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