Packing a punch
Neo is fighting against more than just his boxing opponent.
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The truth is out and boxer Neo’s (Mpho Sebeng) mom Masindi (Florence Masebe) can’t hide any longer. In the final episode of telenovela Ring Of Lies (2016) on Thursday 28 July, loose ends will be tied up during Neo’s boxing match with Kabelo (Bohang Moeko), but can fans expect a knockout blow in the ring?
Masindi never wanted Neo to box as it would remind her too much of his real dad, the love of her life and Neo’s new coach Mandla (Masoja Msiza). Instead, she told everyone that her husband Thabelo (Sello Motloung) was Neo’s dad. “She feels guilty for lying about who Neo’s biological father is,” says Florence. “And she’s angry at herself for not supporting her son.” To try fix things with her son, Masindi takes wheelchair-bound Thabelo to Joburg to watch Neo’s big fight. But that’s not the only fight in the family: Thabelo and Masindi are on speaking terms, but things are rocky. “She hopes to be forgiven because she carries great guilt on her shoulders,” explains Florence.
While this is going on, Neo is meant to be preparing for his fight, but he’s had other things on his mind. Like the fact that he now knows that Sli (Dineo Nchabeleng), whom he’s in love with, isn’t his stepsister – turns out Mandla’s wife Ruth (Baby Cele) stole Sli when her own baby died. “When he found out that they were brother and sister, he was devastated,” Mpho explains. “But now that they aren’t related, Neo is ready to fight to get Sli back.” The other matter weighing on Neo’s mind is Mandla, and Mpho says that “Neo feels betrayed by his mom. He is confused about Mandla being his real father. To Neo, Thabelo will always be his father”.
IN THE RING
Neo and his mom Masindi have had a rough time, physically and mentally. And all of this personal drama has affected Neo’s fight plans. He takes an instant blow from his opponent and hits the canvas. Neo is knocked out, lying in the centre of the ring as his life flashes before his eyes. “Neo sees himself taking knocks from a young age. He sees himself always needing to prove himself worthy to his family. He sees himself worshipping his boxing idol Kabelo and then he sees himself claiming victory and winning the fight against Kabelo,” explains Mpho. “After he wins in his dreams, he makes peace with his two fathers and with himself.” And before the ref can count him out, Neo rises to his feet and prepares for the fight of his life…