EAST SEES WEST!

TV Plus (South Africa) - - DRAMA -

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.

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