Obakeng’s not dead. But he’s a changed man when he returns!
Isidingo Weekdays SABC3 (*193) 19:00
Troublemaker Obakeng (Anga Makubalo) is alive and interrupts his own memorial service on Thursday 16 March. Convinced that her son died when he didn’t return from a deal in early March, Nina (Khabonina Qubeka) is “terribly confused” when she sees him. “The mission Nina sent him on went wrong and Obakeng was held hostage. He eventually escaped, but what he went through has scarred him for life,” Anga explains.
FLASHES OF HELL
The Zamdelas are delighted to have him back, as are his girlfriend Aphiwe (Khanya Mkangisa) and babymama Kamo (Makgotso M). But something isn’t right – Obakeng breaks down screaming on the shebeen floor on Monday 20 March and he starts fights with strangers at the bar, which baffles Grampa Georgie (Darlington Michaels).
Anga says that Obakeng is having flashbacks to what happened while he was being held by thugs. “He was tortured. They beat him and whipped him, leaving him scarred physically and mentally,” he reveals. “The nightmares and flashbacks help viewers see what he went through and what he thinks he’s going through now.” And it gets worse – “He’s going to have what looks like epileptic fits,” Anga says, adding that Obakeng is losing his mind “like a soldier returning from war”.
Having watched her son deteriorate during the week, Nina is ready to get professional help by Friday 24 March. But she’s not in time and later that day Obakeng has another episode. Kamo’s on hand to help and “they realise that he calms down when he talks to their unborn baby. He feels like he has a purpose,” says Anga. Nina gets an appointment with a doctor on Monday 27 March and after a couple of tests, it’s confirmed that Obakeng’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition triggered by a troubling event.
But while they know what they’re dealing with now, the Zamdelas also realise that Obakeng may never recover from his ordeal. “There are treatments available for him, but there is no quick and easy solution,” explains Anga. “It’s going to take a long, long time before Obakeng is awoken from this terrible dream that he’s living.”
Obakeng is traumatised and terrified and not in control of his mind.