Jacob's Cross

Genres: Drama
Broadcast on: SABC2, M-Net, M-Net Series, Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu



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Jacob's Cross is a South African television drama series produced by Bomb about powerful oil magnates battling for Africa's rich off-shore oil resources.

Set in both South Africa and Nigeria, the story centres around businessman Jacob Makhubu and his quest to build the next great South African empire.

The people in Jacob's world are all driven by a shared history of colonisation and desire to tap into the wealth of Africa while being divided by feuds over who the rightful owners of the resources are, how they should be exploited and who should benefit.

The story begins when Jacob, who's living a prosperous and happy life in South Africa, gets offered a deal, with immeasurable backing from a large Nigerian firm.

Determined to realise his dream of accessing a new energy source, the deal offers him the perfect opportunity of making it happen.

He's adamantly warned by his mother to stay away from the Nigerian dynasty and its business but refuses to take her advice and soon finds himself in a negotiation that will change his life forever.

He starts receiving strange phone calls from unknown sources, which result in even stranger questions from the police.

Despite all this, nothing can prepare him for what he discovers when he eventually agrees to go to Lagos, Nigeria to visit his mentor, Chief Abayomi.

The revelation he discovers sends him on an epic quest in which he learns that in order to fulfill his dreams he must be prepared to lose everything first.

Jacob's Cross was produced by Bomb for M-Net Original Productions. Music was by Warrick Sony, Murray Anderson, Milestone Music and Philip Miller.

Main Characters

Jacob Makhubu/Abayomi

Jacob's intelligent, attractive, confident and successful. Brought up in exile travelling around Africa with his politically active parents, Jacob went to good schools in the UK and US and did his tertiary education at London Business School.

He returned to South Africa in the late 1990's and is a rising star in the business world. The son of a legendary jazz singer and a liberation hero who lost his life to the struggle, Jacob's a fierce entrepreneur and involved with various consortiums.

He has good taste, dresses and lives well but isn't flash. He has a Pan-African vision. He is a man with integrity who will find himself, his values and his family challenged through the series.

Prospero Brand

Prospero's the grandson of one the Randlords of the Witwatersrand - a once exceptionally wealthy and influential family.

He's estranged from his family whose empire has been crumbling over the last 20 years. His own fortune he has made entirely himself. In the boardroom and in closing a deal he has the instincts of a street fighter.

Prospero and Jacob met during their studies in London and their friendship has grown into a business partnership.

Prospero is a smart business man, plays the BEE game and is well connected. He is a flirt, will do what needs to be done to get ahead and thrives on the thrill of challenge.


Jacob's girlfriend, Lerato, is an ex-beauty queen who works in PR and publicity for an events company.

She's a brittle kugel materialist, a high-life woman who likes the best of everything. She likes to be seen, is a socialite and spends money, especially other people's, with ease.

She went to a good school and is very "Model C". She's dug her claws into Jacob and is good at pretending to be what she thinks he wants in a woman.


Zanele's the love of Jacob's life but she's engaged to someone else. She's well educated, spent lots of time abroad studying and runs a conflict resolution consultancy - she's connected to real governmental power.

Zanele and Jacob were lovers some time ago and when they reconnect they still have real chemistry and deep feelings for each other.

Thembi Makhubu

Jacob's mother Thembi is a famous jazz musician who was an important voice for the liberation struggle in international circles. She currently owns South Africa's most successful club which she's established in the style of the old “gentleman's clubs” from the colonial era.

This is the meeting place of the new South Africa's rich and famous. She is well connected and is loved by the media - but she has secrets.

Andile Makhubu

Andile is the son that Thembi left behind when she and his father went into exile. He grew up with his grandparents in Alexandra and was involved in MK in the late 80s.

He's networked within the old ANC intelligence network. In the late 90s he found himself outside the new elite and got drawn into crime - cash in transit heists. He's been in jail for some time and is about to be released.

His wife Busi doesn't want him back though. She and their two children have been surviving alone, they have a modest house in Alex and don't want his hot temper and dangerous energy around - but his charm makes it is hard for her to resist him.

Andile and Jacob have a strained relationship and little in common. Jacob has the world at his feet and has been providing for Busi while Andile was in jail.

Busi Makhubu

Andile's wife Busi is a strong township woman working to keep her family alive. She's feisty and still drawn to Andile - they love dancing together - but she's wary of him.

Chief Abayomi

A powerful man in Nigeria, Chief Abayomi has an empire consisting of oil concessions, hotels and contruction companies.

He doesn't suffer fools and has a strong set of values that he lives by which aren't shared by everyone else. He's expedient when necessary but lives by the notion of causing no unnecessary harm.

He's ill and knows he needs to sort out his legacy. He has a dream of leaving an African empire.

Bola Abayomi

As the only acknowledged son of Chief Abayomi, Bola's secure in the knowledge that he's going to inherit his father's empire.

Bola's ruthless and unstable and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He's involved the family's many businesses and lives the high life, in between being a dangerous schemer - which makes his father mistrust his ability to lead the family empire.

Folake Abayomi

Folake is Chief Abayomi's favourite child and her father's logical successor - if she weren't a woman.

Folake's mission if to continue the Abayomi lineage which results in her and Jacob becoming allies. She's the keeper of the flame and the one who understands best of all who her father is and what he wants.

Broadcast Notes

The series began on the now-defunct M-Net Series channel on 25 January, 2007, and a day later on M-Net. It was the first South African drama series to air on M-Net Series before airing on M-Net. For Season 3 the first-run rights moved to M-Net and in Season 4 these went to Mzansi Magic.

After one season on Mzansi Magic the show was moved to M-Net Africa for Season 5 and later aired on AfricaMagic Entertainment, which at the time was not broadcast in South Africa. It was only made available to South African DStv Premium subscribers in late 2012, meaning the fifth and sixth seasons did not air in South Africa.

Only the first three seasons aired on M-Net Series and only the first four aired on SABC2.


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