Mom & Dad, meet Maya
Maya Avant’s strict parents come face-to-face with their daughter for the first time.
Maya and her father and mother have kissed and made up. Weekdays SABC3 (*193) 18:00
On Monday 25 July, Maya (Karla Mosley) is back on top and partying with the Forresters when her stern, sour-faced mother arrives out of the blue. Vivienne Avant (Anna Maria Horsford) is in LA to drag Maya’s little sister Nicole (Reign Edwards) home, away from transgender model Maya’s “corrupting” influence. And when Nicole refuses to budge, disapproving dad Julius (Obba Babatundé) joins the fray on Friday 29 July. Even after years without contact, Maya still longs for the approval of the family she fled as a teen, but she might have to wait – Mom and Dad don’t seem quite ready to accept Maya as their daughter.
“This reunion of the Avant family has opened my heart on so many levels,” says Anna. “I personally know several transgender people, but I never really thought of things from the parents’ perspective. The audience has heard Maya’s point of view about what went on in the family. Maya may think that her parents never loved her, but that’s her perception.” On Tuesday 2 August, Vivenne finally tells Maya how her transition has affected her conservative, church-going mom and dad and she shows signs of starting to accept that she now has two daughters. Dad Julius might be more difficult though.
PAPA DON’T PREACH
On Monday 1 August, Julius calls Maya “a freak” when he’s talking to Nicole about Maya, so it’s startling when he greets Maya at the end of the episode and tells her that he’s in Los Angeles because “I had to see my little girl”. And it’s emotional when Julius then embraces Maya as a loving father on Tuesday 2 August. But we’re preparing for trouble… “I think the best way to describe him in that moment is conflicted,” warns Obba. “He’s a man born in a certain time frame, with a certain value system that he has learnt. He is the father of a child, one of a different time period. The choices that the child has made are troubling to him.”