Like Father Like Son is a South African television drama miniseries created by Thokozani Nkosi and produced by Eclipse! which tells the story of a pastor's son, Themba, who is handed the reigns of his father's church when the elderly reverend dies, and has to balance his newfound responsibilities with his past reputation as a hard-partying, wild living playboy.
The miniseries was developed as part of the Lokshin Bioskop Series.
Like Father Like Son originally aired on DStv's Mzansi Magic channel from 25 June to 23 July, 2013, on Tuesdays at 21h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are five hour-long episodes in the series, which later aired on Mzansi Wethu. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Like Father Like Son premiered on Mzansi Wethu on Monday 30 September 2013, at 21h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Themba Sibeko is a dashing, suave, naughty 32 year-old who is one of two only sons and still lives at home with his ailing Pastor dad Reverend A.J. Sibeko and his mother, Mama Sibeko.
He's unemployed and survives on his monetary allowance as a deacon in his father's church and gets extra cash from his sugar mommies - and even more when he gets the chance to pinch some bank notes from the offering baskets of the church.
Needless to say, he is not exactly the poster boy for a moral young man.
It is now two weeks before his father's church, The Pentecost Church, holds its 50th year anniversary service where the frail Rev. Sibeko will be giving the reigns over to a successor to take over the church as he did when Themba's grandfather handed the church over to him in 1969. Rev. Sibeko wishes for one of his sons to take over from him.
The Saturday morning deacon board meeting is underway, 14 days before the 50th anniversary church service, to get confirmation from Mama Sibeko that indeed the sickly Reverend Sibeko wishes for one of his two only sons to take over the forte of the church in the next two weeks.
Over the last year, Themba and his introverted and diligent diminutive brother, Malusi, have been alternating at the pulpit on Sundays since their father fell ill. The deacon board now faces the task of deciding whom out of Rev Sibeko's two sons will take over the reins.
The deacons make a case for either brother to be the one selected as the heated deacon board meeting carries on. By way of flashbacks and montage effect editing as supporting visual story aides, the deacons make references to the brothers' respective strengths and weakness.
Through this flashback driven debate we establish that Themba has a way with the congregation; when he takes to the pulpit the congregation gets mesmerized; when he is at the podium and breaks down the scripture using breathtaking oratory prowess, the auditorium is left awestruck. He has a gift.
Malusi, on the other hand, has been diligent. He has been by his father's side. Rev. Sibeko isn't the greatest of preachers but his love for people and compassionate demeanour has kept his church going since he took it over from his father, Themba and Malusi's grandfather in 1969.
Malusi is similar to Rev. Sibeko in that he is not a talented preacher but is a good leader. However, Themba fills the pews.
Themba wins by one vote as the meeting ends with deacons having cast their votes for either brother. On that very day, Rev Sibeko passes away in his sleep.
Now, the smooth talking wayward and charismatic Themba Sibeko is about to take over as the head of his recently deceased father's Pentecost church. His brother, though overlooked for the post, is requested to stay on the deacon board.
The miniseries follows the eventful days that make up the journey that Themba takes as he transforms from being a party boy to being a head of a church. We see his unsavoury elements from the nightlife infiltrate the wholesome church environment.
His behavioural debts to society seem to want to make paid out as he assumes this holy chair. We see morality versus survival at play as Themba negotiates a new life that requires that he reaches to the depths of his moral arsenal to counter his natural inclination to make selfish decisions and put himself first as the latter has become a habit for him.
Being true to his father's and grandfather's vision for the church means he needs to die to himself entirely and live on principle and not on sentiment and feeling.
The series involves deep-seated family secrets revealed and veiled sibling rivalry across the generations bearing fruit and coming to a head when all hinges on a crucial decision that Themba has to make in the final episode of the series, which will be a true test of what the eventful two-week journey to his father's chair has made of him.
Is moral character innate or nurtured? This five-episode miniseries will have you wondering all the way to the climax of the story.
The series was created and executive produced by Thokozani Nkosi, written by Nkosi and Sean Bosman, produced by Anda Moyake and directed by Thami Ntombela. The music is by Khulekani Mndawe.
Season 1 (5 episodes)
Channel: Mzansi Magic | Premiere: 25 Jun 2013 | Finale: 23 Jul 2013 | Tue, 21h30
Channel: Mzansi Wethu | Premiere: 30 Sep 2013 | Finale: 28 Oct 2013 | Mon, 21h30