Johannesburg: South African Indians, like their counterparts across the globe, are glued to the soap dramas broadcast on Indian television networks because they often reflect real-life situations in their lives, according to popular actor Piyush Sahdev.
Sahdev, who plays the character KT in the serial 'Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke', made a two-night stop in South Africa to put in four appearances at the country's largest annual Eastern Bridal Fair in Durban.
"When you are out of your country you miss the culture of India. When you watch these shows on TV you relate to those characters and concepts which you do not get to see in the environment anywhere else in the world where you are living," Sahdev said.
Thousands of fans flocked to the event to catch a glimpse of their small screen idol as he interacted with fans in his dance routine, with a few lucky ones getting onto stage with him.
Sahdev was also the show stopper as he modelled latest Indian garments in the fashion shows at the event.
International Fashion Designer Mansi Malhotra also showcased her latest designs.
Explaining the link between his appearance and his role in the serial, Sahdev said it was that of a US-based fashion designer returning to Benares because of his grandmother and then combining Indian and Western designs as he trained other young designers.
Sudhir Pragjee, head of the organising committee of the charity event which is now in its 15th year to raise funds for the running costs of a retirement home in Durban, said that every year there was a need to lift the show to another level.
"With more than 100 performers on stage, our models and dancers could be like any other show technically and professionally, but choreographers from India take our non-professionals and train them," Pragjee said.
"It becomes like a training school, where they get certificates at the end. Some go on to join modelling agencies and dance schools and even radio announcers with the confidence they gain."
For Sahdev, it was onto a flight back to Mumbai on Sunday night to head straight to the set from the airport on Monday to resume recordings.
"There have been a couple of offers from Bollywood, but with TV serials you shoot almost non-stop all month, so there is no time to do anything else," he added.