EAST SEES WEST!
Xhosa word “Isikizi” translates to “disgrace” in English, a fitting title for Mzansi Magic’s new 13-episode drama show Isikizi (2016- current). It revolves around Sizwe (Phila Madlingozi), an Eastern Cape youngster who overhears that he is central to a terrible prophecy. He then flees his village in the hopes of running away from his problems. But can he?
COMING OF AGE
Episode 1 flashes back to show Sizwe’s parents Vuyisile and Nomazwe (Sivenathi Ntshwanti and Zandile Msutwana) in 1993 – Vuyisile is the first-born son of Chief Zanomthetho (Timmy Kwebulana) and he’s heir to the throne of the Mthatha region. Vuyisile has fallen in love with Nomazwe, a headmaster’s daughter who isn’t of royal blood. While Vuyi’s family expect him to get married into another royal family, there s one small problem that they’re not counting on: Nomazwe is pregnant!
Fast-forward 20 years in episode 2 (18 July) and we meet the now-adult Sizwe, who is going on his initiation journey to become a man. When he returns from the bush ritual, he’s surprised to see his grandfather Chief Zanomthetho who Sizwe later overhears talking about an age-old prophecy. The prophecy involves Sizwe being the “chosen one” who has to carry out a number of deeds. And if he doesn’t, Sizwe could face death. Or worse…
Stressing, Sizwe takes matters into his own hands in episode 3 (25 July), but failing his family and not honouring his heritage could force him to make a U-turn and face his fears. “This is essentially a love story,” says Reneilwe Sema, M-Net’s Head Of Drama. “It’s a demented love story that’s going to get people talking about things that are seen as taboo in our society. We want the viewers to be conflicted about who the hero of this story is.” The drama is set in the Eastern Cape and, for the most part, was shot there too. The Western Cape was used for location shoots where mountain landscapes were needed.