Hustle is a South African television drama series based on an original concept by Fanyana Hlabangane and Bridget Pickering which charts the journey of a has-been diva as she begins what will prove to be a tough journey back to the top of the charts, with a multitude of challenges that lie in her way.
Kitt Khumalo (Brenda Ngxoli) is a has-been who had hit records, a huge fan base and performed in big concerts in the 80s, until her career crashed.
She started off like many great artists in a singing group called The Sparrows with her sister and best friend, but her extraordinary voice and hot ambition made sure she was picked from the trio and nurtured to superstardom. She rose to the heights of the South African music industry and had a long and distinguished career.
Kitt decides to make a comeback and this drama captures her rough journey back to the top of the charts. She constantly has to save herself from being publicly burned and humiliated in her attempt to reclaim stardom.
Aside from Ngxoli the cast features Masello Montana as Neo, Dineo Ranaka as Kedibone, Zolisa Xaluva as Xolile "Bra X" Sithole, Andile Nebulane as Duma, Mandisa Nduna as Thuli, Lungelo Lubelwana as Sibusiso "Sbu" Mkhize and Angela Sithole as Angel.
Hustle is produced by Fireworx Media, with executive producers Bridget Pickering, Dan Jawitz and Neil Brandt. Ben Horowitz serves as series producer and the executive producer for e.tv was Katleho Khabele. Music composition was by Tigerfight, Garth Barnes, Fabian Sing and Lungelo Lubelwana.
The pilot was directed by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka.
Kitt (Brenda Ngxoli)
Loved or feared, adored or disliked, no one who meets her music or her, reacts with moderation. Kitt is an extremist, extremely realised. She's an outcast who only finds a safe harbour late in her life. Not fitting in makes her great, but it also makes her angry and very lonely. Then again her anger is what sustains her.
Neo (Masello Motana)
Neo was initially part of the group, but left before they exploded into fame. She always felt more camaraderie with her sister's rival, Kedi, but had to support her sister for family's sake. She always knew her sister was a self-obsessed egotist - even as a child - and when she looks at her now, she keeps thinking what she would have done with the success her sister had achieved.
Kedibone (Dineo Ranaka)
Former member of the Sparrows. The good girl who was betrayed by Kitt, but who made all the correct choices. She married Duma and is a corporate wife and a record label executive at Slyza Records. She wants power, recognition and for Kitt to stay down, and far away!
Duma (Andile Nebulane)
Duma handled the Sparrows where Kitt and Kedi were pitted against each other. This is a man who has seen it all. He can spot talent and then use and abuse it. Talent excites him but he can't help squeezing the life out of it. He represents the power in the music industry as the owner of Slyza Records.
Xolile "Bra X" Sithole (Zolisa Xaluva)
Neo's devoted husband, a motor mechanic, simple and honest God-fearing man. His life is turned upside down when his estranged sister-in-law Kitt forces her way back into their lives. Kitt's presence changes his life dramatically and tests everything he believes about himself.
Maxwell (Mothusi Magano)
A journalist that uses his pen to bitter effect, if needed. A small wizened man aged between 40 and death. He has the emotional make up of a perfect agent: manipulative, after the fast buck, and an eye for the main deal. Maxwell is also inextricably bound to Neo in friendship, love, and history.
Sibusiso "Sbu" Mkhize (Lungelo Lubelwana)
The boy from the streets who could be the most explosive talent South Africa and the world has seen if he can hold it all together and ensure that the threat of a return to prison is kept at bay. He gets his deal with Slyza Records, but everything comes with strings attached.
Although there are 26 episodes in Season 1, only 13 aired on eKasi+ on Thursdays at 21h00 before the show went on a year-long hiatus. It resumed with Episode 14 in January 2017, to coincide with the return transmission on e.tv, in a new timeslot of Wednesdays at 21h00. Only 23 episodes aired on the channel in total before it was discontinued in March 2017; the remaining episodes aired on the replacement channel, eExtra, beginning with Episode 24 on Wednesday 5 April.
Season 1 premiered on e.tv on Monday 26 September 2016, at 21h30. After Episode 11 (which aired on 5 December) the show went on hiatus for the festive season, resuming with Episode 12 on Monday 16 January, 2017.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Brenda Ngxoli ... Kitt
Dineo Ranaka ... Kedibone
Zolisa Xaluva ... Bra X
Masello Motana ... Neo
Andile Nebulane ... Duma
Angela Sithole ... Tai Chi / Angel
Lungelo Lubelwana ... Sibusiso "Sbu" Mkhize
Mandisa Nduna ... Thuli
Recurring / Guests
Mothusi Magano ... Maxwell
Lethabo Bereng ... Pretty
Petronella Nontsikelelo ... Baby (as Petronella Tshuma)
Sisanda Henna ... Moruti Sampson
Kere Nyawo ... Prison Gang Leader (as Moses "Kere" Nyawo)
Nicole Bailey ... Rea (Angel's Mom)
Alex Motswiri ... Vusimusi (as Alex Motsweri)
Anthony Bishop ... Vince
MXO ... Himself
Macebo Twalo ... Detective Chungwa
Sphiwe Nkosi ... Sangoma for Celebs / Phindamshaye
Andrew Worsdale ... Draganov (as Andrew Worsedale)
Carlo Radebe ... Moses
Zipho Zwane ... Choir (also credited as Ziphozonke Zwane)
Thato Mocumi ... Choir
Sphiwe Mathebula ... Choir
Lwazi Khumalo ... Choir
Thuso Mokaneng ... Petrol Attendant
Wandisile Swartbooi ... Stage Manager
Joe Malele ... Hit & Run Victim
Lance Stehr ... Guest
Wanda Baloyi ... Guest (as Wanda Chocolate Baloyi)
DJ Smash Afrika ... Guest
Nnekwa Tsajwa ... Tempo
Khalala Khabele ... Mawaza
Kgaogelo Mosupye ... Amos
Bhekumuzi Mkwanazi ... Sif (as Bhekumuzi "Bastard" Mkwanazi)
Tryphosa Maruma ... Police Man 1 / Warder
Kingsley South ... Police Man 2
Zivenathi Matiwane ... Roadblock Police Man
Joe Malele ... Hit and Run Victim
Angie Lethena ... Salon Customer
Lebogang Maganye ... Salon Customer
Ayanda Nkabinde ... Salon Customer
Mapho Ledwaba ... Salon Customer
Phindile Zulu ... Salon Customer
Prudence Mkhwanazi ... Salon Customer (as Prudance Mkhwanazi)
Veronica Maseko ... Salon Customer (as Veroncia Maseko)
Lerato Phiri ... Salon Customer
Zolisiwe Nodyiwane ... Salon Customer
Thando Mgaweni ... Police Investigator
Abram Phajane ... Lawyer
Lawrence Phelekwa ... Local Boy 1
Botsabelo Lebone ... Local Boy 2
Prudence Mosito ... Receptionist (as Prudencce Mosito)
Sibonelo Ushe ... Bartender
Mxolisi Duma ... Sugar Daddy
Lerato Lomko ... Sne (also credited as Love Lomko)
Junior Thibela ... Ben 10
Thabo Mhlanga ... Sound Engineer (also credited as Thabo Mdlanga)
Christiaan du Plessis ... Duty Cop
Thato Makgorometša ... Slyza Receptionist (also credited as Thato Makgorometsa)
Ashleigh La Foy ... Lex La Foy (also credited as Ash-leigh La Foy)
Mmthokozisi Puzi ... Sound Engineer 2
Mpumi Dhlamini ... Atile
Siyabonga Vilakazi ... Martin (Journalist)
Lebohang Moroe ... Barman
Ayanda Kriego ... Neo's Assitant
Khumbulani Khuzwayo ... Flower Hijacker 1
Glen Nthombela ... Flower Hijacker 2
Khumbulani Khuzwayo ... Hijacker
Sphiwe Ngcobo ... Band Member
Thembinkosi Mavimbela ... Band Member
Fundile Dlamini ... Band Member
Angelina Mahlakwana ... Duma's Maid
Pheladi Makola ... Stripper
Neo Mabhena ... Neo (Sax)
Thabo Mdlanga ... Sound Engineer (high-top fade)
Monde Wani ... Donald
Khanyeza Khanyeza ... Military Guard
Kabelo Modiba ... Drummer / Singer
Donald "Rush" Ramohlale ... Military Guard
Boitumelo Maoka ... Herself (as "Melo" Maoka (Yfm DJ))
Doctor Makhombothi ... Chops (Slyza Accountant)
DJ Sabby ... Himself
Charlie Ramatutu ... Charlie
Busie Mtshali ... Thuli's Girl
Fadeen Mia ... Doctor
Kabelo Mojela ... Mawaza's Friend
Hendrick Shabangu ... Mawaza's Friend
Elijah Mukwevho ... Mawaza's Friend
Calvin Mokumo ... Mawaza's Friend
Tsholo Siavhe ... Nurse
Xolani Mtya ... Singing man in flashback
Funeka Peppeta ... Zama Gasa
Mpho Aphane ... Civil Servant