Jozi - Moving the City

Genres: Music, Reality, Docu-Reality



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Season 1

Jozi - Moving the City is a South African reality television series which follows the hip hop group Jozi and their manager David Kibuuka as they travel around the world, taking their new muthaland sound global and getting into adventures.

The series premiered on SABC1 on Tuesday 4 October 2011, at 18h00. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are eight half-hour episodes in the first season.


Jozi - Moving the City is a reality TV show which delves into the daily lives of Da L.E.S. and Ishmael, both of whom are solo artists in their own right but together forming the group Jozi.

The show follows Jozi travelling around the world taking their new-found Muthaland sounds global. Jozi, with their new project manager David Kibuuka, find themselves in Swaziland, Namibia, Limpopo, in the strangest situations.

The show sees them travelling throughout Africa and finally the USA – New York, Atlanta and ending up in LA. On their travels they record a new album.


Episode 1: Finding the New Sound

Jozi, the hip hop duo made of Ishmael Maroba and Da L.E.S., are in the process of recording a new album. Their mission: find new African sounds to remix into hip hop.

However, inspiration doesn't grow on trees and the fact that their new manager, David Kibuuka, is a rather annoying ex-comedian doesn't make the process any easier.

Da L.E.S. has had it with David and is ready to quit the group but Ishmael shows the guys a clip of Shangaan Electro. Lance Stehr, the CEO of the label, tells David to get the guys to the best producer of that genre and have them work together on a track.

New mission: find the producer, which is not as simple as it might seem, especially when your only lead is a stranger who uploaded a Youtube clip.

David takes the guys on a wild goose chase to find Nozinja, the king of Shangaan electro, and they find themselves lost in Swaziland.

Episode 2: Finding Nozinja

Nozinja is not in Swaziland, in fact. As David learns - you don't get many Shangaan people living in Swaziland at all.

Lance has to put David in order and manages to locate Nozinja's whereabouts in Giyani, Limpopo, far from Swaziland. After many hours driving David finally tracks the man down, however Nozinja has not been expecting the guys or a camera crew and is far from pleased to see them invade his home space. He chases the guys away.

Les disappears with a bottle of Patron into the bush, Ishmael pleads not guilty and is pulled by Nozinja into his crib. David waits patiently by the kombi hoping things will sort themselves out, which somehow they actually do.

Les returns after cooling off and playing cards with the locals, Ishmael makes a fantastic beat or what the guys call a Muthaland Banger, and David organises a music video to be shot on location.

All is well that ends well and the guys have officially begun the process of making their hip hop album.

Episode 3: The Jewish Opera

Les has a friend, Prince, who is an opportunist and a hustler of note. Prince poses as the manager of Jozi when he thinks he can knock a hundred grand from who he believes is an afro soul group to do a song with Jozi.

However when the group arrive in studio it is revealed that they are an opera act headed by a strong Jewish businessman who refuses to back out of the contract as money has already passed hands.

Ishmael and Les walk out of the studio and tell David he has to sort things out. Les goes joyriding in one of the countries hottest rides, the blackmobile, Ishmael hangs out with fellow musician Ruff X and Prince takes the opera group to a party to cool off while David figures out a way forward.

David derives a plan that is far from flawless. The plan is for Ishmael to make the worst beat imaginable, or to remix the most annoying song possible - that way the opera guys will want to back out of the collaboration and the contract can be cancelled.

Ishmael gets cracking, but its not easy for an artist to paint an ugly picture and the beat begins sounding irritatingly good, when the opera jumps into it, it somehow gells and out of a creative nightmare an original track is created.

Episode 4: David's Kidnapping

David arrives at Ghetto Ruff looking like he's been seen death. He gives a long, outrageous explanation of how he has been mistaken for someone else by heavy Zulu taxi drivers and that he was kidnapped and held ransom.

The taxi drivers think he owes them the money and David asks Les and Ish if they can lend him cash. They find the story hard to believe but then the Zulu taxi drivers walk into the office. David may not be lying about his story now, but whether he is or isn't the guy they want is not clear.

One of the guys recognises Ishmael and says he has a cousin who is also a musician. He suggests that if Ishmael helps his cousin out, in return they will drop David's debt.

Ishmael and Les agree and they make arrangements to record at the hostel to keep the sound authentic. David grudgingly agrees to take Jozi back to the hostel where he was held hostage and the guys leave the suburbs and enter the Jeppe men's hostel.

Episode 5: Working in the Hostel

At first things go fine - the kidnappers, Jozi, the cousin and David all settle down at the shebeen with drinks and the vibes are good. But when they return to the room where Ishmael had set up the studio they find that the gear is missing - stolen.

Ishmael goes crazy and instinctively accuses the kidnappers of theft. Name calling just about turns to fist fighting and David pulls Ishmael out of the near fight.

Ishmael continues to go crazy until Lance calls him to say he's sorting things out. David wants to get the guys out of the hostel and back home but Ishmael refuses to leave and says they must stay there until the matter is resolved.

Strangely the very people who stole the gear find Ishmael, apologise to him and return his stuff. Ishmael suspects that Lance made a few calls to his underground connections and makes amends with the innocent kidnappers.

Even though Les leaves for Soweto to take part in a drag race, Ishmael still sets up his gear and makes a heavy zulu remix together with Davids ex-nappers.

The beat is on steroids and David has to revisit the hostel one last time to shoot a music video, another club banger.

Episode 6: Ishmael's Calling

One day while doing an interview, a plastic bottle is thrown over the wall and lands on Ishmael's lap. It reminds him of the movie The Gods Must be Crazy and how the bushmen fought over coke bottle that could be used as a multi-tool.

Ishmael begins obsessing over the idea of going to Namibia and tracking down the indigenous San tribe to remix their traditional songs. David is not keen on the idea though as it's an expensive trip and money is low.

Things only get worse when Ishmael has a stalker of sort trying to blackmail him for some money. Ishmael begins acting erratically and David manages to book Jozi a gig in Windhoek; at least the gig will pay some of the expenditure.

David playfully tells Ishmael that the event organisers of the gig called him out of the blue and that perhaps it could have something to do with the calling. Ishmael of course is completely spelled and convinced now that his ancestors are guiding him.

The guys land in Windhoek and do the gig; the following day they plan to seek the San.

Episode 7: The San

David believes he knows where to find the San but Ishmael, under the impression that his calling has brought them this far, refuses to go in the direction David suggests and points them to the desert.

David indulges the man and takes them Swakopmund where there is only mountains of sand and little signs of any San.

Ishmael now takes malpitte seeds to get him into a higher state of consciousness and loses it completely.

After trekking and sweating through the dunes Ishmael finally falls asleep and David drives them to Gobabis where he is greeted by a cultural tour guide and when Ishmael wakes up he is surrounded by the San, one of the last indigenous tribes in Africa.

Ishmael gets to record them singing and back in Joburg remixes another track for the muthaland, followed by the music video shoot.

Episode 8: Launching Jozi, Into the Big Hole

Ishmael comes out of rehab - he had booked himself in for drugs, and is on a new spiritual journey that is all about giving back. David takes him to an orphanage to play with kids and help with painting the walls.

Jozi perform at the Mandela Cheese Kids concert to a packed audience and it's clear that the group are as strong as ever.

However when Lance sends the guys to Kimberley to a massive extreme sports event with a girl group called Fly Girls, things start going wrong, mainly under David's command.

To begin with David and the Fly Girls manager, Nina, have ego clashes, Les bedding the girl that David was falling for doesn't held Dave's bruised self-esteem and when Dave starts pampering himself at the day spa and not doing his work, his meeting with the SABC nearly falls apart and the album launch nearly collapses.

But amongst the chaos Jozi always find themselves on top, on point, and on route to going global.

The season ends with snippets of Season 2: has David become a police officer and why are Jozi getting awards in London?

Season 1 Cast





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