Thola is a South African television thriller series produced by Fuzebox and starring Nthati Moshesh as Dibuseng Makwarela, the wife of a successful building contractor who is about to find out the price for a dream life when her husband suffers an accident at his building site and she has to step up and take charge.
The accident puts her husband is a coma, an event that will change Dibuseng's life irrevocably as she watches her life unravel, forcing her to fight for truth and justice.
Dibuseng Makwarela (Nthati Moshesh in Season 1, KB Motsilanyane in Season 2) is a 38-year-old materialistic, class-conscious housewife who is enjoying life obliviously until Rudzani, her husband (Fumani Shilubana), falls from one of his construction sites and into a coma.
Forced to take over the daily running of her husband's business, Dibuseng's world is shattered as she learns of unscrupulous, dishonest dealings by her husband and his partner.
On top of that, the family finances have dwindled and they are in debt, forcing her to fight for her family's survival whilst trying to keep the business afloat in the unforgiving world of construction.
Thola is inspired by the play The Ideal Husband by Oscar Wild, written at the beginning of the 20th century. It's a cautionary tale for South Africans used to sticking their heads in the sand and being unwilling to look past the glitter of middle class homes, the shimmer of the averted civil war and faux truce and the rampant political correctness - to what is rumbling underneath our perfect lives.
The series tries to say "Mogama kgomo ya mafisa, o e gama a gadimile", which could be interpreted as "The milker of a borrowed (hire-purchase) cow should, while milking it, be on the lookout for the owner".
In other words there is danger in complacency when you fail to perceive what is really happening in your life.
Thola showcases some of the most jaw-dropping realities behind the perfectly imperfect lives of the rich and corrupt.
Season 1 was directed by Alex Yazbek, Natalie Haarhoff and Pieter Grobbelaar, with trainee director Ferry Jele. The producers were Kethiwe Ngcobo and Mokopi Shale and written by Marina Bekker. Season 2 was directed by Vincent Moloi, Rea Rangaka and Nqobile Nthuli.
The series is told in Venda, Sotho and English languages, with subtitles added in English.
Dibuseng Makwarela (Nthati Moshesh in Season 1 and KB Motsilanyane in Season 2)
Dibuseng is a qualified Quantity Surveyor, but put her career on hold with the birth of her first child, daughter Kone.
By the time her younger son Shoni was born she had embraced the life of wife and mother, supporting her husband and love of her life, Rudzani, in his determined climb to a better life... a life of privilege.
Her husband's accident is her wake-up call to be the person she is supposed to be.
Adam Shore (Marcel van Heerden)
Adam is the co-owner of Makwarela & Shore and Project Manager of the gated-community-project in Houghton currently under construction.
As family friend he is the one Dibuseng turns to in her hour of need... a position Adam will exploit to his advantage, until the forces he is servant to turn on him.
Rudzani Makwarela (Fumani Shilubana)
Rudzani started out in the construction industry with big dreams and even bigger ambitions. When faced with the shadow-business at play he had a choice: become part of the game and realise your dreams, or fight it and go under.
He made his choices and now his family is living the consequences.
Dieketseng Mofokeng (Harriet Manamela)
There has always been an uneasy, competitive relationship between Dieketseng and her sister Dibuseng and their paths appeared to have split when Dibuseng's life veered into the realm of privilege and excess, whilst Dieketseng and her family embraced a more predictable, smaller life.
Neither of the sisters is prepared for the battle that will reunite them as a team when Dibuseng is forced to fight for her forgotten values.
Dipuo Nuru (Lerato Mvelase)
Dipuo has a complicated history as the daughter of an accused impimpi, now deceased. She exorcises her demons through her relentless pursuit of the truth.
Her attorney husband Steve keeps her legal, although her fervor to get to the bottom of things sometimes run away with her.
Steve Kefentse (Putla Sehlapelo)
Steve is brilliant at his job and is gifted with the ability of seeing the bigger picture, a quality that serves him well as attorney.
He considers his own belief and dedication to justice his personal strength, although he sometimes feels as if his wife, Dipuo's unrelenting search and support for the truth and what is right, dwarfs his own efforts somewhat.
Fhatu Neluvhola (Candy Moloi)
Fhatu is another mother to Dibuseng and unofficial 'grandmother' to Dibuseng's two children. In her role as helper she not only keeps Dibuseng's house and home running like a well-oiled machine, she also sees to it that Kone and Shoni grow up with their father's culture, Venda.
Fiercely protective, she has known Rudzani since he was an orphaned boy in Venda and there is nothing she will not do for him.
Lufuno Ndou (Lerato Zah Moloi)
Lufuno is Dibuseng's best friend. She knows the family very well and was a long-legged teenager in Venda while growing up with Rudzani.
An ex-model, she knows the glamorous, glorious life as well as the cruel, harsh realities that destroy. Not one to suffer, she knows how the world works and is hell-bent on seeing that the world works in her favour.
Candy and Lerato Zah Moloi, who are mother and daughter in real life, were last seen on screen together on Muvhango. This is their second production together.
The Makwarela house location is an upmarket house in North Cliff – a location chosen to portray the upmarket feeling of this rich family.
Dieketseng's House is in Pimville, Soweto. They are a working middle classic family, and this house says that.
Dipuo and Steve's house is in Parkhurst. This couple are professional and can afford the more stylistic things and they don't have children.
Professor Jone's house is in Kensington South, to show old money.
The hospital is Selby Clinic and the court is the Germiston High Court.