The Alliance is a South African action drama television series created by Themba A. Sibeko and produced by Ochre Moving Pictures and ANTS Multimedia, which revolves around Bra Jay, a kingpin involved with organised crime who goes by the nickname of the Reserve Bank Governor of Soweto.
Bra Jay has a thirst for power and rules those around him with an iron fist. Streetwise, strong and stubborn, he's always the suspect in any situation and arouses both aversion and affection amongst his family, business partners and the community. He has unlimited access to the law and the rewards of his money laundering channels.
Through the character and events that surround him, the series puts the spotlight on the damning consequences of organised crime, blood diamonds, drug cartels and money laundering. The story includes elements of the Hawks and the Russians, which tie into these themes.
The question at the centre of the show is: can a man with more enemies than friends save his sinking ship?
Taking on the role of Bra Jay is playwright Sifiso Simamane, whilst Keneilwe Matidze plays the role of Evelyn, Bra Jay's loving wife with a score to settle.
Comedian Denzel Edgar plays Frank (better known as Tsetse) who is part of the Alliance and 2014 SAFTA nominee Cebile Mlaba takes on the role of Sis Dee. Robert Hobbs and Sonia Sedibe star as detectives Riaan Malan and Lydia, while Damon Berry takes on the role of Vladimir Gorelov, aka "The Russian".
The Alliance is a co-production between Ochre Moving Pictures and ANTS Multimedia. uZanenkosi is the executive producer and showrunner, with executive producers Themba A. Sibeko and Stan Joseph; and Katleho Mahlasela for e.tv.
Sibeko is the show creator. The story is by Sibeko and uZanenkosi and is written by Thabo Mafoko. The title music is by Zethu Mashika.
Jason "Bra Jay" Nkabinde (Sifiso Simamane)
Streetwise, strong, stubborn and always the suspect, Bra Jay arouses aversion and excites affection amongst his family, business partners and community. He has unlimited access to the law and the rewards of his intelligent money laundering channels. Bra Jay is the Reserve Bank Governor of Soweto (he literally signs the money).
Evelyn Nkabinde (Keneilwe Matidze)
Evelyn is Bra Jay's second wife and stepmother to Nandi. She oozes nubile beauty and is evidently curvaceous. Born and bred in Soweto, she is a kasi woman of note. A child of shebeen owners who were tragically gunned down in the early 1990's. A witness to the murder of her family, she is driven to revenge.
Nandi Nkabinde (Gugulethu Zulu)
Nandi is a beautiful young lady whose upbringing afforded her access to resources that most of her peers in Soweto could only dream of. From early on in her life, Nandi knew she had to uphold the highest moral standards through merely having a popular and respected (feared) man such as Bra Jay as her father.
The boys that had been brave enough to approach Nandi with their virile pleadings have been rejected because Nandi swore to keep her most prized possession – her virginity- to honour her Zulu culture and make her father proud when she turned 21 and had her umemulo.
Tsetse (Denzel Edgar)
Tsetse is street smart. He wears well-tailored suits and accessorises himself in expensive Swiss watches and Lizard skin slip-ons that accentuate his well-manicured hands. He seeks autonomy in his businesses outside of Bra Jay.
Currently, Bra Jay serves as a great ally for him to clean his millions but has hidden resentment towards him because he doesn't treat Tsetse as the equal that he imagines himself to be. Tsetse's ambition to expand his business and surpass Bra Jay, finds him making alliances with unlikely people.
Sis Dee (Cebile Mlaba)
Dimpho Mokoena is a hard-up gangster who took on the reins of her husband Ofentse's illegitimate drug and arms business. She acted as his proxy when he was jailed for a botched up armed bank robbery in the early 90s. She sleeps with a 9mm under her pillow.
Dimpho grew up a pretty girl and was wanted by most of the boys in the hood. But when she started dating only gangsters, many on the straight path strayed from her. She has dated four big gangsters and her husband is the one she settled with.
Having experienced the underground world for a long time, Dimpho's demeanour has changed and she has grown to become a woman well-versed in brutal intimidation.
Lydia (Sonia Sedibe)
Lydia is an investigator who wants bring down Bra Jay, the head honcho kingpin of the series. Lydia is part of an investigative unit called the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) who focus on fighting corruption, organised crime and economic crimes like fraud.
Her mission is twofold: she wants to take down Bra Jay and his crime syndicate The Alliance and she wants her boss's job. She needs to achieve the one in order to achieve the other because she needs to shut down The Alliance to have her boss's job uncontested.
She's self-confident and stoic so she's able to handle tough times without complaining, a necessary quality when you need to take down someone who'll do anything to win.
Detective Rian Malan (Robert Hobbs)
Morally bankrupt, Rian Malaan is a detective with the DPCI and will only uphold the law to protect himself and those who butter his bread. At 58, Riaan is divorced with two teenage daughters and dreads resentment days.
He craves the affection of a loving woman and wants to feel needed. He fills up the empty spaces by over indulging in alcohol and hopes to hit the big jackpot by gambling. His command falls under Soweto North, second in command in his department.
Vladimir Gorelev (Damon Berry)
Aka "The Russian". Born in St. Pietersburg. Slight in build, with greying hair slicked back with hair gel, an off–season tan one only gets in the South of France. Somber and sadistic in nature. Single, with no off springs. A luminary, he sees the bigger picture. The son of a former Soviet Navy Lieutenant. Rebellious as a teenager, with a penchant for gambling.