10 August 2021


South Africa’s number one vodka, Smirnoff 1818, has partnered with the country’s number one soapie, Uzalo, to bring audiences something special and unexpected. While it’s uncommon to see a spirit brand partner up with a TV show, this out-of-the-ordinary collaboration between these two industry leaders promises to bring the same level of thrill and excitement that one would expect from either.

Uzalo, the country’s most watched soapie according to the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa, tells true and authentic stories that speak directly to the lives of many South Africans. Since 2015, the soapie has maintained its lead because of its consistency, its originality and its ability to innovate and always stay relevant.

By that measure, it only made sense that Smirnoff 1818, which holds the same number one title in its industry, would partner up with Uzalo. The same values that have kept audiences glued to the show since its inception, are the same values that have kept Smirnoff 1818 at the top of people’s favourite-drink list for all of these years.

“Uzalo has been South Africa’s number one soapie consecutively for many years now, and Smirnoff 1818 has been the country’s number one vodka for years as well - so, what better way for us to connect in a meaningful and fun way with our customers than through the soapie they love the most,” Gregory Tabane, Head of White Spirits at Diageo, says.

“It’s no secret that much of Uzalo’s success can be attributed to the show’s ability to truly capture the essence and spirit of South Africa through their characters’ individual journeys and personalities. We’ll just be joining the madness in an original and seamless way; needless to say, we can’t wait for audiences to finally be introduced to the world of Smirnoff 1818 in KwaMashu.”

This new development in Uzalo’s primary setting (KwaMashu) - which audiences will be introduced to on 10 August 2021 at 20:30 SABC 1 - is set to shake things up, so brace yourselves… it’s going to be one helluva ride!

Production comment “It is such a natural fit to partner with a brand such as Smirnoff 1818. The partnership means that we can take our audiences into a journey that does not only highlight enjoyment, but that also educates them on responsible ways of enjoying our show and their favourite spirit vodka with lemonade”

As things begin to heat up, make sure to watch out for Nkunzi’s (played by Masoja Msiza), Siboniso’s (played by Wiseman Ncube) and Sbu’s (played by Simphiwe Majozi) characters on the show as they will be prominent in the partnership through their storyline and characters.

Catch the nkunzi yevodka, Smirnoff 1818 on Uzalo every Monday to Friday at 20:30pm on SABC 1 from 10 August 2021.

For more information, follow @SmirnoffSA on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter and use the #SmirnoffxUzalo hashtag to share your thoughts and see all the latest updates.

Remember to drink responsibly. Not for persons under the age of 18.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding portfolio of brands consisting of Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness and many more. Diageo's alcohol beverages are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).

For more information about Diageo, visit www.diageo.com and Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.