When the cameras roll on Tuesday, 25 August 2015, Hectic Nine-9 will reach a new milestone. The day will mark the 2000th episode of SABC2’s flagship youth show.
Since its first episode in 2007, the Hn9 space has hosted bands, soccer teams, dance crews, abseilers, horses, a cheetah and a 45-piece choir. From fashion to music to environmental awareness, the show taps into the minds and lives of our country’s youth.
Committed to addressing current issues, the show has tackled topics from drug abuse to teenage pregnancy, and ventured into the realm of drama with its highly successful mini-series Signal High.
Most recently, Hn9 launched its own music video Tsibiri, and ran a skills development campaign to empower 15 youths with television production skills, called Hectic Takeover.
After broadcasting from various studios in Cape Town, Hn9 has found its home at MagnaTude Studios in Observatory. From this ‘mother ship’, the show goes live every weekday and incorporates content sourced from all of Mzansi’s provinces.
Today, the show has an ever-growing social media presence as it extends beyond the TV screen into the digital space. Hectic Nine-9 has over 390 000 fans on Facebook and over 76 000 followers on Twitter. The show and its topics trend nationally on a regular basis – a testament to its popularity and ability to stay current.
The 2000th episode will be celebrated in style, with iconic musos Freshlyground partaking in the festivities. They’ll be joined by a bunch of Hn9 fans – highly appropriate considering the viewers have always been the driving force behind the show.
“I am incredibly proud of the growth of the show,” says executive producer Louise McClelland, “It touches lives every day, in a way we never expected.”
For series producer Wilna van Schalkwyk, “2000 episodes is a milestone most TV shows only dream of reaching. What a proud moment to see this incredible show grow into one of the biggest and most successful youth shows produced in South Africa.”
So what’s next for the Hn9 machine?
At the moment the team is working on its next campaign: a technological treasure hunt celebrating South Africa’s diversity. From there, it’s straight into planning for Festive Season episodes, and then full-steam ahead into season 11.
“We’re honoured every day that the young SABC viewers welcome us to be a part of their lives and growth,” says commissioning editor Mpumi Ngidi, “Eight years of Hectic Nine-9 means that a person who started watching the show when they were 12 is now 20 – a significant leap – and our interaction with this viewer shows us a fun, creative, determined and independent thinker who has his or her future firmly in their hands.”
Hectic Nine-9 is broadcast Mondays to Fridays at 16:00 on SABC 2.