Mom on the run

Sman­gele’s de­ci­sion to flee with baby Nkosi­nathi drives her to at­tempted mur­der and sui­cide.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - UZALO -

Mon-Wed SABC1 (*191) 20:30

When Mas­ter­mind (Ntokozo Dlamini) in­vited his pal Ngangezwe (Mx­olisi Zuma) over to stay on Wed­nes­day 5 April, he had no idea of the tragedy that he’d set in mo­tion. Mas­ter­mind isn’t Ngangezwe’s only KwaMashu con­nec­tion – it turns out he’s Buhle’s (Lihle Shoba) baby­daddy too. He wants his son back and that is bad news for Mas­ter­mind’s sis­ter Sman­gele (Sihle Nd­aba), who se­cretly adopted baby Nkosi­nathi from Buhle while fak­ing her own preg­nancy. On Wed­nes­day 12 April, when she’s forced to give Nkosi­nathi a pa­ter­nity test, Sman­gele re­acts with des­per­a­tion. “She takes an­other op­tion – to leave with the baby. She re­ally be­lieves that she is the per­son who’d take the best care of the child. And she’s re­ally afraid of los­ing any­one else in her life. She’s al­ready lost her hus­band,” says Sihle. But when one thing af­ter an­other goes wrong with Sman­gele’s life on the run, she’s driven to do the un­think­able.

CHURCH LADY TO CRIM­I­NAL

Sman­gele has no time to pre­pare. She just takes the baby and runs, mak­ing the best of a rough dis­guise on Thurs­day 13 April. “She grabs sun­glasses, a wig and a scarf. Her make-up is a lit­tle darker than her skin­tone and she wears pants – for the very first time on the show,” says Sihle. “She does think of dis­guis­ing the baby as well, but she can’t be­cause she doesn’t have ac­cess to any of those things be­cause her bag and her wal­let are stolen while she’s in hid­ing.” Fear and re­gret fill Sman­gele’s heart as her search for a way out con­tin­ues on Tues­day 18 April. Hav­ing faked her preg­nancy, Sma doesn’t even have milk for the baby with­out money. Her choices are com­mit­ting crime or giv­ing up. “She puts not only her life in dan­ger, but the child’s life as well. When her things are stolen, she lit­er­ally has noth­ing. No money, no way of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, no food. So she steals peo­ple’s bags and money and credit cards. She thought that she was do­ing the right thing but so many things go wrong,” says Sihle.

THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA

View­ers’ hearts will be in their throats as Sman­gele’s es­cape is brought to an abrupt halt on Thurs­day 20 April. “She is spot­ted at the beach,” re­veals Sihle. “That’s how she gets caught out. She lit­er­ally runs for the pier and she has nowhere else to go.” Cor­nered by the po­lice and her brother, for a moment it looks like Sman­gele is go­ing to kill her­self and the baby. “Mas­ter­mind is there and talks her out of jump­ing into the wa­ter. He re­minds her that they made a pact when their dad died, that they will be there for one an­other.”

But when Mas­ter­mind takes her son from her arms, some­thing snaps inside Sman­gele. “She de­cides, ‘Yes I have a brother but I don’t want to be alone. My brother is prob­a­bly go­ing to marry some­body else any­way’,” ex­plains Sihle. “She re­alises that there’s noth­ing else left for her. Just as Mas­ter­mind takes the baby, she turns around and jumps into the wa­ter…”

LIGHT IN THE DARK­NESS

Dur­ban’s life­guards give Sman­gele the sec­ond chance that she doesn’t want as they drag her from the waves on Fri­day 21 April. And while things seem to be go­ing from bad to worse as Of­fi­cer Mondli (Them­binkosi Th­wala) tells Sma that she’ll rot in jail on Tues­day 25 April. Sihle re­veals that there’s still light in the dark­ness, thanks to love. “Mas­ter­mind is there for her and her re­la­tion­ship with MaNzuza (Leleti Khu­malo) is also rekin­dled. She ex­pects that a lot of peo­ple will turn their backs on her but they ac­tu­ally come and tell her that they are for her, they are will­ing to help her get through this.”

Mas­ter­mind tries to save his sis­ter Sma and “nephew”.

Des­per­ate times call for des­per­ate mea­sures, like jump­ing from the pier.

Sma’s wor­ries are far from over.

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