Gaz'lam is a South African educational drama television series created by Barry Berk, Peter Esterhuysen and Lauren Segal from an idea by Ngaire Blankenberg, S'bu Nxumalo and Clarence Hamilton and produced by Ochre Moving Pictures which explores love, sex and relationships, with recurring themes of male and female identities and expectations, sexual negotiations and betrayal and conflict between "tradition" and modernity, against a backdrop of HIV/AIDS.
The show uses modern mythology to transport viewers into the worlds of the living, the dead, and the in-between. The guide through these worlds is the spirit of GP, a ghost who serves as the story's narrator.
He relates Sifiso's story as a cautionary tale and with a message of hope: that it is never too late for us to make the right choice and make a change in our lives.
While the first two seasons deal with the sacrifices, compromises and problems associated with trying to make relationships work, Seasons 3 and 4 also look at the relationship with oneself, with particular attention to the concept of love.
What is love, in all of its manifestations? Love for self, love for others, conditional love, unconditional love, healthy and unhealthy love.
Does someone make a choice to love someone? If so or not, what choices does a character make out of or for love?
Central to the storyline are the recurring themes of male and female identities and expectations; sexual negotiations and betrayal; conflict between "tradition" and modernity; the maturation of love and the consequences of the choices we make, all set against a backdrop of South Africa's HIV/Aids pandemic.
The tagline for the series is "Love, sex, and relationships in the new South Africa." Gaz'lam means "blood that binds" or "brotherhood".
The first episode of the series was dedicated to the memory of series star Sipho Mzobe, who was murdered in July 2002, months before the series was broadcast.
Series Producer and Head Writer
Indra de Lanerolle
Alex Yazbek (26 episodes, 2003-2005)
Barry Berk (13 episodes, 2002)
Bronwyn Berry (7 episodes, 2005)
Hlomla Dandala (6 episodes, 2005)
Charlie Sapadin (28 episodes, 2003-2005)
Barry Berk (13 episodes, 2002)
Neil McCarthy (13 episodes, 2003-2004)
Bongi Ndaba (4 episodes, 2005)
Craig Freimond (3 episodes, 2003)
Stephen Simm (3 episodes, 2005)
Nick Warren (3 episodes, 2005)
Alex Yazbek (3 episodes, 2005)
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Siyabonga Shibe ... Sifiso
Mbali Ntuli ... Khethiwe
Sipho Mzobe ... Welile
Bubu Mazibuko ... Thuli
Punky Dladla ... Msizi (as Panki Dladla)
Thembi Seete ... Lerato
Menzi Ngubane ... Jerome
Manaka Ranaka ... Portia
Gcina Mkhize ... Foxy
Israel Matseke Zulu ... GP (as Israel Makoe)
Bonginkosi Twala ... Menzo
Recurring / Guests
Camilla Waldman ... Hayley
Gary D'Alessandro ... Andre
Magic Hlatshwayo ... Khethiwe's Father
Nyembezi Kunene ... Chief
Nandi Nyembe ... Lerato's Mother
Jabu Makhubu ... Father's Negotiator
Moshoeshoe Chabeli ... Chief's Negotiator
FK Msomi ... The Herbalist
Jabulile Phakane ... Khethiwe's Mother
Norah Mbatha ... Virginity Tester
Thomas Hall ... Grey
Aaron Mbonani ... Cannonball
Philip Mbele ... Policeman
Linda Sebezo ... Sis Bee
Speedy ... Deep
Tony Kgoroge ... Jimi (as Tony Kgorogo)
Bayo Jwayi ... Kim
Adrian Alper ... Make Up Artist (as Adriaan Alper)
Mary Makhatho ... Portia's Doctor
Lebo Pelesane ... Sparara
Andrew Bannister ... Photographer
David Nxumalo ... Foxy's Man
Thandiwe Matebela ... Foxy's Friend
Zandile Ngunene ... Foxy's Friend
Busi Kunene ... Foxy's Friend
Tembeka Mngwengwe ... Foxy's Friend
Smangele Mbatha ... Foxy's Friend (as Smangele Batha)
Darlington Michaels ... Pipe Man
Siphiwe Mtshali ... Torso
Iain Winter ... The Customer (as Ian Winter)
Matt Stern ... Sunglasses
Gift Leotlela ... Darius (as Mpho Gift Leotlela)
Sipho Zungu ... Diner Owner
Nolitha Ngqola ... GP's Girlfriend
Tiny Masilo ... Barfly