Easy Money is a South African television drama series produced by Quizzical Pictures inspired by real life Ponzi schemes that have seen South Africans lose millions, which tells the story of a school teacher whose life spirals into chaos after falling victim to a pyramid scheme.
The series revolves around young teacher Khosi (Xoli Zondi), who gets involved in a pyramid scheme run by a company called Pharaoh Investments. Inspired by real-life events and now-infamous pyramid schemes, the series attempts to answer the question: "Why do we fall for pyramid schemes?"
The show is held together by the narration of Khosi's only son Moagi (Paballo Koza), forming the backbone to a turbulent period during which mother, wife and school teacher Khosi makes decisions which affect her life – and the lives of all those around her.
Taking on the lead role of Khosi, a school teacher who enjoys a good standing in the community, is Xoli Zondi. Don Mosenye plays Justice, Khosi's husband and father to Moagi, portrayed by Paballo Koza.
Noxee Maqashalala takes on the role of Zee, Khosi's older sister and Tinah Mnumzana plays Moagi's nanny Naledi. Andrea Dondolo plays Johanna, a helper who is currently the treasurer in the community stokvel. Connie Chiume plays Gloria, a teacher and colleague to Khosi who makes a massive investment into the scheme.
Sive Mabuya takes on the role of Dipuo, recruiter at Pharaoh Investments. Mr Eddy, CEO of Pharaoh Investments, is played by David Dennis. Austin Shandu plays Mr. Eddy's right hand man and professional scammer, Leano. Dipuo and Leano are the tag-team that work and fish for investors on behalf of Mr. Eddy.
Other cast include Jerry Phele as Amos, the community construction worker; Thabo Malema plays the jovial Collins, who is best friends with Zee; and other guest actors include Sibongile Nojila and Jose Domingos.
Easy Money is produced by Harriet Gavshon and Viva Liles-Wilkin for Quizzical Pictures. The executive producer for e.tv is Molefi Lebone. The first episode was written by Nonzi Bogatsu and directed by Xolile Tshabalala.
Khosi (played by Xoli Zondi)
Khosi is a 34-year-old history teacher, wife to Justice and Moagi's mother. She is a proud woman who does good and likes to be recognised for it.
Her standing in the community is important to her and wants to live her #bestlife in all aspects of her life from work, to family and socially. But Khosi's pride is also her undoing as she does not manage well when her own faults become apparent to her.
Leano (played by Austin Shandu)
Leano is a 34-year-old professional scammer. He has never had an honest job and has made a living going from scam to scam. His charming nature makes him very good at manipulation and he knows how to get his way.
Leano has been employed by Mr. Eddy to be the face of the Pharaoh Holdings investment scheme and he plays his part to a tee.
Justice (played by Don Mosenye)
Justice is 36, Khosi's car salesman husband. He is a man who enjoys the finer things in life and loves to be seen as successful. He is highly aspirant and has no issue with living beyond his means if it makes him look good.
He is a good father to his son, Moagi but as a husband he is less attentive and tender, even though he truly loves his wife. He has a penchant for luxury cars and tends to get them in a financial bind.
Dipuo (played by Sive Mabuya)
Dipuo (30) is a well-put-together and attractive estate agent, who has found her way into the world of the pyramid scheme, thanks to Leano taking her under his wing. Her background and property sales makes her a great salesperson and she accepts the job of being a 'fisher' for the scheme.
She enjoys the perks of the job (nice house, nice car, good money).
Gloria (played by Connie Chiume)
Khosi's work colleague, Gloria is a maths teacher who invests her retirement money in the scheme. She is no stranger to these sorts of schemes, having invested in Miracle 2000 and MMM - and both times got out ahead of the crash.
Zee (played by Noxee Maqashalala)
Zee (40) is Ma Lizzie's eldest daughter and Khosi's older sister. She works as a cashier at the local superette. A fun-loving, glamorous woman who likes the good life, Zee isn't good at taking responsibility.
She is desperate to get her mother's approval but is often her own undoing as she very rarely sticks to her word or sees anything through.
Moagi (played by Paballo Khoza)
Moagi (12) is Justice and Khosi's son who is on the Autism Spectrum. He attends school in Mondeor where his mother teaches and he struggles socially. He is sensitive to strangers and does not fare well with a change in routine and new spaces.
Moagi has an above average affinity for numbers and is something of a number genius. His creative outlet is drawing, which he uses to create animated flip books to express his thoughts and emotions
Johanna (played by Andrea Dondolo)
Johanna is a domestic worker in Bassonia. She is a bossy woman who commands the respect of the other domestic workers, her virtual minions. She holds a position of power and wields it with pleasure.
As the treasurer of the domestic workers' Stokvel, Johanna rules with a stern hand. But she will be tested when her know-it-all ways backfire and she finds herself at the mercy of her minions.
Season 1 originally aired on e.tv on Tuesdays at 21h30. After Episode 12 (which aired on 28 November, 2017) the series went on hiatus for the festive break and resumed with Episode 13 on Monday 15 January 2018 at 21h30, airing Mondays and Tuesdays at the same time.
Season 1 originally aired on eExtra on Wednesdays at 22h30. After Episode 12 (which aired on 29 November, 2017) the series went on hiatus for the festive break and resumed with Episode 13 on Wednesday 17 January 2018 at 22h30, now airing Wednesdays and Thursdays at the same time.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Xoli Zondi ... Khosi
Don Mosenye ... Justice
Austin Shandu ... Leano
Sive Mabuya ... Dipuo
Paballo Koza ... Moagi
Noxee Maqashalala ... Zee (as Noxolo Maqashalala)
David Dennis ... Mr Eddy
Recurring / Guests
Tinah Mnumzana ... Naledi / Photographer
Andrea Dondolo ... Johanna
Connie Chiume ... Gloria
Sibongile Nojila ... Ma Lizzie
Thabo Malema ... Collins / Dodgy Man
Christmas Mokone ... Brian
Faheem Khan ... Shameel
Johan Ahlers ... Andre
Martha Mokhatshelwa ... Eve
Nomathamsanqa Mhlakaza ... Loveness
Nelson Obi ... Jabu
Clinton Obi ... Jabulani
Nqabakazi Akandu ... Domestic Worker / Stokvel Member
Nosipho Twala ... Domestic Worker / Stokvel Member
Lubelihle Mncube ... Domestic Worker / Stokvel Member
Melgin Tafirenyika ... Car Dealer Customer
Amahle Badla ... Sihle
Sizwe Gwebu ... Custody
Pauline Mareletse ... Dress Client
Keith Gengadoo ... Monde
Sipho Khohlala ... Stokvel Member
Jose Domingos ... Dr Neilson
Jerry Phele ... Amos
Thandekile Mqadi ... Nurse Nolitha
Tumelo Mokgwadi ... Taxi Driver
Felicity Shange ... Irritable Granny
Lindelwa Lefume ... Hospital Security (as Lindelwa "Slee" Lefume)
Samuel Nkoana ... Security Guy
Michael Soji ... Patron #1
Kgosi Modiri ... Patron #2
Mondeka Hoosen ... Patron #3
Sandile Ncwane ... Patron #4
Katlego Kotsane ... Registration Lady
Thokozani Ngema ... Physio
Siyabonga Kheswa ... Taxi Driver (as Siyabonga Khwesa)
Viva Liles-Wilkin ... Wendy
Samuel Mathabatha ... Investor
Nosipho Mlangeni ... Pregnant Woman
Mbuso Nkosi ... Builder #1
Joas Leta ... Builder #1
Mondli Makhoba ... Pastor Phineas
Success Mabitsi ... Thug #1
Siphamandla Tshabalala ... Thug #2 (as Siphamandla Chabalala)
Lucky Sehume ... Pharaoh Client #1
Kgaogelo Mosupye ... Pharaoh Client #2
Louise Smith ... Johanna's Madam
Patrick Manake ... Drunk Patron
Azwi Malaka ... Thoko Mlangeni
Bongani Ndlovu ... Policeman #1
Greatjoy Hlatshwayo ... Policeman #2
Brian Bvumbe ... Alfonzo
Keneilwe Matidze ... Gugu
Sipho Ndlovu ... Disgruntled Investor
Khosi Khoza ... Noni
Bhekithemba Ngiba ... Taxi Driver
Masilo Moremi ... Cameraman
Wesley Ngutana ... Taxi Marshal
Lucas Makhubo ... Mob Leader
Thapelo Ledwaba ... Queue Marshal #1
Muntwangenza Sokhela ... Queue Marshal #2
Richard Alan ... Clive
Ebenhaezer Dibakwane ... Muzi
Esmeralda Bihl ... Dessai (as Esmerelda Bihl)
Gustav Gerdener ... Steenkamp
Karlito Ubisi ... Furious Investor
Thandi Khiva ... Salon Owner
Phindi Mahlangu ... Ward Nurse
Mbali Ngiba ... Emergency Nurse