When the first season of Tendo Sisters premiered in 2009, Mariam Ndagire, the creator, was not sure the series would be a success. But what she started as a trial-and-error project turned into a huge sensation, especially when the series aired on both NTV (first season) and DStv (season one and two). Today, she has three seasons of 13 episodes each.
"I wrote these series cutting across all genres, [young and old, urban and rural]. But when it showed on NTV and DStv, I realized that a certain section of Ugandans [lower end] was left out," she says.
For this reason, Ndagire recently cut a deal with Bukedde TV where people in bars, restaurants, homes, and markets can have a chance to watch the popular Dramedy (mix of drama and comedy). The series, which started airing on November 21, 2012, will be showing every Wednesday at 9:30-10pm with reruns at midday on Thursday 4:30 to 5pm.
"We have started right from the first season through the second season and the third season will follow," she says. The series will run for the next two years.Although only one episode has since aired, the feedback is immense.
"Omumbejja (the princess) took long to bring her series to our local TVs. We could not manage the expensive discs or DStv and most of us missed it on NTV," claimed a Bukedde TV fan.
"We want such plays that are comical and at the same time informative - other than the Nigerian movies full of witchcraft."
Unlike the Nigerian movies, Tendo Sisters' series tell the Ugandan story. The plot revolves around themes like greed, betrayal, love and jealousy portrayed among the four Tendo sisters Kisaakye (Mariam Ndagire), Mukisa (Faridah Nabagereka), Sanyu (Sarah Naava) and Malaika (Jamila Mulindwa)] and their guardian aunt Nattendo (Annet Nandujja).
"I created it in a sense that when people watch, they feel more attached and closer to it since it is cast in their own language, locality and the plot relates to their daily lives," she says.
Ndagire, arguably Ugandans best film director, has finished shooting the third season of Tendo Sisters which is expected to premiere on DStv early next year.