Dance for life
Warren Masemola plays Mafred, the dance hero trying to win back his neighbourhood on Tjovitjo.
Tjovitjo Season 1 Sundays (from 20 August) SABC1 (*191) 20:00
While some use their fame and fortune to get out of the slums, on new drama series Tjovitjo (2017- current), pantsula dance leader Mafred (Warren Masemola) is using his talented feet to save his rundown township. “Mafred is truly driven by the community. He is trying to stop the corruption and drug abuse from taking over the streets,” says Warren, whose character’s life took a downward spiral when he lost his stardom.
But life for Mafred isn’t all about dance – he’s trying to stay alive in a tough neighbourhood that isn’t for the faint of heart. “This was a challenge! It took about three years creating this character. We went to clubs, street parties and dance battles trying to find the perfect storyline for
someone with a hunger for survival and using dance to achieve their dreams,” explains Warren.
SLICE OF LIFE
And it’s not just staying alive and hoping to make something of himself that Mafred’s fighting for. Even his love life is a fight – his girlfriend Mandisa (Lali Dangazele) becomes a target for township newcomer Kopano (Soso Rungqu – Marongwa in Isidingo since 2016). Kopano has an eye on Mandisa and Warren adds that “the writing is spot on. It relates with people who live in these kind of communities – this kind of thing happens all the time”.
The production team added traditional baddies to the storylines too, like gangster Phunyuka (Khulu Sekenjani) and shady priest Reverend Mabusa (Ntosh Madlingozi). “Viewers will see themselves in some of these characters,” says Warren. “The good guys, they’re fresh and honest and it’s a tale of fighting for survival and trying to have a life. And Mafred tries to use his god- given talents on the pantsula dancefloor to keep him out of trouble for the most part.”
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