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Soap opera exporter Brazil shows 1st African soap

November 4, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s own prime-time soap operas have long appeared on African television networks from Tunisia to South Africa but now the South American giant is importing an African soap opera for the first time.

The Angolan soap “Windeck” will air on the TV Brasil network, the Ministry of Racial Equality, which helped import the soap, said in a statement.

First aired in 2012 and nominated for an International Emmy Award, “Windeck” is the intrigue-filled story of the scheming employees of a Luanda-based fashion magazine. It features a nearly all-black cast, with most of the characters portrayed as rich, successful and sophisticated.

In its statement, the ministry called the Portuguese-language soap “an important framework for strengthening the identity of Afro-Brazilians.”

Brazil’s Globo television, which produces the country’s most lavish and popular nighttime soaps, has often come under fire for featuring few black actors, despite fact that black and mixed-race people make up the majority of the population here. Globo’s soaps have traditionally focused on the love lives of the white elite, with black actors relegated to marginal roles like maids.

Still, the network’s soaps have proven international hits for decades. Rights to the hit 2012 production “Avenida Brasil” were sold to some 130 countries worldwide, including Armenia, Sweden and Guatemala.

“Windeck,” a production of Angola’s TPA network, makes its Brazilian premiere on Monday. It has already aired on Portugal’s RTP1 channel.

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