For the love of money
New Mzansi Magic telenovela Isithembiso tells a love story that begins in the heart of the big city.
Isithembiso Mon-Thu (from Monday 3 April) Mzansi Magic (*161) 21:00
Promises are meant to be broken in Mzansi Magic’s new telenovela Isithembiso (2017- current), the isiZulu word meaning “promise”. The show is set in the fast-paced city of gold – Joburg – and follows the life of rural youngsters Simi and Zamani (played by first-time actors Nandi Mbatha and Zamani Mbatha, they’re not related) who begin their success story together. They are eager to turn their dreams into a reality but their love story quickly takes a turn when manipulative bad-guy Banzi (Hamilton Dlamini) goes back on his word to change their lives for the better. Instead, he leaves them far worse than they started and in a tailspin. The actors are excited to be part of the show and Nandi says that “it’s an emotional experience. We have put ourselves in our characters’ shoes to get in touch with their personalities and it’s amazing to see the end product on the screen.”
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Kero (Meshack Mavuso, Lungile on Rhythm City, 2007- current) is Banzi’s friendly brother. He’s nothing like his criminal brother and he’s respected for his good deeds around Soweto. Claudia (Chichi Letswalo, Zandi on Generations, 1994-2014) is Banzi’s needy wife who depends on him for everything. She regrets dumping Kero and falling for arrogant, pushy Banzi. Banzi (Hamilton, Mnqobi on Umlilo, 2015) is a dodgy and devious gangster who is powerhungry and loves to be in control. He runs the streets of Joburg and takes advantage of gullible young people who try to make it in the city of gold, like Simi. Zamani is street-smart engineering student who’s learnt his ways to get around Joburg. He’s from a small village in Limpopo and “nothing can stop Zamani when he puts his mind to something,” explains the actor. “He is fearless and is willing to do anything to get what he wants”. Simi is a naïve girl from rural KwaZuluNatal who arrives in the big city to get a good job. She’s on a mission to find her mom and “the promise she made to her grandmother keeps her going. Simi will do whatever it takes to keep her word,” says Nandi.
The faces of Isithembiso (from left): Kero, Claudia, Banzi, Zamani and Simi.