Genres: Documentary Series



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About the Show

S'Movana is a South African television documentary series produced by Rise Up Productions and Lucky Bean Media which explores the anthropological, cultural and social elements informing the culture surrounding cars, their naming and the model of ownership as a phenomenon in South Africa.

The series premiered on SABC1 on Monday 7 October 2013, at 18h00. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are nine hour-long episodes in the series.


The journey of South Africa told through the stories of its motor vehicles.

South Africa is a country with a strong car culture. Sociologically cars are important indicators. They are a symbol of social status, a realisation of passion, a symbol of freedom and, to a degree, extensions of each owner's identity.

In townships these cars are named in a particular manner and the connotations attached to the names are as varied as the names given to them (e.g. Gusheshe, Dolphin, Umadunusa, Idombolo, etc).

In suburbia however, whether a car is called Nanna or Berite is of no consequence. The fact is these are not just automobiles; they are representations of both freedom and progress, and refer to a particular culture and slice of time in South Africa's history.

Cars have significant stories attached to them and it is these stories that the documentary series S'Movana seeks to uncover.

Through the use of a presenter, the series explores the anthropological, cultural and social elements informing the culture surrounding cars, its naming and the model of ownership as a phenomenon in South Africa.

The story of this culture is seamlessly weaved together using threads from various sub-cultures (music, fashion, politics etc.) delivered in the form of social commentary, interviews, archive footage and shot footage.

The series is presented by newcomer Thato Cele.


Episode 1: Zola Budd (Toyota Hi-Ace and Quantum)

S'Movana explores the story behind the famous Zola Budd Taxi. A powerful machine that transported South Africans to and from the places of work and most importantly into the dawn of a liberated country – democracy!

We find out how the Zola Budd was able to change the face of the minibus taxi industry through speed and power and more especially, how the renaming of the car came about.

Episode 2: Gusheshe (MW 325is)

From a gangster car to a symbol of hope and a prospect of the birth of a new kind of sport in Mzansi, Gusheshe, also known as the matchbox and the box shape, has become synonymous with spinning, drifting, gangsters, Kwaito and South Africa's new-found freedom.

S'Movana visits the streets of Soweto find out more about the Gusheshe and its legacy, how the renaming of the car came about and discover how this 4-cylinder marvel has left an indelible mark on the South African Culture.

Episode 3: Dombolo (Mazda 323)

From family car to last car standing, the Mazda 323, is one of ekasi's "vintage cars". Some people are still passionate about them here in Mzansi. As South Africans, we have particular ways of making things our own, especially when it comes to cars like iDombolo.

They inspire us so much that we keep them alive long beyond their expiry date. And no car does passion better than the Mazda 323.

Episode 4: Starter Pack (Toyota Tazz and VW Golf 1)

S'Movana journeys out to trace what freedom means to the youth of South Africa, and shows how over the years, freedom has come to mean different things.

The show also taps into the new opportunities that have afforded the youth of South Africa a chance to carve their identity in the world through their cars or rather their first cars.

We explore the stories behind some of the starter pack cars in SA and what impact they have in the youth of today.

Episode 5: iHips (Toyota Hilux)

Some call it the "indestructible truck", it is officially South Africa's "best selling vehicle" for decades, on the streets and in the homes of South Africans, it is known as iHips.

Not only was it one of the vehicles used by the South African Police during the apartheid regime, but it is also a vehicle that has played a significant role in the building the South African economy.

The vehicle of choice for farmers and entrepreneurs alike as well as a solution to travel between rural areas, this is the vehicle that has consistently been a local favourite with South Africans from all walks of life, and chart-topper in the market.

Episode 6: Nanana (Mini) Austin Mini and Mini Cooper

Initially built in response to a fuel crisis in the late 1950s, the MINI Austin Cooper was a "more bang for your buck" economy car, albeit oozing style, grace and sophistication.

Today, the latest generation churned out by new owners BMW is no longer a question of ecomony - but rather a symbol of status for the young elite, who have the money, but want to maintain their eternal innocence.

Rather than a name for the car – the evolution of the MINI has come with the naming of the driver, in line with the amount of personality that the vehicle exudes, equal to the drivers. Welcome to the MINIac generation.

Episode 7: Cara Cara (VW Caravelle)

This is the story of how a family car, perfect for road trips, has come to be the mode of transport for the young as they live out a pseudo-lifestyle of the rich and famous.

The Cara Cara has taken the journey from being a family vehicle that was also used to transport children to school, to a vehicle that represented young love, and subsequently a party bus.

Episode 8

No information available

Episode 9

No information available


Host - Himself


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