Genres: Drama, Miniseries
Broadcast on: M-Net, Me



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Broadcaster information
South African channels

M-Net : 28 Jan 2021 - 01 Apr 2021
Me : 01 Nov 2021 - (ongoing)

About the Show

Lioness is a South African television drama series which revolves around a woman who loses her children, her lover and her freedom when she is framed for fraud committed by her husband before his death.

Eight years later, while trying to reunite with her son and daughters after her spell in prison, she finds out that he is still alive.

In the series premiere: 44-year-old Samantha Hugo emerges from prison, determined to reunite with her long-lost children, 24-year-old Miranda, 21-year-old Liam and 11-year-old Caitlyn, but her efforts are unexpectedly sabotaged.

Eight years before, someone was spying on the Hugo family...

Shannon Esra as Samantha, Natasha Sutherland as Megan, Gerald Steyn as Anton, Nokuthula Ledwaba as Amo, Frank Rautenbach as Jason, Jazzara Jaslyn as Miranda, Jacques Bessenger as Adrian, Terrence Ngwila as Sifiso, Avianah Abrahams as Caitlyn, Fiona Ramsay as Charlotte, Joshua Eady as Liam, Ilana Cilliers as Yvette and Evan Hengst as Brian.

Lioness is an M-Net Original Production, created by Ilse van Hemert and produced by Ochre Moving Pictures. The executive producer is Stan Joseph and the showrunner is Ilse van Hemert.

Ilse van Hemert is the head writer, leading a team including Mitzi Booysen, Rosalind Butler, Thomas Hall and Trish Malone. The directors are Jozua Malherbe and Morné du Toit.

Original music is by Garrett Gonzales.


Samantha (Shannon Esra)

Samantha tends to get herself in trouble, when she impulsively seeks out adventure to cater for her boundless energy and passion and when she calls a spade a spade.

Sam missed out on finding love when she became pregnant at 17, marrying a man who does not get her or fulfil her needs as a woman.

She is forced to choose between her own happiness and that of her children. She chooses her children but makes a disastrous mistake by committing a crime to save them.

Adrian Hugo (Jacques Bessenger)

The husband of the lioness.

For investment broker Adrian, image is everything - an urbane model of a man, a winner in every way, but his life-long competition with his brother leads him to cross ethical boundaries, heading down a slippery slope from where it becomes impossible to return.

Jason Hugo (Frank Rautenbach)

Adrian's brother.

Jason Hugo, on a path to be appointed as a Con-court judge, is a righteous, magnanimous supporter and benefactor to Sam and Adrian in their hour of need.

But under the smooth facade is a man who harbours deep desires which can only be satisfied by playing the long game.

Anton Marais (Gerald Steyn)

Anton is appointed as security detail responsible for the safety of Adrian Hugo's wife and children.

The fastidious guard surprises Sam by his insightful observations about her and her family, but it is soon apparent that he has a sinister agenda.

Miranda (Jazzara Jaslyn)

Samantha's oldest daughter, a teenager who takes life much too seriously and can't bear imperfection.

She hero-worships her urbane, successful father, interpreting his desperate attempts to save his sinking company with dedication to work.

By contrast Miranda is averse to her mother's general disorder and her embarrassing lack of decorum.

When Miranda is suddenly plucked out of her protected world, she is completely unprepared for the consequences.

Liam (Joshua Eady)

Sam's observant son. The 11-year-old Liam is closest to his mother, sharing his anxious, dark thoughts with her.

She fears her son is by nature too sensitive and too distrustful, but in time discovers Liam has seen things that threaten to damage his emotional and mental health.

Caitlyn (Avianah Abrahams)

Caitlyn is Sam and Adrian's last-born child and was only 3 years old when her family was torn apart and she was taken to live with her uncle and aunt, Jason and Megan.

Childless Meg embraced Caitlyn with a fervour that suggested she had no intention of ever letting her go again.

The little princess quickly learned to capitalise on the situation for her own benefit and in the process becomes quite the manipulator.

Megan (Natasha Sutherland)

Sam's sister-in-law and Jason's wife who comes from a family with political clout and is an asset to Jason's ambition to become a Constitutional Court judge.

She is articulate, groomed to perfection and active in women's organisations, but behind the veneer of sophistication is a needy woman, who found relief from the pain of being unable to have children when Jason offered to foster Sam's children while she was in prison.

Caitlyn came to Meg as a toddler and now sees Meg as her own mother. Meg will do whatever it takes to hold on to the daughter she shaped to be her own.

Charlotte (Fiona Ramsay)

Sam's bohemian mother, who has a need for self-expression and independence but would like someone else to fund it.

Charlotte tries her best when it comes to motherhood, with limited success, because her own needs take precedence.

Nevertheless, when her granddaughter comes under attack, she joins Sam's lioness pack to protect their cub.

Amo (Nokuthula Ledwaba)

Sam's closest friend, Amo is married to Sifiso, CFO of Adrian's investment company.

Amo is warm hearted, insightful, honest and incorruptible - or so she thinks, until her family comes under threat.

Amo is torn between doing what is right and protecting her friendship and her family, a lioness in her own way.

Amo resorts to avoiding rather than confronting the crisis, for fear of permanent damage, but her true nature is unable to do so forever.

Sifiso (Terrence Ngwila)

Amo's husband Sifiso is the spontaneous life of the party; a loyal friend, generous to a fault.

He adores his wife and children, but he can't help constantly feeling slightly inferior to Amo, whose high moral standards match her high expectations of her husband.

This drives Sifiso to accept a lucrative offer that comes at the cost of his soul.

Brian (Evan Hengst)

Miranda's controlling fiancé Brian presents himself as an elegant fixer of problems, a protector of damsels in distress.

And although Miranda was exactly that when she lost her father and Brian stepped in to take over his role in Miranda's life, Sam realises that Brian wants to keep Miranda forever in a state of fragility.

Sam lets Brian know she recognises him as a bully in a suit and she warns him against harming a hair on daughter Miranda's head, or face dire consequences.

Brian is arrogant enough to ignore his future mother-in-law's warning.


Samantha Hugo

Megan Hugo

Anton Marais

Amo Twala (as Nokuthula Mavuso)

Jason Hugo

Miranda Hugo

Adrian Hugo

Sifiso Twala

Charlotte Lawson

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