Ke Ba Bolelletse ("I Told Them") is a South African, Sotho-language television sitcom which follows the daily shenanigans that take place in a well-groomed, four-roomed corner house in Tumahole Parys, Sotho Section, where lives a seemingly average family as well as extended family, who all live together under one roof.
The goings-on are observed and commented on by Mudala, an old man who is the heart of the story and main comic narrator of the series. He can always be found sitting on the stoep on his rocking chair, viewing and commenting and guiding us through life at 2091b.
He is the voice that humbly carries us over a bridge of laughter and tears of who we are, and how we evolved into democracy. And when things go wrong he sometimes shrugs his shoulders and refers to the fact that, well, "ke ba bolelletse".
Mudala is trying desperately to keep his family together but with a son who is an ex-convict who has now been given the church to run, what are the chances that the flock is safe?
Mokoena is the son of Mudala. He was arrested for fraud but tells people that he was a political prisoner. His wife Tshidi is an ex-beauty queen and still stuck on that idea.
They have two children: Potsotso, a closeted homosexual man; and Pinky, who lives with her boyfriend Dibaba at her family home in a "vat 'n sit" arrangement in the garage they have converted into a bedroom/salon.
The main characters are:
Ntate Mokoena (played by Mpho Malatsi)
Mokoena's eternal predicament is that he seems to be able to attend to the spiritual and emotional needs of his church congregation but somehow is just unable to do the same with his own dysfunctional family.
But he will keep trying until he succeeds in transforming his family into the perfect family. After all, doctors save lives of countless people every day but somehow find it very hard to treat their own family members effectively.
Mme Tshidi (played by Elizabeth Serunye)
Mme Tshidi is an old veteran, who has been with Ntate Mokoena for the good life as a good time girl, model and social butterfly. Of course, reality strikes in when she is a size 40 plus and clearly her dreams of being a model are fading.
However, she still believes that she can use her beauty and sewing skills to make it as a fashion designer and maybe get a chance to model her own garments.
The reality is that her major source of income is making church garments, the odd matric dance outfit and when luck strikes orders for weddings and township functions. She, however, makes her success appear greater than what it is.
In essence, she wants to secure a future for herself and make money - the one common denominator she shares with Ntate Mokena...
Pinky (played by Moliehi Makobane)
Pinky is a girl who still believes in true love - teddy bears, mugs, fake roses and classic card from Cardies are a must.
She found in Dibaba someone who could sometimes "make a plan" and it enticed her. She had more means than he and was able to twist his arm and convinced an otherwise reluctant Mudala to let them stay in one of the outside rooms.
Dibaba proves handy as he is ever-ready to weld the church chairs, give the garage/church a much needed coat of paint and be the handyman in Pinky's salon.
Pinky loves Dibaba for being able to get her the Chicken Licken fruit salad when he can, for being able to surprise with clothes from the local emporium 'Palazzo Pitty', and with a much-anticipated pair of shoes from Koko or Spitz.
Pinky is not the brightest and often finds herself at loggerheads with Dibaba - and when that happens, she is ever quick to show him the door, reminding him that he has not even given her family a single chicken for her hand in marriage.
Potsotso (played by Rantsatsi Rantsatsi)
The ultimate enigmatic outsider, who always requires explanations as to how is is getting there but never reaching that. He is a mama's boy, but the German cut with a pony tail sometimes gives him away - that and the fact that he still has his room in the house.
Dibaba (played by Tau Maserumule)
He is Pinky's "vat 'n sit" boyfriend. Dibaba wants the approval of Ntate Mokoena. He is a neighbourhood boy who just wanted to belong. He is older than Pinky so he always tries to take advantage of her naiveté.
He initially came to the home as a tenant, but found it was much better and cheaper to be a "vat 'n sit" boyfriend. This way he gets the best of both worlds, a roof over his head and a girlfriend who can secure his long term dream and goal: being part of a family.
Nobody knows where he comes from really, but he is determined to make himself part of this family on some level.
Mudala (played by Sam Phillips)
Mudala is the thread that binds his family and community together. He is scared of death because he thinks the family will collapse. He is the voice of reason and he constantly finds himself getting in trouble for putting his nose into his children's business.
The head writer of Ke Ba Bolelletse was Adze Ugah. The pilot episode was written by T.T. Sibisi and directed by Bongs. Directors included Bonga, Mosese Semenya and Brenda Mukwevho. The executive producer was Sinini Mati.