Season 1 e.tv (*194) 21:30 Episode 1
Masasa Mbangeni, Vatiswa Ndara and Khanya Mkangisa are bad-ass businesswomen!
Harvest Season 1 Mondays (from 1 May) e.tv (*194) 21:30
Harvest (2017- current) promises high drama as three very different women – ruthless Celia (Masasa Mbangeni, Thandeka on Scandal!, 2005- current, until 2016 – see p22), her best friend Clementine (Vatiswa Ndara) and trophy-wife Tshepiso (Khanya Mkangisa, Aphiwe in Isidingo, 1998- current – see p24) – step into their slain husbands’ shoes to take over their drug business. Now Masasa takes us inside the underworld and mind of Celia.
THE BLACK WIDOW
Masasa reveals that Celia’s wardrobe and performance draw on the idea of the black widow spider that eats her partner after mating. “I’ve been trying to mimic the movements of a spider,” reveals the actress. “Celia stands and watches you. A spider doesn’t just pounce on you. They are constantly alert and each movement is deliberate. She only moves if she has a deliberate place to go. Everything she does is calculated. This idea is carried through in her dramatic clothes. “She’s a dark character but very stylish with sophisticated and fitted pieces,” says Masasa. “After her husband’s death, she tries to play with these strong, beautiful colours to show a strong character.”
INSIDE THE SHELL
Like a spider’s “shell” that hides the vulnerability inside, Celia’s clothes are meant to hide what her rise to the top has cost her. “When we’re introduced to Celia and her husband Mandla (Mutodi Neshehe) they have perfect lives. But there were sacrifices that were largely made by Celia to get them where they are,” reveals Masasa. “Celia has an innate entrepreneurial spirit. She was constantly hustling to put Mandla through business school and feed them and care for the baby (Celia’s now-18-year- old daughter Ndoni, played by Anathi Seyisi). That’s when she was introduced to this drug-mule business and it seemed to be a quicker way to get the life that they’d always dreamt of.” And now you don’t cross this boss. “She has a reputation. This is not the sort of woman you want to mess with. Celia isn’t above shooting at you or grabbing a cleaver and coming at you. She reminds me of this one lady who used to own a soccer club…”
One person understands her though – Clementine, cherished wife of Mandla’s good-guy business partner Zimba (Simphiwe Mini). “They’re tied forever, like sisters, by this bond,” says Masasa. “They know what the other had to do to get this business, who they had to betray, who had to die, who had to end up in jail. They came into money together.” But the strength of their bond is tested after their husbands’ murder in episode 1. “Grief really does a number on all of us under normal circumstances, but in this world, it’s like a pressure cooker, so grief is to the Nth degree,” explains Masasa.
THE THIRD WHEEL
Meanwhile, Tshepiso has no share in this sisterly bond. “The relationship for Clementine and Celia is completely different than that between Celia and Tshepiso as the contexts are different,” says Masasa. “Celia thinks she’s just this bimbo who married Celia’s friend Mxolisi (Nat Ramabulana) for his cash. If there wasn’t this money and they weren’t in this world of selling cannabis, the women would never interact as they’re very, very different people. Tshepiso judges the book by its cover. She doesn’t know what we do in this business, so Celia is going to keep her at arm’s length. But because of the [murder] drama, she’s forced to let Tshepiso in,” says Masasa. And that is just scratching the surface. There’s much, much more at stake – especially when it comes to Celia’s heart…
Masasa Mbangeni’s new look and new show are drama deluxe!
Masasa in her role as Scandal!’s Thembeka.