Scelo Ngema taking a stand could cost his family everything.
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Rookie journalist Scelo Ngema (Mbulelo Ndlazilwana) got a taste of what it might be like to lose it all when his big boss Quinton (Brighton Ngoma) revealed that Scelo was in danger of being laid off thanks to NFH’s financial difficulties on Tuesday 4 April. But the stakes are about to get much, much higher. Housing activist Comrade Four Seven (Busisiwe Mtshali) is campaigning to halt the evictions being managed by Scelo’s dad’s new boss Donald Mahlanu (Sipho Mbele). And when her cause lights a fire in Scelo heart, he’s forced to decide what doing the right thing is worth to him: his own job? His father’s job? His colleagues’ jobs? “There are a lot of conflicts about his ambitions,” reveals Mbulelo. “He goes against his superior, he goes against his father and he goes against his better judgement trying to secure his own job, to fight for what he believes in.”
FIGHT FOR WHAT’S RIGHT
“This is really the story, where we see Scelo not as the boy of the Ngema household anymore, but Scelo the journalist, Scelo the activist,” explains Mbulelo. “It’s more than a coming of age story, it’s more of a public display of I am here and this is who I am.” But it also leads to a difficult confrontation with Scelo’s work idol Eddie (Sandy Mokwena) on Friday 14 April. “When Eddie doesn’t fight against evictions, it shocks him to the point that Scelo accuses Eddie of being a sell- out. It was quite intense because I have such respect for Sandy, not only as my elder but as an actor as well. But as Sandy said himself later, it’s a brilliant scene,” laughs Mbulelo.
HEART & SOUL
Scelo’s sudden passion for politics is sparked by his admiration for Comrade Four Seven and it ignites a blazing combination of attraction and idealism in him. “At first, the strength comes from Comrade Four Seven. They have many conversations and I think that the turning point is when she mentions that she’s looking after some of the kids in the building who have nowhere to go. She’s willing to put herself on the line and that does really touch him,” says Mbulelo. “Then what keeps him going and what gives him strength is the belief that he’s doing the right thing.”
Eddie isn’t willing to stand against the evictions. Scelo lashes out and calls his hero a “sell-out”.