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Saturday, April 1, 2017


Mzansi Magic’s new telenovela explores young love in the concrete jungle.

From star-crossed lovers to big bad wolves, Isithembiso promises to serve a slice of life with no filters

A fairytale re-imagined. A love story told through the ages. A South African fable that is still a reality for most. Mzansi Magic’s new telenovela, Isithembiso, is all of this and more.

Bomb Productions began filming what is set to be one of Mzansi’s most talked-about small screen gems. A modern-day reimagining of the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairytale, Isithembiso is driven by dynamic characters such as Simi (Red Riding Hood), Banzi (the Big Bad Wolf) and Zamani (the Woodcutter) who becomes the rescuer to the damsel in distress.

Isithembiso follows the lives of two young people who come to the City of Gold in search of not just their fortune, but familial ties, opportunity and education. It’s a millennial migrant story that digs deep into the lives of Mzansi youth today, their ambitions, choices and the consequences.

We meet Simi, the wide-eyed innocent maiden from KwaZulu-Natal. She comes to the dazzling iGoli in search of her mother and job opportunities. Her path collides with the resourceful Zamani, whose street smarts and swag belie that he comes from a small village in Limpopo.

Through a series of incidents – from chance meetings to destructive choices – their lives intertwine with Banzi, whose “sheep’s clothing” easily deceive the gullible Simi. Whether it’s fate or bad luck, this culminates in an explosive climax that has long-lasting and life-changing consequences.

There are promises made and broken - promises of a better life, a brighter future, greater life choices. Ultimately, the idealistic filter through which the young look at life is ripped off to reveal that “all that glitters is not always gold”.

Will the sheer determination and tenacity of borne out of youth and hope triumph over obstacles and the hard knocks of life?

Industry newcomers Nandi Mbatha (Simi) and Zamani Mbatha (Zamani) are the two young actors central to this evocative telenovela, and are proving to be a force to be reckoned with as they hold their own alongside veterans Hamilton Dlamini (Banzi) and Meshack Mavuso Magabane among others.

Catch Isithembiso when it premieres on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161, in April 2017, to find out!