Cape Town – SABC2's new Sesotho telenovela, Lithapo will bring some new on-screen talent to TV in a story that will cast a spotlight on "daddy-issues" and oscillate between the rich-poor worlds of Sandton and Alexandra in Johannesburg.
Produced by Quizzical Pictures, filming started in early-October on location in QwaQwa and is continuing in Johannesburg. Lithapo will premiere on Monday 13 January 2020 on SABC2 (DStv 192) with three episodes per week from Mondays to Wednesdays.
In Lithapo – meaning "ties that bind" – Lehlohononolo or "Nolo" for short (played by newcomer Khojane Morai) decides to leave QwaQwa after his mother dies suddenly. He sets out to try and find the father he never knew and to claim his father's name, but finding his dad is a difficult task.
Nolo settles in Alex and quickly gets caught up in the dog-eat-dog world of a township that is on fire with protests and despair. Meanwhile, in the adjacent, wealthy Sandton lives the Hlongwane family whose lives are the opposite of Nolo's although their destinies are intertwined.
A love triangle develops when Nolo falls in love with Pabi (Katlego Nakedi) although their relationship is thwarted from the start as Nolo gradually discovers that his life has been a lie.
The cast includes Joyce Skefu (Moipone), Seputla Sebogodi (Kabe), Mangaliso Ngema (Senzo) and Sthandiwe Kgoroge (Thandiwe), alongside Israel Zulu, Angela Sithole, Sibongile Nojila, Clementine Mosimane and Lebohang Msiza as Nkosana.
(Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Mangaliso Ngema in Lithapo. Photo: supplied)
"SABC 2 is excited to welcome a brand new Sesotho telenovela aimed at captivating the audiences with authentic, local storytelling capturing the spirit of both our traditional rural communities in and the buzz of kasi life," says Jacqui Hlongwane, SABC2 programme manager.
"Viewers can look forward to seeing the difference of both the streets of QwaQwa and Sandton through the lens of an enchanting story. We are also excited that Quizzical Pictures gathered a strong cast and talent second to none. As SABC2, we also continue to keep our promise of bringing our audience more gripping drama in the 21:30 timeslot, and we hope that Lithapo will deliver to both ours and the viewer's expectations."
Siphiwe Hlabangane, Quizzical Pictures producer, says "Telling a Sesotho story in a saturated telenovela market, we chose to tackle issues around class, sexuality, land and race head-on in the hopes that audiences would find the issues relevant, and the show entertaining, especially across the magnificent backdrop that is QwaQwa".
"From the very beginning of the writing process, we knew that something special was brewing and that this project would task us with the responsibility of enthralling, amusing, educating and entertaining our audience, all of which the script delivered."