Grow­ing pains

Leeto’s plans to man up and move out are wrecked by his nosy par­ents who’re try­ing to con­trol him.

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Self- con­fessed mama’s boy Leeto Ma­putla (Eric Macheru) has longed to prove to his par­ents John and Meikie (Afrika Tsoai and Har­riet Manamela) that he’s a re­spon­si­ble adult. He started build­ing his dream house for his wife Mok­gadi (Pe­betsi Malaitjia) in Fe­bru­ary this year and his par­ents seemed thrilled with the idea at first, but on Thurs­day 2 March Meikie changes her tune and puts the brakes on Leeto’s plans.

“It’s war in the Ma­putla house. Meikie thinks that Mok­gadi is steal­ing her son from her and doesn’t want her to see Leeto,” ex­plains Eric. John also ques­tions whether Leeto could live with­out his su­per­vi­sion, which gets Leeto’s back up. He’s stunned that his par­ents ap­pear to be thwart­ing all the adult­ing he’s busy do­ing. He gave up his dream of be­com­ing a DJ and got mar­ried as they sug­gested, and now that he’s try­ing to prove that he’s a man, they’re again stand­ing in his way. “So Leeto hits out,” Eric says. “He is never right in his par­ents’ eyes. He is mov­ing out with Mok­gadi – whether they like it or not!”


To make ten­sions worse in the Ma­putla house, Mok­gadi – who’s also a “mama’s child”, Pe­betsi ex­plains – brings in her own mom Mary (Mot­shabi Tyelele) on Thurs­day 9 March. This rubs Meikie up the wrong way. “She’s livid! She sees Mary as her ri­val and hates that she al­ways takes over when it comes to the chil­dren’s fi­nan­cial is­sues. Like when she gave Mok­gadi and Leeto money for their wed­ding early last year,” says Pe­betsi. And she does it again! Mary of­fers her daugh­ter and son-in-law the money that they need to fi­nally fin­ish build­ing their dream home on Fri­day 10 March.

“Meikie loses it,” says Pe­betsi. She feels in­ad­e­quate com­pared to Mary and to ad­dress this, she of­fers Mok­gadi and Leeto her in­sur­ance money. She also plants the idea in her son’s head that Mary will ex­pect favours from him if they take her money.

Spoilt for choice in a way but also aware of the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of tak­ing money from ei­ther of the moms, Leeto and Mok­gadi are con­fused. “It’s dif­fi­cult for them,” Pe­betsi says. “They don’t know whose money to take – and they also re­ally des­per­ately need it.”


Mary and Meikie are both over­pro­tec­tive and con­trol­ling and like get­ting their own way. They’re also bad losers, so on Mon­day 13 March, Meikie des­per­ately tries to con­vince Leeto to refuse Mary’s money and take hers. But Leeto re­alises what’s be­hind all of this: an old ri­valry be­tween the women and he doesn’t want to be part of it. “He can’t stand be­ing in the mid­dle,” Pe­betsi re­veals.

The next day, Tues­day 14 March, Leeto and Mok­gadi an­nounce that they will be ac­cept­ing Mary’s of­fer. Meikie is mis­er­able – not only has she lost this round of the bat­tle against her ri­val, but deep down, she also feels left out, like she couldn’t con­trib­ute to mak­ing her son’s dreams come true. “It’s too late for Meikie to put a stop to the cou­ple’s plan. Leeto and Mok­gadi are stronger than ever,” adds Pe­betsi.

Mary causes more ten­sion by help­ing Leeto and Mok­gadi. Mok­gadi is com­ing be­tween Leeto and his par­ents again.

Meikie and John stop Leeto in his tracks.

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