Mshika-shika is a South African crime drama television series produced by Dv8 Films which explores family on both sides of the law following a carjacking of a senior politician's daughter's BMW in Mayfair, Johannesburg, and examining how separating the good from the bad is not as easy as it once was.
One Sunday night, charismatic West-Jozi gang-star Scarra (Mxolisi Majozi) and his two sidekicks, wizened Judas (Dom Gumede) and new kid on the block Mafikizolo (Thato Dhladla III), jack a brand new 3-series BMW out of a parking lot where a wedding is taking place.
The car was a gift by a senior politician, Buthelezi, to his daughter on her wedding day. Although car-theft is common in the area, what makes this case different is that the attention of local politicians is drawn and the police are told to use the criminals as scapegoats in the eyes of the media.
When handsome, brooding Detective Phaka (Richard Lukunku) learns of the docket, he presses Schoeman (David Clatworthy), the Commander of the local police station, to give him and his no-nonsense forensic partner, Kea Thole (Terri Ann Eckstein), the case.
Phaka is determined to get to the bottom of it in double quick time as his long-gestating promotion hinges on it.
Scarra stole the car because he knows wheel-chair bound Bonsai (Arthur Molepo), the neighbourhood Godfather, will pay good money for it. He celebrates his payday by spending time with his working-girl girlfriend, Shirley Dlamini (Busisiwe Mtshali).
Meanwhile, Judas is becoming an increasingly frustrated figure as he feels he is overworked and underpaid. He begins to plot his own criminal path without Scarra knowing about it.
Using intuitive methods Phaka and Kea identify who the main suspects are but without any real firm evidence fail to make it stick. Schoeman, mid-stream, suddenly tells them to drop the case altogether.
A bemused Phaka vows to not let the case go and over the course of the series it becomes an obsession he can't shake. What he doesn't know is that inadvertently what started out as a fairly standard case of car theft will evolve into a labyrinth of cataclysmic events that will change the very nature of who he once thought he was.
The series becomes an exploration of family on both sides of the law. How the line is easily blurred, how separating the good from the bad is not as easy as it once was; how in the end, both sides will come crashing in on each other and what was once sacred is now contaminated by the lies, rapes and murders that came before it.
The show's logline is: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
The series is in English, Zulu and Tsotsi-taal, with subtitles in English.
Mshika-shika, a place where extreme paradoxes take place. The line between good and evil is often blurred. Conceptually, the series seemed to undermine certain expectations an audience may have in the juxta-positioning of law enforcement and crime, like in the film Heat.
Much of these binary oppositions in character and world emerge and it was the intention to simulate these kinds of nuances in story, character, tone, and escalation of tension, albeit in a very particular South African context.
The entire series was shot on location in West Johannesburg, Brixton, Mayfair and Fordsburg. Although connected by one main road, each area brings with them their own idiosyncrasies, mood, hue and style.
Brixton teems with gritty, rough-edged, depth and extends itself to shadowy film-noir motifs. Largely suburban Mayfair sits with menace next to a busy railway station; its back-end streets that look like Louisiana Bayous. Fordsburg with its graffiti'd body, crooked alleyways and double-shift dealers.
All three areas allow for an arresting visual style, a restless camera frame, and complex characters that they gave birth to.
Producer: Jeremy Nathan
Jeremy Nathan has been involved in the South African film and television industry for nearly 25 years. He has produced numerous features, television dramas, documentaries and short films. He has lectured in many local institutions and written widely about the industry.
Line Producer: Moroba Nkawe
Moroba Nkawe completed a BComm Degree in Economics at the University of Cape Town in 2002. She then entered the film and television industry working in various aspects of production.
In 2005 she studied Producing at AFDA. She has worked on various commercials, TV Series (Jozi-H) and feature films, including Country of My Skull. She was production manager on DV8's IzuluLami and was line producer on Shirley Adams.
Production Manager: Claribel Nkwili
Claribel obtained a Certificate in Television Arts at the Natal Technikon, she then started out in the Film and Television industry as a receptionist at Velocity Africa where she was promoted as Junior Researcher within three months of employment there.
She has continuously gained success in the industry having worked as Production Manager for a number of years on various television programmes and feature films like Jerusalema and Catch a Fire.
Director: Zuko Nodada
While studying drama at Technikon Natal, Zuko directed a feature titled The Dream which later enjoyed success at the Durban Film festival.
After relocating to Johannesburg in the year 2000 Zuko started working in television as Dialogue Coach and Script Supervisor on productions such as The Lab, Tsha-Tsha, Hard Copy, Bay of Plenty and he has also directed on Intersexions and Fallen.
Writer/Director: Athos Kyriakides
Athos Kyriakides has been working in the film and television industry in Los Angeles, London and South Africa, as a writer and script editor for a number of years.
He began his career in Los Angeles with U.S. company October Films (a division of Universal Pictures) working in Development and Acquisitions. During his time there he worked on a range of international films.
He moved to London and for several years worked as a Story-Editor for the British Film Council (Development Fund), Film Four, BBC Drama and Pathe.
Returning to South Africa, he was appointed Head of Development at DV8 Films and oversaw the development and publicity of several feature films. He has written more than 150 episodes of e.tv's Scandal!, and also episodes of Tsha-Tsha.
Writer/Director: Zee Ntuli
Zee had an extremely successful university career, his films have been screened at a number of festivals around the world. Zee has also directed music videos for the bands Crash Car Burn, and Wrestlerish.
Zee has worked as a script consultant on Soul Buddyz 5 and was a writer on Soul City 11.
Writer: Jacqui Pickering
Jacqui attended the University of Cape Town where she completed a BA in English and a Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama. She now works primarily as a scriptwriter and has written for Scandal!, 4play: Sex Tips for Girls, Nomzamo and Rhythm City.
Writer: Thuso Sibisi
Thuso has atained a graduate degree in film. His 3rd year experimental film, Chiskop, was selected to be aired on Mzansi Magic in 2010. Later in 2010, he served as First Assistant Director on the student film set of Bomlambo, which was awarded Best Fantasy Short at the 2011 New York Film Festival.
Thuso co-directed and edited a five-part documentary series entitled Blood, Sweat and Tears in 2011.
Writer: Tracey Dearham
Tracey is an active Council Member on the board of the Writers Guild of South Africa since 2009. She also serves as guest lecturer for Critical Film Analysis at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg.
In 2010 she formed her own production company, Stiletto Entertainment. She has since been commissioned to write and co-produce a slate of films for Mzansi Magic.
Director of Photography: Nicolaas Hofmeyr
Nic Hofmeyr does a variety of work, photographing feature films, documentaries and commercials. His diverse career includes shooting news, directing music videos and taking documentary photographs.
Nic's feature film DOP work includes the South African gangster/action film, Jerusalema, for which he won Best Cinematography at FESPACO in 2009 and the dark and stylised How to Steal Two Million, a crime film released in 2011.
Production Design: Jessica Young
Jessica is a graduate in film studies who has always had a passion for colour and textures. Her work includes numerous student films which have been screened at many international student film festivals.
Jessica has also done work on music videos and has assisted on many TV commercials.
Costume and Make-Up: Anneke Olivier
This would be considered Anneke's TV production debut. Anneke has earned herself a degree in Costume and Makeup Style, her short films have been screened at many festivals. She has worked on short films and independent music videos.
Editor: Jack Estehuizen
Jack Estehuizen was born and raised in the city of Johannesburg. He studied editing and television production at AFDA and holds a BA honours degree. He started working in 2009 and has been editing ever since, having assisted on movies such as State of Violence and How to Steal R2 Million.
Editor: Karien Goosen
Studied film editing at AFDA and holds a BA honours degree. Karien started working in 2011, assisting on Restyle My Style and Class Act. She also edited on Restyle My Style, Listen, a music video for Newtown Knife Gang, and Bodies of Water, a music video for Wrestlerish.
Her honours graduation film Bomlambo won best Fantasy Short Film at the New York International Film Festival in 2011, and was nominated for a SAFTA for Best Short Film.
Editor: Lindi Goosen
Lindi Goosen was born in the city of Johannesburg in 1987, and traveled around for most of her youth staying in a colorful array of places. She studied editing and cinematography at AFDA, and holds a BA honours degree.
She started working in 2010 as an editor for MTV Networks Africa, and has been editing ever since.
Sound Design: Gita Cerveira
Gita Cerveira has over 20 years of international experience. He works as a sound engineer in New York, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg and has worked alongside notaries of Portuguese cinema such as João César Monteiro and José Fonseca e Costa.
He has been honoured in Odessa for The Hero, a film with nine nominations. Gita has done numerous films with DV8 quite notably Shirley Adams and How To Steal R2 Million.
Music Composer: Fabian Sing
Fabian Sing is a South African music composer for film, TV and Video Games. He is most known for his work writing original compositions for TV Commercial spots.
Fabian has worked with some of the world's most prolific producers, such as the Grammy winning team of Colin Richardson and Matt Hyde (Slipknot), Mark Trombino (Blink 182) and Grammy Award winning producer Darryl Torr (Soweto Gospel Choir).
His highly motivated approach to his work has seen him composing work for the likes of KFC, Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Cocopops, Nandos, Ford and Simba.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Richard Lukunku ... Detective Phaka
Zuluboy ... Scarra (as Mxolisi Majozi)
Terri Ann Eckstein ... Kea Thole
David Clatworthy ... Commander Schoeman
Arthur Molepo ... Bonsai
Aimee Goldsmith ... Angelique
Dom Gumede ... Judas (as K. Dom Gumede)
Thato Dhladla III ... Mafikizolo (as Thato Tteigh Dhladla III)
Busi Mtshali ... Shirley Dlamini (as Busisiwe Mtshali)
Recurring / Guests
Dumisane Dlamini ... Stevovo
Tsholofelo Phiri ... DJ Elmo / DJ Elmore
Neo Baloyi ... Bartender
Kenneth Masondo ... Eduardo
Sibusiso Khanyi ... Fredricks
Mpilo Masuku ... Hoodlum
Zuko Nodada ... Sun
Lamar Bonhomme ... Byron
Steve Molefe ... Worker
Siyathemba Sibisi ... Police 1
Siphiwo Sibisi ... Police 2
Zandile Nkosi ... Stevovo's Girl 1
Rofhiwa Mandzena ... Stevovo's Girl 2
Sekao Kgwadi ... Stevovo's Girl 3
Shota Mdabe ... Georgie
Reggie Ndebela ... Shona
Yanda Nodada ... Themba
Monica Sekhonyane ... Themba's Mom
Sello Matle ... Bar Patron 1
Godfrey Mlambo ... Bar Patron 2
Sindiswa Magidla ... Phaka's Girlfriend
Johnson Chen ... Yi
Karabo Motsoane ... Bar Patron 1
Siyabonga Sithole ... Bar Patron 2
Qiniso Mtshibile ... Bar Patron 3
Gary Ekstein ... Spinner Gang 1
Gerrard du Preez ... Spinner Gang 2
Edward Maioa ... Police 1
Nthape Nkoana ... Police 2
Norman Ditira ... Police 3
George Tembe ... Police 4
Arnold Mashabela ... Police 5
Fredri van der Merwe ... Police 6
Zuko Nodada ... Sun
Ashvini Pillay ... Dr. Andani
Jerry Mutonga ... Officer Sizwe
Billy Ramosa ... Janitor
Mark Nyathi ... Mandla
Nomsa Sonqishe ... Gogo
Jabu Mtolo ... Girl
Barileng Malebye ... Evelyn
Lugako Hoho ... Minister
Siphiwo Sibisi ... Police 1
Mpho Nthebe ... Police 2
Andisiwe Mkuyana ... Scara's Mom
Tshepang Mdluli ... Young Scara
Liesel Retief ... Phaka's Lover
Thando Mthombeni ... Bartender 1
Lungelo Ngcobo ... Bartender 2
Alvin Kamwayariwa ... Police 1
Justice Panje ... Police 2
Edmore Zibikwa ... Police 3
Michelle Gumede ... Police 4 (as Michelle Gumdede)
Nolwazi Zondo ... Police 5
Ashalin Singh ... Officer Diego
Thandeka Mpala ... Nurse
Boipelo Moeti ... Officer Mazibuko
Charles Oniell ... Doctor
Headman Mayo ... Gangster 1
Thabani Ngenya ... Gangster 2