Grassroots tackles theme of manhood

Drama set in the sport or rugby

- By Siphilile Shelembe

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.

 ?? /SUPPLIED ?? Luzuko Nkqeto, Zikhona Sodlaka and Lihleli Tini in ‘Grassroots’.
/SUPPLIED Luzuko Nkqeto, Zikhona Sodlaka and Lihleli Tini in ‘Grassroots’.
 ??  ?? Senzo Radebe and Connie Chiume.
Senzo Radebe and Connie Chiume.

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