception study

Matlala, Mabogoshi Sylvia
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This study critically investigates whether or not, and how, the show called Khumbul’ekhaya (which is aired on SABC 1 at 9pm on Wednesdays at the time of writing) could be seen as a nation-building programme. This is in line with its concept of uniting estranged families and belief that through healing and building the family, the nation is in turn built up and united. This is both a textual and reception analysis study. It firstly looks at how the show makes a link between concepts of the family and nation. It then further engages with the SABC’s mandate, to explore the extent to which the show meets and fulfils the requirements of being a nation-building programme. It also explores how far the audiences subscribe (if they do) to the ideas and messages encoded by both the show and its producers of family and nation. This is done through randomly selecting and analysing four episodes of the show using critical discourse analysis, semiotic analysis, and also interviewing the audience (young women) about their views of the show. Therefore, through undertaking both a textual and reception analysis study regarding the concept of nation-building, this study contributes extensively to the field of media studies, as most studies of nation-building focus on the text alone. The study found that the show could be seen to be a nation-building programme in principle, from the SABC mandate’s perspective. However, upon further study, it is revealed that it presents contradictory and questionable images, which in the long term leads to a mixed reaction from the audience about the show’s status as a nation-building programme.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Humanities, Media Studies, 2013