Trouble times three
Jobless Principal Thobakgale is drowning in depression. What more can go wrong in her life?
Medical student Elizabeth (Amanda Manku) is speechless when she gets home for varsity holidays on Friday 7 December, explains her onscreen mom Elizabeth Serunye. “Principal Thobakgale has been unemployed for months after she was caught using the school’s money. She tried to explain that it was for a conference to help the school, not her own gain, but no one would listen. That’s why she’s using sleeping tablets, because she is so stressed.” The pair have a heart-to-heart that same day and Lizzy reminds her mom that they’re fighters – she learnt to walk again after being paralysed in a car crash two years ago. She isn’t letting the former principal throw in the towel like this, but it’s one thing getting Principal to kick her medication habit; it’s another to get her back into working mode.
GOOSE IS COOKED
Principal Thobakgale has tried to keep a low profile, says Elizabeth the actress. “She is the laughing stock of the community and was ashamed to be out in public.” Her medicine dependency started offscreen when she grabbed any bottle of pills to help her sleep – painkillers in this instance. “Her job and daughter were the only things in her life,” says the actress. “She would ask herself: ‘Is this really my life?’ and take some pills to get to sleep.” Elizabeth bans her mother from touching pills on Monday 10 December and Principal is in a good sleeping pattern by Thursday 13 December, but that’s only one problem. “She is told that get-ting an appeal at the school will cost a lot of money, money that she doesn’t have,” says Elizabeth. There’s been no income since she is jobless and she’s clueless on paying lawyers. “She doesn’t have food in her fridge. How will she ever afford legal fees in this mess?” questions the actress.
Principal Thobakgale’s bad luck strikes again on Friday 14 December when her car breaks down on the way to find a lawyer in town. The mechanic demands R3 000 upfront, which leaves Principal in tears. “She is finished. She doesn’t have the money – not a single cent,” says Elizabeth. Lizzy finds her mom and wrapping her arms around her, tells her that she has a plan although Principal won’t like it. “She is going to ask their lawyer neighbour
Leeto (Eric Macheru) to help for free right now. It’s their last hope. If Leeto refuses, her job will be gone forever.”
Elizabeth finds her mom deep in depression.