Aaron Moloisi (Hector) & Lucky Khoza (China)

After almost six years, After Nine, the groundbreaking South African series about closeted gay men will finally return for a second season.

The original four-episode mini-series of After Nine was broadcast in May 2007 and centred on a love affair between Hector, whose girlfriend Bokang becomes pregnant, and another man, China.

It was the first South African drama to deal with the controversial subject of black gay men in the closet.

The term ‘after nine’ is township slang for men who live as heterosexuals, with girlfriends or wives, but who have relationships with men on the side.

After Nine was a rating success but generated considerable controversy at the time with its man-on-man kissing and sex scenes and candid approach to its subject matter.

Mambaonline asked After Nine creator, writer, director and producer Sechaba Morojele why it took so long to return the series to television screens. He replied that conservative voices at the broadcaster resisted it being renewed for a second season.

“It seems like there were issues at the SABC that it was about married men sleeping around with men. It was a very sensitive issue at the time and a lot of people at the SABC didn’t want it,” he said.

Morojele added that the broadcaster was now fully behind the show. “They are being very positive and the backing is very good,” he said.

According to SABC 1, the new series of After Nine “delves inside the secret underworld of a black gay man and his inner struggles and hopes to find a way to deal with the torment of revealing his true sexuality to his wife and family.”

The channel added that “the series will also encourage viewer interactivity and engagement via the channel website as well as social media sites”.

Unlike the original short season, the new series will consist of 13 episodes.

It will also feature some of the same characters, including Hector (Aaron Moloisi), China (Lucky Khoza) and Bokang (Matshepo Maleme), as well as new characters.

After Nine series two starts on SABC 1 on 13 August 2013 at 20h30.

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