Money FOR LOVE OR

Pay chan­nel Mzansi Magic is tak­ing on the best of the SABC’S dra­mas with its new se­ries, writes Siyabonga Sit­hole

CityPress - - T# - Saints and Sin­ners Mzansi Magic Sun­days, 8pm Saints and Sin­ners is ex­cel­lently lo­calised to cap­ture rel­e­vant so­cial is­sues

ISaints hear that ev­ery­one’s talk­ing about the new Mzansi Magic drama, and Sin­ners, around the wa­ter foun­tain at the of­fice on Mon­days. I’m not sur­prised.

The se­ries has been clev­erly sched­uled at 8pm on a Sun­day, a slot that needed some cheer­ing up af­ter the qual­ity of the tra­di­tional movie of the week de­clined across all our TV chan­nels.

With its grip­ping good-ver­sus-evil story line, the first sea­son of the fam­ily drama is tak­ing on the best of SABC’s dra­mas. The public broad­caster used to own lo­cal drama, but that’s no longer a given as ri­val chan­nels cash in on lo­cal con­tent.

Saints and Sin­ners plays on the set-up of the tra­di­tional, up­stand­ing fam­ily ver­sus the dodgy fam­ily. This is the same for­mula that made Dy­nasty and Dal­las so pop­u­lar. But this se­ries is ex­cel­lently lo­calised to cap­ture so­cial is­sues that are rel­e­vant to its au­di­ence.

What sets Saints and Sin­ners apart from pre­vi­ous dra­mas from the chan­nel is its heavy­weight cast. It boasts top performers Nthati Moshesh and Tu­misho Masha, along­side young tal­ents like Siyabonga Radebe, S’dumo Mt­shali, Nom­philo Gwala and Yonda Thomas.

Each episode is a one-hour en­counter with il­licit love af­fairs, rob­bery sprees and cor­rup­tion. The show tack­les the coun­try’s moral fibre, and the bat­tle between love and money.

The se­ries is cen­tred on the lives, tri­umphs, tri­als and tribu­la­tions of the crim­i­nal and ma­te­ri­al­is­tic Khu­ma­los (led by hard-core ma­tri­arch Mamo­hato Khu­malo played by Moshesh) and the hard-work­ing and com­mu­nity-driven Moloiswas (Tshepo Maseko and Sibulele Gcil­it­shana as Tha­bang and Lu­lama, re­spec­tively). The story lines will res­onate with many South Africans as money trou­bles make moth­ers sell their daugh­ters to the high­est bid­der, and un­em­ploy­ment and crime steal bread­win­ners, leav­ing families in de­spair.

At the cen­tre of the plot is Gib­son Mosia (Masha), a shrewd prop­erty mogul. Ma­tri­arch Mamo­hato’s hus­band used to work with Gib­son and the pair’s deal­ings in­cluded hi­jack­ing build­ings for fi­nan­cial gain.

With this knowl­edge, Mamo­hato black­mails the mar­ried Gib­son into giv­ing her daugh­ter Phindi a “well-pay­ing PA job”.

But this ma­noeu­vring by Mamo­hato leads to an il­licit love af­fair between Phindi and Gib­son. And so the plot thick­ens. Clearly, ma­nip­u­la­tion runs in the fam­ily as Phindi does not hes­i­tate to use her beauty to worm her­self out of sticky sit­u­a­tions, while cousin Phaka­mani uses his de­liv­ery busi­ness as a front for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties. While the Khu­ma­los always take the easy way out, the Moloiswa fam­ily stands firm in its val­ues and in­spires the com­mu­nity of Diep­kloof through a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, Men Un­der Con­struc­tion.

We have plenty of Khu­ma­los and Moloiswas in our coun­try, and the chal­lenges that th­ese families un­dergo mir­ror our very own ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing times of need and dif­fi­culty.

GOOD VS EVIL

MOTHER

Sibulele Gcil­it­shana as Lu­lama

Idris Elba

MA­TRI­ARCH Nthati Moshesh as Mamo­hato Khu­malo

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