Ya Lla is a South African, Sotho-language television drama series produced by Quizzical Pictures and set in the dusty mining town of Welkom, and tells the story of how an extraordinary young man takes control of what's left of the once-legendary Marashea Gang and tries to restore it to its former glory.
It explores how a man can rise from the bottom of the food chain, to a position of power - and how that power can become detrimental to everything he stands for.
Subtitled "The untold tale of cultural legacy", Ya Lla is a South Sotho word which means "a far cry" - an echo or a distinctive musical sound made by an instrument.
The series opens with Lenka Moshoeshoe (newcomer Nkopane Mohola) arriving from Lesotho to take up employment at the Harhoff Mine after his father's death. He expects to find his father's job waiting for him, as promised by his 'uncle' Kobo (Sam Phillips, The Wild), a veteran member of the Marashea Gang.
Unfortunately for Lenka, the move is not what he expected it to be. In the past, membership in the Marashea gang ensured a man a place of honour in the mining community and access to the best jobs. Lenka, however, discovers that the status of the gang is now so low that no job can be secured for him at the mine.
In the midst of his struggle to get himself out of a destitute situation, Lenka finds himself with more enemies. He sells his soul for power and love becomes his weakness.
Ya Lla is produced for Mzansi Magic by Quizzical Pictures with executive producers Harriet Gavshon and Mariki van der Walt. JP Potgieter is a producer.
The head writer is Zamo Mkhwanazi, with stories by Tim Greene, Mkhwanazi, Napo Masheane and PJ Mashokolo, who is also the series director. Music composition was by Robert Machiri.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Nkopane Mohola ... Lenka Moshoeshoe
Zenzo Ngqobe ... Palamang
Rea Segoati ... Puleng
Sam Phillips ... Kobo
Mpho Noko ... Ravaza
David Motahane ... Tumo
Moliehi Makobane ... Keke (as Moliehi Didie Makobane)
Mpho Osei-Tutu ... Dr. Kau (as Mpho Osei Tutu)
Nozipho Nkelemba ... Nala
Recurring / Guests
Charmaine Mtinta ... Captain Zwane (as Charmaine Mtita)
Slindile Nodangala ... Matron
Charles Phasha ... Moferefere
Hassan Masia ... Ramatla (as Lerato Hassan Masia)
Warren Masemola ... Razor
Lebohang Motaung ... Sergeant Moswane
Peter Mashigo ... Elder
Obey Muchipisi ... Tendai
Oupa Gabaza ... Sgt Bafokeng
Nat Ramabulana ... Captain Masha
Tebatso Mashishi ... Biza / The Mole
Masoja Msiza ... Gate Guard
Tseko Monaheng ... Ntate Brass
Morusu Hlalele ... Lebohang
Flo Mokali ... China
Veronica Madikgetla ... Receptionist
Dipuo Kgaphola ... Young Prostitute
Celumusa Kunene ... Diroto 1 (as Celemusa Kunene)
Mlindelwa Mahlangu ... Pimp
Malope Le Roux ... Serame
David Maaroganye ... Security Guard
Semunye Damane ... Drummer (later as Simunye Damane)
Thabiso Senne ... Taxi Driver
Itumeleng Matlala ... Shift Boss
Pascal Mabone ... Miner 1
Thabo Pholo ... Miner 2
Boitumelo Seabi ... Nthati
Lesego Miyen ... Palesa
Simon Magaba ... Elder 2
Luversan Gerard ... Raymond
Kgauhelo Ratefane ... Marashea 1
Teboho Thuswa ... Moshe
Emmanuel Shabangu ... Zama Zama
Victor Kgokong ... Menzi
Kareemah Maphasa ... Reporter
Mlungisi Mlungwana ... Resident 1
Thabang Mathumetse ... Drug Dealer
George Moeti ... Henchmen 1