Shooting Stars is a South African television drama series based on a concept by Sacha Clelland-Stokes, produced by Penguin Films and set in the world of a fictional South African soccer side, Shooting Stars, which follows the fortunes of young soccer player Wandile Dhlomo who is determined to reach the highest level in South African soccer.
The series aired on e.tv from 3 September, 2007 to 24 May, 2010. There are 52 hour-long episodes in three seasons. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
The series kicks off with the soccer team Shooting Stars being relegated from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to the first division league.
Wandile Dhlomo lives for soccer. He is talented, passionate and determined to reach the highest level in South African soccer, playing for Bafana Bafana.
To reach his goal he has to leave his humble rural home for the challenges that await him in Johannesburg.
The naïve 19-year-old is faced with obstacles every step of the way but is also supported by Okwa "Duke" Opara, a Nigerian player who joins the Shooting Stars in search of fame and fortune but also finds friendship, love and resentment.
Sechaba Makayi has been the super star of the Shooting Stars for years and thrives on the attention. A lover of the fast life, his wild ways result in him being less than a model husband and father.
At the start of the series he is Wandile’s hero, but when Wandile sees Sechaba’s true nature, his star power starts to fade.
Everyone copes with what life throws at them in their own way, and for goalkeeper Muzi Mpetla laughter is his medicine. But this joker with a heart of gold is hiding a devastating secret.
Unable to laugh things off is Clinton Arendse. As the team "bad boy", Clinton’s fiery temper sees him red-carded on and off the field...but what lies behind the anger?
While the rest of the players fight for a spot on the team, Ronnie Cohen Jr is a reluctant team member, having been forced to play by his father and under constant pressure to perform.
As owner of the Shooting Stars, Bra Vic Tau is passionate about his club and will do whatever it takes for them to regain their PSL status and – almost as importantly – to defeat their rivals, the Black Dragons.
The Dragons are owned by Neo Moloto, an ambitious businesswoman you wouldn’t want to cross. Unfortunately for Bra Vic, that’s just what he did, which has resulted in Neo’s dogged determination to destroy him and the Shooting Stars.
Vic’s daughter, Ayanda, is an aspiring musician who befriends Neo’s son Zakes. She also becomes romantically involved with a player, without her father’s approval.
Shooting Stars Key Players
Ronnie Cohen Jr
Owners and Their Families
Bra Vic “The Lion” Tau – Shooting Stars Owner
Ayanda Tau – Bra Vic’s Daughter
Neo Moloto – Black Dragons Owner
Georgi Zelco – Coach
Pearl Mtshali – Team’s former Marketing Manager & Sechaba’s lover
Zinzi – Shooting Stars physiotherapist
Pule – Shooting Stars kit manager
Ronald Cohen Senior – Ronnie’s father. Purchases the club.
Lucky Mabandla – Soccer agent & Neo’s lover
Character: Wandile Dhlomo
Actor: Motlatsi Mafatshe
Wandile is the central character in Shooting Stars. Through his eyes we see the sometimes glamorous, sometimes seedy world of soccer obsession.
Soccer is the defining passion in Wandile's life. It gives him strength and direction. All he wants is to be the best he can be and to play at the very highest level.
Wandile was raised in rural KZN. His father died when he was young and his mother has been the sole provider and caretaker of Wandile and his younger brother Lindelani. She has worked in menial jobs in order to educate, feed and clothe her children, and life has often been a struggle for them.
Mrs Dhlomo is a woman of strong faith and traditional values and she has instilled this morality in her children.
In many ways Wandile has led a sheltered life. His experience of the big city has been confined to a few isolated trips to Durban. Although poor, he and his brother have had a happy childhood, with a loving mother and a caring community around them.
Nonetheless, Wandile has never been content with the thought of remaining in his village, or of doing anything he sees as ordinary. He is a dreamer, an idealist and an optimist. He believes that he was born to play soccer and he will do anything to achieve that goal.
Wandile, although bright, has never excelled academically because soccer occupies his mind and heart to the exclusion of all else.
He follows local and international football avidly, visiting friends to watch matches on television or listening to the radio at home. He finds pictures of his favourite soccer stars in discarded newspapers and magazines, cuts them out and pastes them all over the walls of his mother's dwelling.
He lives for the game, playing in the local team and kicking a ball with friends whenever he can. Everyone who sees him marvels at his agile footwork and extraordinary ability with the ball.
His mother is indulgent about his obsession – soccer is, after all, a noble sport – but she worries about his single-minded ideal of devoting his life to the game. She wants him to get a good education and a good job in a respected profession.
Wandile seldom disobeys his mother, but he sees his natural skill and passion for soccer as a calling. He's concerned that he might be getting too old to enter the ranks of professional football. He has heard that most stars begin their careers with Colts teams in their teens.
Having just turned nineteen, he calculates that he will be 22 by the time the 2010 World Cup comes to South Africa, and that, he reasons to himself, is the age at which most players are entering their peak.
On top of this worry, Wandile has failed his Matric prelim exam and is concerned that if he doesn't pass the year he will have to repeat Matric, setting his soccer dreams back yet another year. He can't wait.
Against his mother's wishes, he runs off to Johannesburg to try out for the PSL teams. He is, however, unschooled in the ways of the world and not ready for the life he enters.
His first obstacle is his failure to shine at trials for the top teams. This setback throws him, but he refuses to give up. Wandile gets a job at the carwash and from that eventually comes the invitation to play with the Shooting Stars.
At first he worships every soccer star he meets, particularly Sechaba. He has to learn that Sechaba, while a brilliant soccer player, is not necessarily a man to be admired.
Fortunately he strikes up a friendship with Duke, who becomes an exceedingly positive influence in Wandile's development.
Character: Sechaba Makayi
Actor: Dumisane Mbebe
He is several parts a villain, but also a tragic hero - one whose potential greatness went wrong when he was seduced by power and glory. His lack of self-esteem and his desperate attempts to hold onto his fading greatness lead him to do morally reprehensible things.
Sechaba loves flashy clothes, flashy cars and flashy women; drinks, gambles and hangs out with some dodgy characters, such as Spokes, who owns the Ace of Clubs.
All Sechaba has ever done is play soccer – it's all he knows and he is terrified of what will happen when he can no longer play.
For a number of years, Sechaba has been the brightest star in his team's galaxy. He has represented his country, played for an overseas team for a season and in South Africa has always been a member of a PSL team.
Shooting Stars has been his home for most of this time, and he hates the fact that they have been relegated to the Super league. Although he has a certain loyalty to Bra Vic, he would gladly accept an invitation to play for a team still in the PSL.
Unfortunately, no such invitation is forthcoming, because Sechaba, although he refuses to admit it, is past his peak.
All he wants is the return of his glory days, when he was at the height of his powers and nicknamed 'Shesha' (fast) by fans. He longs for the days when the money rolled in from sponsors and the girls lined up outside the dressing room to catch a glimpse of him.
Sechaba still dresses and swaggers like the leader of the pack and there are still groupies willing to stroke his ego, but beneath his bravado hides a deeply insecure and fearful man. This fear makes him unstable.
Success made him magnanimous and generous; looming failure and helplessness turns him into a loose cannon, capable of malice and perhaps violence.
The admiration that his team-mates once felt for him has turned to uncertainty, dislike and even pity. He's not a team player, wanting all the glory for himself.
Sechaba is full of contradictions. When he meets Wandile he takes on a mentoring role, because he enjoys the adoration of younger players and likes to see himself as an inspiration.
However, once Wandile shows his skill and becomes a contender for Sechaba's position, Sechaba's affection turns to blind envy and he begins to plot Wandile's downfall.
In the team, his natural position is centre midfielder. He's not as fast as he once was but he hasn't lost it altogether, and his flashes of brilliance keep him on the team.
Sechaba has a gentle, long-suffering wife, Zanele, and two children aged six and four. He takes them for granted and is shocked when Zanele, tired of his philandering and his increasingly unstable temper, leaves him.
For a while he tries to be the man she first met and, after persuading her to return, makes a huge effort to be a model father and husband. But this can't last.
Among his string of glamorous girlfriends is long-term mistress Pearl, who at the start of the series has to be dismissed from her post as the team's brand manager because of lack of funds.
Character: Ukwa "Duke" Opara
Actor: Anthony Oseyemi
Duke is from Nigeria. His family has always lived in a village near Lagos. When Duke gets an offer to play for Shooting Stars he accepts. He takes the opportunity with scarcely a second thought.
Duke plays in the striker position. He is a strong, confident player. On the field he is quick with his eyes and feet.
His desire to succeed overrides any fear and he plays with purpose – this is probably why he lands so many goals. He is reliable and hard-working, and - although ambitious - he plays for the team, and not to show off.
He came to South Africa to succeed, and that is always foremost in his mind. In the course of the series, Duke comes to realise that material success is not the most important aspect of the game, and of life.
It is Duke's friendship with Wandile that brings him to this realisation. Wandile and Duke's friendship is rooted in the game and they make a formidable pair.
As a Nigerian in South Africa, Duke experiences xenophobia and knows what it means to be an outsider. This could be one of the reasons why he connects with Wandile, who is also an outsider to this high-flying, fast-moving urban world of soccer.
The xenophobia directed at Duke is mainly from Danger who is on the bench, desperate to play Duke's position.
Duke falls in love with Ayanda. Aside from having to lie about seeing each other, their relationship is an easy one. Duke is loyal, passionate and loving and he and Ayanda have a good understanding of each other. The clandestine nature of their love affair makes it very romantic.
Being at Shooting Stars means a lot to him, because he knows that if he does well he would be considered for selection in the Nigerian national team and maybe get a contract to play in Europe.
He believes in being a peacemaker rather than a troublemaker. He believes in getting what he wants no matter what. He does not give up easily or bow down to any obstacles facing him.
Character: Clinton Arendse
Actor: Keenan Arrison
Clinton grew up in Eldorado Park on the outskirts of Johannesburg. His family was well-known and respected due to his father's arrest and detention for being an anti-apartheid activist, and as a result, Clinton enjoyed somewhat of a celebrity status in his very early years and though money was tight, his family was looked after by their neighbours and the community in general.
However, this all changed when it was revealed that Clinton's father was actually a spy for the regime and was arrested, then killed, by the police when he tried to get out of the apartheid government's clutches.
The moment this truth was exposed, Clinton's life changed completely – no longer the son of a hero, he was the son of a traitor and was ostracised by the very community who had looked after him when he was growing up.
Clinton grew up with a string of different “father figures”, men with whom his mother had temporarily shacked up, men who inevitably left the family, though not before leaving both physical and mental scars for both Clinton and his mother.
Clinton was filled with rage – rage at how his father had betrayed him, rage at how the community had reacted to his father's actions and rage at his mother for her weakness in bringing into his life the continual string of good-for-nothing men.
As a child, Clinton began to rely on his physical attributes whenever he found himself in a confrontational situation. He was quick with his fists and gained a degree of respect from his peers solely because of their fear of him.
Clinton's quick temper has often landed him in trouble, both on and off the field. With a natural talent for football, his fiery temperament makes him an ideal right back, but it is his weakness too. He is unable to keep his temper in check and has collected more red cards than defenders twice his age.
It is his rage that leads to his confrontation with Sechaba in the opening match and culminates in them both being red-carded and unable to find a spot on another PSL team.
It is also the reason he is available for Shooting Stars when they go in search of a replacement right back once they are relegated to the Super league.
Clinton's brother, Leon, who's over a decade younger than him, was borne from one of his mother's trysts, but rather than hold this against the boy, it has made Clinton even more protective of Leon as he is so sensitive to the inequity of punishing a child for the sins of his parents.
Injustice angers Clinton and makes him a fantastic big brother, doing everything in his power to protect him from the vagaries and prejudices of society.
His soft side is also revealed in his dealings with Sechaba's wife – in whom he sees an echo of his own mother – and in the way he tries to protect her from Sechaba, further entrenching the bad blood between the two men.
Clinton is a man of great passion and fiery temperament with self-destructive tendencies due to a past that was foisted on him because of his father's actions.
Character: Ronnie Cohen, Jr.
Actor: Luke Viviers
Ronnie Cohen, Jr. is the utility player of Shooting Stars and the only son of the wealthy Ronald Cohen, Sr., who is part of a consortium that will take over Shooting Stars.
Ronnie is the 'poor little rich boy' of the Shooting Stars team, swimming in wealth but struggling to find himself.
An inconsistent yet talented player, Ronnie is disinterested in playing soccer but is pushed into the Shooting Stars line-up at the expense of better players like Wandile by his domineering father, who is determined to see his son live out his expectations of becoming a successful Shooting Star and Bafana Bafana player.
Ronnie's father was a successful soccer player unable to reach his full potential due to South African soccer's isolation during apartheid. Ronnie is thus under intense pressure from his father and the fans to live up to the high standards that Cohen Sr set, and to succeed as a soccer player at all costs.
Ronnie's team-mates also give him a hard time due to his privileged background and their general disgust at the fact that Ronnie's father helps him get into the Shooting Stars first team.
Throughout the series, Ronnie struggles to assert his independence from his domineering father. Having been beaten in the past, Ronnie is still afraid of his father and is unassertive and unable to stand up to him.
But Ronnie starts to rebel against his father and begins missing practice sessions and soccer matches. In due course, he adopts a reckless attitude towards life and his soccer career.
Ronnie starts to party a lot and develops a cocaine habit as a form of escapism from the pressures of his dad. Ronnie fails a mandatory drug test and enters rehab.
Character: Muzi Mpetla
Actor: Anele Matoti
Muzi is the Dragons goalkeeper at the start of the series. He became a single father to his now eight-year-old daughter, Bongi, when his wife died. Muzi adores Bongi and she adores him and often comes to watch him play. Bongi is also the team mascot.
Muzi has a heart condition and when Neo discovers this, she sells him off to the Shooting Stars without informing them of it. He also keeps it secret from the rest of the Shooting Stars team.
Muzi takes pills, which he gets from the clinic, to try and suppress his condition. Soccer is his life and his dream and he will risk anything to keep playing, even his life.
He is the joker of the team. He is very aware of his mortality and his joking is a way of coming to terms with it. He has to be able to laugh at his own plight.
He lightens up moments on the field. His humour is somewhat macabre and cynical. Being a goalie he is quite flamboyant and a showman. The crowds love him and he enjoys playing to them.
He is one of the most popular members of the team and has lots of fans throwing themselves at him.
Character: Bra Vic "The Lion" Tau
Actor: Timmy Kwebulana
Victor Tau is the 50-something visionary founder of Shooting Stars F.C. and the father of Ayanda Tau.
Victor, or Bra Vic as he is affectionately known, was a legendary former Black Dragons F.C. striker who was renowned for his powerful, net-bursting shot and lion-hearted approach to the game.
Bra Vic was a key player in a star-studded Black Dragons team of the 1970's and 1980's, which swept aside all opposition in cup and league competitions. During his heyday, female groupies and fans alike mobbed him.
During his days at Black Dragons, Bra Vic had a fling with Neo Moloto, the then young secretary of Black Dragons, who he then dumped for Ayanda's mother.
Neo was deeply in love with Bra Vic and was crushed after he suddenly dumped her. She attempted suicide but was rushed to hospital and saved. Bra Vic was unaware of the extent of Neo's feelings for him, and was similarly unaware of her hospitalisation.
Soon afterwards, Bra Vic was forced to quit soccer when he suffered a career-ending injury during a match. Vic believed that Neo was somehow to blame for his injury.
Neo later left the Black Dragon's camp amidst accusations from Bra Vic's team-mates and staff who believed that she had played a part in his injury.
After leaving the Black Dragons, Neo discovered that she was pregnant with Bra Vic's child. Wanting to protect her child and getting back at Bra Vic for the pain he caused her, Neo never told Vic about Zakes, their son.
Bra Vic formally retired from Black Dragons F.C. and went into business, using his popularity to set up a string of successful cafés, filling stations and bottle stores.
A few years after retiring from Black Dragons, Bra Vic led a mass revolt of Black Dragons players to his newly formed team, which he called Shooting Stars.
Shooting Stars quickly became one of the most powerful teams in the league, with a fierce rivalry swiftly developing between Shooting Stars and Black Dragons.
Meanwhile, while Bra Vic was founding Shooting Stars, Neo's hatred for him intensified. Years later, Neo returned to Black Dragons F.C., clawing her way up ruthlessly to become the owner of the Black Dragons, hell-bent on destroying the man she believed should have married her.
As Vic's nemesis, Neo is also intent on destroying Bra Vic's beloved Shooting Stars and uses her son Zakes (who is unaware of his paternity) as her right hand man in her attempts to destroy the team.
Bra Vic is a visionary, a philanthropist and the patriarch of Shooting Stars. His major flaw is that for all his forward thinking, he can be old fashioned, stubborn and extremely set in his ways, and is devastated when he learns that he had to hand over ownership of his beloved Shooting Stars to a consortium.
Character: Ayanda Tau
Actor: Zikhona Sodlaka
Ayanda is the daughter of Bra Vic. Her mother died when she was ten. As an only child, she took on the role of female head of house too early and never really had a carefree childhood.
Because her father was so emotionally traumatised by his wife's early death, Ayanda always tried to please Bra Vic. Subconsciously she wanted to make up for the loss of her mother, but she has not acknowledged how deep her own loss is.
Growing up, Ayanda got a good education and was well provided for, but not spoilt. Ayanda loves clothes and dresses with style, especially when she is performing. She sings in the local club 'The Ace' owned by Spokes.
Although she loves soccer, Ayanda has never wanted to be involved in it. Bra Vic had hoped she would work with him one day, but because of her talent as a singer, he has given up on that dream. Instead, he has replaced her with Moses, her boyfriend and captain of Shooting Stars, as his soccer heir.
Ayanda falls passionately in love with Duke.
Character: Neo Moloto
Actor: Vatiswa Ndara
Neo Moloto is the owner of the Black Dragons, a soccer club that plays in the Super League.
Neo is a self-made woman who learned the soccer trade through Vic in the early days of the Black Dragons when she worked as his secretary and became emotionally involved with him.
Neo and Vic had an on/off affair in the early days of the club, but Vic went off with another woman whom he married.
Shortly after his marriage, Vic suffered an injury on the soccer field which ended his playing career. He suspected the injury was inflicted at Neo's bidding.
Neo, meanwhile, traumatised by Vic's rejection of her, fled to her hometown, discovering later that she was pregnant by Vic. She never disclosed to anyone the identity of her son's father.
Neo's son Zakes became her reason for living and she was determined to give her son all the advantages in life that she had never enjoyed. Neo also became obsessed with exacting her revenge on Vic, whose soccer club, the Shooting Stars, was flourishing.
Neo made it to the big time and managed to buy a soccer club with the sole purpose of competing with Vic and beating him at his own game.
She is a ruthless and successful businesswoman bent on achieving glory for her own club, and at the same time, destroying the club of her ex-lover whom she has never forgiven.
Neo came from a poverty-stricken background. She and her mother were abandoned by her father when Neo was a child. Her mother's subsequent boyfriends were abusive and none stuck around for long.
This background has made Neo highly suspicious of men. Vic's rejection of her only compounded her mistrust.
Fearing the sort of 'doormat' life her mother led, Neo only becomes involved with men whom she can control (like Lucky, an unscrupulous agent), men who are impressed by her wealth and position of power – which she never relinquishes.
She has to be dominant in all her dealings with men: her lovers, her team members, her employees and also her beloved son. While she adores Zakes, she likes to be in control of all aspects of his life.
Because Zakes seldom angers her, their relationship, on the surface, is good.
While Neo feels the need to dominate and manipulate, she does have sincere maternal instincts. She will do anything for her son and she regards her team as her family.
In her eyes, she is the benevolent matriarch, only interested in what is best for her 'extended family'- the Black Dragons.
In fact, she is a manipulative control freak, and if one of her players betrays her, or has passed his sell-by date, she can dispose of him mercilessly. She is also willing to 'eliminate' all other obstacles in her path.
Character: Georgi Zelco (Velcro)
Actor: Nicky Rebelo
Born in Nova Zagora Bulgaria in 1959, Georgi Zelco - otherwise known as Velcro by the members of the Shooting Stars soccer team - is a former soccer player who played one or two seasons in the Bulgarian premier division in the early 1980's.
He was never a brilliant player but had a great tactical mind and an ability to motivate others with his passion for the game. After coaching a team from the third division, based in the capital Sofia, all the way to the premier league within four years, he found himself in demand as a coach in the lucrative Middle East.
He coached a team in the United Arab Emirates but found the heat unbearable and was happy to get a post as assistant coach to Olimpique Marseille in the French premier league.
He met and married a French woman called Lea and had two children. She loved to shop and had expensive taste. He had a taste for other women and so Lea divorced him.
Her brother-in-law was a hotshot divorce lawyer and made sure Zelco would keep her in the custom she was used to for the rest of her life. Georgi fled to Algeria to try to escape his financial commitments to his wife.
In order to keep a low profile he coached a team in the Algerian second division. Unfortunately, their promotion to the Algerian first division made news in the Marseille newspapers. His name was prominent in all the articles.
He slipped quietly out of Algeria and resurfaced in Gabon, where he coached for a season before joining a team in Mali. There were rumours that he had an affair with a politician's wife and had to flee to Cameroon.
It was while he was in Cameroon that Zelco got wind of a story that a recently demoted team in South Africa was looking for an excellent coach who wouldn't charge them an arm and a leg. Zelco applied for the job and got the post with Shooting Stars.
Zelco can best be described as a very good ducker and diver. But he is also a good coach, even if the certificate he carries is from a dubious coaching school in Stara Zargova. He prides himself on his ability to understand and best use his players to their full potential.
A very good tactician, he is able to sum up the opposition's weakness very quickly and find ways to exploit that weakness.
Unfortunately his communication skills in English are not that great and he often has to make use of an interpreter when he has complex ideas to put across, which are not always interpreted correctly. This often leads to him having a passionate tantrum.
His desire to win also means he suffers great anxiety on the touchline resulting in many bouts of painful heartburn.
Zelco's other weakness is his passion for expensive flashy suits and women who have expensive tastes. Zelco can commit himself to a soccer team, but never to a woman and this often leads to his downfall.
Although he would rather not be dishonest in his soccer dealings he is sometimes forced to, in order to maintain his lifestyle and make sure he has money in the kitty should he need to make a fast duck to another country or continent.
Zelco's biggest saving grace is that he does make a pilgrimage back to Nova Zargova at least once every two years to see his ailing, aged mother and he does transfer funds into the bank account of his sister living in Sofia, who then in turn forwards the money to his children still living with their mother in Marseille.
Character: Pearl Mtshali
Actor: Chumisa Cosa
Pearl is driven, ambitious, a perfectionist and over-bearing. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it – never in a hard, ruthless way – but by her belief in what she is doing.
She is charming and innovative, and is not opposed to using her female charms. No matter what transpires, Pearl always comes out looking fabulous – image is everything to her.
She parties as hard as she works – ideally doing both together. She makes her best business connections in the pubs and clubs of Jozi's celebrated soccer world.
Pearl is Sechaba's lover. She loves Sechaba and would like to end his marriage to his wife Zanele.
In the first season, Pearl is not as high profile in terms of her job: the Shooting Stars have less money and as a result there is not very much focus on marketing the team.
When the team's financial situation worsens, Pearl loses her marketing position – although she is still present as Sechaba's mistress until their relationship ends.
Actor: Amanda Dilima
Zinzi is a physiotherapy student who has been assigned to work with the Shooting Stars for her practical. She grew up in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape as the second of six children.
She comes from a Christian background and has a very close relationship with her mother. Whenever she has a major decision to make, she consults her.
Zinzi is an intelligent, hard worker who did well at school and believes that she was born to make a difference in this world. She is the kind of woman who likes helping out wherever she is, which is why she ended up studying physiotherapy.
Though she loves sport, soccer is not one of Zinzi's loves.
Zinzi is an observer and watches the world unfold around her with a quiet amusement. She is very self-contained, very solid. Zinzi is quiet and appears shy, but once she gets to know people they realise that it is not the case.
She has dated a few guys but is waiting to find her true love rather than just sleep with anyone.
Although she hangs out with girls wilder than herself, she is not at all influenced by them. They respect her and because of her gentle but strong qualities they like her. They always go to her for advice but although it is good advice, they seldom take it.
Actor: Joe Mafela
Pule was born on the East Rand. He wasn't a very good soccer player, which is why he ended up as a kit manager for Shooting Stars. As a kit manager he discovers that it is easier for him to organise muti for the club, because he has access to the kit and the club house.
He is naïve and highly superstitious. Pule is the kind of person who likes to offer advice to young players and even to the coach. He is very dedicated to the Shooting Stars.
He enjoys his regular trips to the shebeen where he is inclined to enjoy his drink a little bit too much. It is on these occasions that he develops a loose tongue and shares the club's secrets with those that he shouldn't, without realising the damage that he is causing.
Character: Ronald Cohen, Sr.
Actor: George Jackos
Ronald Cohen, Sr. is the father of Ronnie Cohen, Jr. and a member of the consortium that takes over Shooting Stars from Bra Vic Tau. Cohen Sr is a hard-nosed, no nonsense businessman and former soccer player.
In his heyday, Cohen Sr was an exceptionally talented midfielder who was unable to fulfil his true potential of playing for his country in the World Cup due to South African soccer's isolation during apartheid.
Ronald Cohen Sr is hell-bent on seeing his son live out his dream of being a player for Bafana Bafana and uses his influence to repeatedly muscle Ronnie into the Shooting Stars team, at the expense of better players like Wandile.
He showers his son with money and the best soccer equipment that money can buy. Cohen Sr nags his son incessantly about the opportunities Ronnie has that were not available to him when he was young.
Ronald's constant cajoling, badgering and pressurising of Ronnie causes his son to revolt. Ronnie Jr begins missing training sessions and matches, and finds a form of escapism from his father through cocaine.
Ronnie fails a drug test, but the incident is covered up by his dad. He then enters rehab and his father is dismayed to learn that his weak son will never live up to his expectations, but does not recognise that he and his domineering nature over Ronnie is to blame.
Character: Lucky Mabandla
Actor: Wiseman Sithole
Lucky is an agent. He is also a villain. When we meet him he has several star players in his stable, among them Sechaba, a senior Stars player.
Lucky is a master of manipulation. He plays one player against the other, one club against another. He uses his charm and sharp mind to woo and persuade.
He takes great care not to reveal any of his 'ways and means' to his players. Some might have suspicions, but as long as he is looking after their interests they choose not to know how Lucky operates.
He is having an affair with Neo. Their relationship is based largely on lining each other's pockets – what they have in common is their lust for power and wealth.
Lucky enjoys the fact that he is bedding one of the most powerful women in the world of soccer. Lucky is completely controlled by Neo.
Penguin: Creative Director/Producer
Penguin: Soccer Coach and Choreographer
Paul Crilley and Caroline Doherty
Series exclusive to e.tv
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 3 September 2007 | Finale: 26 November 2007 | Mondays, 21h00
Season 2 (26 episodes)
Premiere: 23 June 2008 | Finale: 15 December 2008 | Mondays, 21h00
Season 3 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 1 March 2010 | Finale: 24 May 2010 | Mondays, 21h00