Grassroots tackles theme of manhood
Drama set in the sport or rugby
Grassroots is a fresh never-seen-before coming-of-age story about two boys from rural Eastern Cape who get scouted during a trial rugby match and land a scholarship to enrol at a Johannesburg private school.
They leave behind the life they know and are thrown into a new school, and a new world where they have to navigate through their identity, family feuds and defining what manhood means to them.
Oros Mampofu plays the lead character of Monwabisi and Lihleli Tini portrays Asanda.
More star power comes in the form of the likes of Zikhona Sodlaka, Lerato Mvelase, Justin Strydom, Connie Chiume, Sibulele Gcilitshana and Dumisani Mbembe.
Mark Madai, the commissioning editor at M-Net, says the TV show puts an emphasis on manhood and what it means to be a man.
“They explore what is manhood throughout the story... Is it a physical thing? Is it an emotional thing? Is it emotional maturity?
“So those are the kind of themes we focus on,” he says.
This engaging story will also be a conversation starter with its themes of transformation, family secrets and addressing some of the transformative issues that South Africa faces.
“It’s also about black identity in what is considered the preserve of ‘white identity’ in the sport of rugby,” says Madai.
“We are used to sports dramas that deal with sports such as soccer as those are more familiar to the masses of our people, so it is an interesting, fresh dynamic.
“It’s also a multi-protagonist youth drama about brotherhood which in many ways is also fresh,” he said.
Madai says the storyline will be told with authenticity and will be relatable for everyone.
Madai hopes Grassroots will fuel engaging and crucial three-dimensional conversations about where South Africans find themselves 25 years after democracy.
Khayelihle Dom Gumede, the chief creative officer at Clive Morris Productions, says the show will help South Africans to address and deal with issues.
“In many ways, the show deals with the source of masculine identity and what informs it in a new way.
“It is a critical conversation to be had at the moment given the amount of gender-based violence, predominantly against women, and violent crime.”
Grassroots was filmed over six weeks and is scheduled for release next month on 1Magic and Showmax.
Luzuko Nkqeto, Zikhona Sodlaka and Lihleli Tini in ‘Grassroots’.
Senzo Radebe and Connie Chiume.