Is’thunzi

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Sea­son 1 Mzansi Magic (*161) 20:00 Drama Episode 4 Londi is so broke that she needs Win­nie to pay back all her air­time. NB! See more on p34.

How did the idea for the show come about? I’d just been made sher­iff a cou­ple of months be­fore and I was try­ing to get un­der­cover cops into the jail to do some in­ves­ti­gat­ing. I strug­gled to even get of­fi­cers from out of the area who wouldn’t be recog­nised by in­mates, so in­stead we chose vol­un­teers who went in pre­tend­ing to be con­victs What was the cri­te­ria for the un­der­cover in­mates? I wanted pas­sion­ate peo­ple. It was easy to pick them as they ei­ther wanted to be in law en­force­ment, in cor­rec­tions, they’d been there be­fore, they had fam­ily mem­bers in prison or they’d stud­ied crim­i­nal jus­tice. Tell us about sea­son 2’s “in­mates”. They are all in­ter­est­ing in­di­vid­u­als and that is how we picked them – we wanted a di­verse look from mul­ti­ple an­gles. I also didn’t want peo­ple who were go­ing to sug­ar­coat things and tell me what I wanted to hear. We need to hear the truth and we’re get­ting that now. What sur­prised you about sea­son 2? The bad in­mate be­hav­iour. It reaches a new level com­pared to sea­son 1. And how do you think the show has been re­ceived by view­ers? It’s been su­per. I’ve had to take the good with the bad at the fa­cil­ity; it’s tough some­times. When you’re hear­ing the things that you need to do to im­prove, it’s a great learn­ing process and I’d do it all over again.

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