Trou­ble times three

Job­less Prin­ci­pal Thobak­gale is drown­ing in de­pres­sion. What more can go wrong in her life?

TV Plus (South Africa) - - SKEEM SAAM -

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.


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.

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