Intsika is a South African television drama series created as a spin-off of the controversial mini-series Umthunzi we Ntaba and based on an original story by Mtunzima Steader Nkwinti, produced by Ochre Moving Pictures and set in a fictional Xhosa village in the Eastern Cape, which tackles South African issues from a young man's journey to manhood, corruption in society, to the conflicts that arise when traditional values come up in a modern, westernized world.
The series aired on SABC1 from 12 April to 4 October, 2011, on Tuesdays at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 26 episodes in one season.
Set in the small fictional village of Zithuthe in the Eastern Cape, a community once tight-knit, but where now the people – traditional by nature and deeply immersed in Xhosa culture – struggle to adapt to the challenges brought by a modern, westernised world.
This is the village we met in the much talked-about mini-series, Umthunzi We Ntaba, only it's nine years later. There are still huts, chickens in the streets and donkey carts, but the village has grown.
There are now more brick houses than huts, more television aerials, more cars, more people. Many of the people have turned away from planting crops because they had factory jobs, which no longer exist.
Some people have found ways to organically adapt to a mix of the traditional and modern life, but for many, traditional beliefs clash with modernity in an uneasy mix that often leaves them disempowered.
There is still a great deal of respect for traditional leaders and those in positions of authority, and loyalties are often confusingly divided between local councils and royalty or chiefs.
The intention of this series is to offer viewing that is relevant, not only by exploring issues that deeply affect South African society today, but by using telenovela methodology to change the mindsets of people and through this, influence a change in behaviour.
Its primary intention is to explore the theme of manhood, and what it means to truly be a man in modern South Africa, the values of manhood take us into the realms of leadership, honour and community.
One has to honour oneself and one's own aspirations – but never at the expense of others, and there are times when a situation calls for a leader to sacrifice his own personal desires for a greater good.
The fight against corruption is at the core of this drama series and the face of this corruption is worn by the mayor, Malusi.
He is the one who affects all of the transitional characters through his corrupt practices, from getting Xolani fired when he speaks out against poor safety issues on site, to trying to use Ndoda to give the all clear on his activities to the chief, and affecting the young Lizeka's life choices by trying to seduce her into a transactional sex relationship.
Through making positive choices along their nominated values, the characters finally overcome the forces of corruption.
Ndoda and Xolani are reminded of the true value of being a man, someone who is able to be selfless and responsible for the well-being of others, while still being true to himself, and Lizeka overcomes the challenges placed in her way by negative male behaviour that may be seen as masculine or macho but is not consistent with the true values of manhood.
In essence... can one man make a difference against the power base of a greedy mayor? Ndoda will have to sacrifice much, and forge a reluctant alliance with his old rival Xolani, in order to win the greater battle, as he discovers what it truly takes to be a man.
The series stars Tazz Nginda as Ndoda, Khayakazi Kula as Lizeka, Zizi Peteni as Xolani, Mac Mathunjwa as Tshibaphi and Fezile Mpela as Malusi.
The series was directed by Pieter Grobbelaar. The casting director was Bubu Mazibuko and the music was composed by series star Mac Mathunjwa. Series producer was Makgano Mamabolo and the executive producers were Stan Joseph and Patronella Sello.
Intsika was produced by Raohang Multimedia Productions and Ochre Moving Pictures.