First Tsonga drama to hit small screen
Mzansi is getting its very first Tsonga TV drama.
Singer-cum-actress Yvonne Chaka Chaka will spearhead the cast of the groundbreaking show Giyani: Land of Blood, and the Princess of Africa says "It's about time".
The show is set to debut on SABC 2 on April 1 at 9.30pm - competing with e.tv telenovela Imbewu: The Seed - and will air Mondays to Wednesdays.
Former Muvhango actor Ndivhuwo Mutsila, musician Candy "Tsa Mandebele" Mokwena, leading man Fumani Shilubana and funnyman Obed Baloyi also have roles.
"I'm a proud Tsonga wife. I wanted to raise the Tsonga people's flag," Chaka Chaka, who plays the role of Gladys in the drama, told Sowetan yesterday.
"When they came to me to offer me the role I was chuffed and honoured."
The brainchild of The River writers Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon from Tshedza Pictures, the show is set in Limpopo's fictional village of Risinga, in Giyani.
It follows the conflict of two families in a decades-long
battle over a contested piece of fertile land.
The evil matriarch Gladys is equally ruthless as husband Richard portrayed by Mutsila. The pair exploit the poverty of others to enrich themselves.
"I want South Africans to realise after watching the show to never take freedom and ordinary people for granted," Chaka Chaka said.
"I want South Africans to realise that respect comes a long way and Gladys and her husband Richard are mean people hiding behind being in exile and helping the community.
"They just want money. The show is filled with corruption and deceit."
Mutsila, renowned for his role as Albert Mukwevho in Muvhango, first worked with Chaka Chaka when the Venda soapie debuted in 1998.
"Him [Mutsila] being a Venda guy and me being a Tsonga woman in the storyline is very educational to the people that Venda and Tsonga people don't fight.
"They marry into each other. We are one people. We want to see progress," she said.
"He's an experienced actor and director. The cast is amazing [too]."
Music legend Thomas Chauke has composed the theme song for the dram as a way to celebrate other Tsonga legends.