Cit­i­zen Scelo

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.”


“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.


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”.

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