Blade, Bhekifa and Goliath
Zanele and Sihle
Zanele, Blade, Bhekifa, Sihle and Zweli
Compelling slate of new characters for award-winning Isibaya Hot on the heels of winning a massive 10 categories at the inaugural Royalty Soapie awards this past weekend, Isibaya has unveiled a slate of new characters who will add yet more drama to the hugely popular show.
The bold and compelling characters join the multiple award-winning show at a time when it’s moving from a telenovela format into a full-blown soapie – a testament to Isibaya’s huge success with Mzansi Magic’s audience.
The line-up of new actors is heavyweight, adding to an already stellar cast that includes Royalty Soapie Outstanding Lead Actor winner, Siyabonga Twala and Royalty Soapie Outstanding Lead Actress winner, Thembi Nyandeni.
Veteran actor Vusi Kunene (Yizo Yizo, Generations, The First Grader, The Lab, Jacobs Cross, A Reasonable Man) takes on the role of 45-year-old Bhekifa (Ntshangase) Ngubane, a powerful, self-made scrap metal mogul who also owns a share in a nightclub. Bhekifa’s charming, elegant, opera-loving surface masks a dangerous, cunning and disturbed man who takes pleasure in seeing the slow demise of those he believes have betrayed him.
Zweli Ntshangase (Ngubane) is Bhekifa’s son from his wife – the love of his life who died during the violent clashes in Thokoza between the SDU’s and hostel dwellers. The role of 25-year-old Zweli is played by Andile Gumbi, perhaps best known for playing Simba in the Lion King’s 15th anniversary run on Broadway. Handsome, charming, and armed with a Post-Grad Business Degree that he gained in London, Zweli is a lovable playa who grew up wanting for nothing but who suffered the childhood nightmare of his mother’s death.
Also joining Isibaya is Jeffrey Sekele (Behind the Badge, Zero Tolerance, Isidingo, The Lab, 90 Plein Street) as Blade, Bhekifa’s right hand man. Street-smart and connected with powerful underworld figures from a stint in prison (where he first met Bhekifa), Blade is loyal but tough and loves Zweli like a father.
Best known for her role as Busi Thwala in the series, Mtunzini.com, Zinhle Mabena takes on the role of 22-year-old, Sihle. Beautiful, smart, spunky and brave, Sihle had to cut short her university studies to return to the Thukela Valley after the mysterious death of her father. Now taking care of her sick mother, when Sihle discovers who’s behind her father’s death, she only has revenge in her mind.
Newcomer Sibusisiwe Jili gets her chance to shine with the role of 28-year-old Zanele, the manageress of Club Sheba. Charming and beautiful Zanele is also Bhekifa’s mistress although she’s 20 years younger than him.
From March 17th 2014, Isibaya will broadcast five days a week on Mzansi Magic, in the primetime slot of 20h30. This comes after a nearly year-long run of 208 telenovela episodes during which the villains, rivalry, power, money, impossible love and distinctly homegrown flavour of the show proved a hit with viewers.