Ubizo (The Calling) is a South African television mini-series about an ambitious career-woman on the fast-track to success who finds her meticulously planned life thrown into chaos when she has to choose between the spiritual calling of her ancestors and everything she ever thought she wanted.
The mini-series aired on SABC1 from 15 February to 8 March, 2007, on Thursdays at 21h00. There are four hour-long episodes. Almost half the dialogue is in SiSwati, although when necessary there are English subtitles.
Nomathemba is an ambitious microbiologist on the fast-track to success - a Mandela's child living the post-apartheid dream.
She's lost touch with her heritage, her traditions, and her people, but she hasn't lost her link to the ancestors who are calling her through her dreams.
Forces are in motion around her. Unwittingly, Noma is led to her ancestral lands in pursuit of indigenous healing knowledge that she aims to exploit. In the process, she unleashes an ancient evil – the spirit Zondi who has had a long-standing feud with her blood-line.
On the brink of the biggest success of her career, her life implodes when she sees the evil try to attack her beloved daughter, Thandeka, at a function attended by friends, family and business associates.
She tries to fight off something no-one else can see. Everyone thinks she's crazy. Even Noma doubts the reality of her own visions.
With her sanity, her marriage and Thandeka's life at stake, Noma is told the only way she can defeat the evil that threatens her family is to leave her successful city life and answer her calling to become a sangoma – something that goes against everything she believes in as a scientist.
Opposed by her husband who doesn't understand, her deeply religious mother, her troubled teenage daughter and her highly demanding boss, Noma has to learn to let go of everything she's been conditioned to become.
But while she's away at thwasa training, the evil possesses her mother, getting closer and closer to its real target – Thandeka.
During her ultimate test to become a sangoma, Noma fails. Her daughter goes into a coma. With her marriage in tatters and her greedy boss now controlling her ancestral lands, Noma has to find the strength to recoup and fight back. She has to delve into the deeply buried secrets of her mother's tragic past.
Finally, Noma puts her faith in her heritage and her training, and goes back to her ancestral home where she finally comes into her power and defeats the evil spirit, Zondi. Thandeka is saved.
Noma also manages to redress her wrongs and restore the lands and the rights to the indigenous healing bulb to the people of the community.
Noma has followed her spirit home, and ends by embracing her destiny to be a mother to many instead of just one.