Grassroots is a South African television drama series that follows the journey of two young Xhosa men whose passion for rugby finds them leaving rural Eastern Cape for Johannesburg in the hopes of becoming rugby stars.
The find themselves competing for a scholarship at a prominent private boys school and this hierarchal environment tests the notion of their identity and manhood as they seek acceptance from an institution that is foreign to them.
In this coming-of-age story, both young men must make the transition from the dusty rural streets to competing at the highbrow private school in the city.
There is much tension and internal conflict as one of the boys is royalty and is expected to return to his village to assume chieftaincy.
Throughout their journey, their moral fibre is seriously tested as they search for their own definition of manhood.
Ultimately the question becomes: are these two boys 'man' enough to forgive one another for the sins of their parents and overcome the betrayals of the past?
The series stars Oros Mampofu as Monwabisi Nala, Lihleli Tini as Asanda Debeza, Luzuko Nkqeto as Buzwe Debeza, Zikhona Sodlaka as Epainette Debeza and Sibulele Gcilitshana as Funeka Nala.
Supporting cast members include Lerato Mvelase as Pearl Busika, Justin Strydom as Coach Viljoen, Khayakazi Kula as Nolwazi Mpofu, Dumisani Mbebe as Gcin'umzi Nala, Nhlanhla John Lata as Nyaniso, Lebohang Motaung as Khumo Lesolle, Senzo Radebe as Phakama Zwane and Connie Chiume as Gog' Selina.
Grassroots was created by Khayelihle Dom Gumede, Tony Miyambo, Brian van Niekerk, Asher Sholtz and Eduan van Jaarsveldt. It is a 1Magic Production produced by Clive Morris Productions as an M-Net Original Production.
The executive producers are Khayelihle Dom Gumede, Clive Morris and Lala Tuku and the series producer is Helen Smit.
The head writers are Khayelihle Dom Gumede and Lwazi Mvusi, with a writing team including Conrad Kemp, Greg Homann, Tony Miyambo, Lodi Matsetela, Mahlogonolo Mahapa and Thabo Kolatsoeu.
The head director is Khayelihle Dom Gumede, leading a directing team including Toni Miyambo, Sara Blecher and Clive Morris. Music is by Zethu Mashika.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Oros Mampofu ... Monwabisi Nala
Lihleli Tini ... Asanda Debeza
Luzuko Nkqeto ... Buzwe Debeza
Zikhona Sodlaka ... Epainette Debeza
Sibulele Gcilitshana ... Funeka Nala
Recurring / Guests
Lerato Mvelase ... Pearl Busika
Justin Strydom ... Coach Viljoen (Anton)
Khayakazi Kula ... Nolwazi Mpofu
Dumisani Mbebe ... Gcin'umzi Nala
Nhlanhla John Lata ... Nyaniso (as Nhlanhla Jon Lata)
Lebohang Motaung ... Khumo Lesolle
Momelezi Ntshiba ... Elder
Kaunda Ntunja ... Coach Zoli
Vusi Thanda ... Loyiso Debeza
Conrad Kemp ... Mr Smith
Jaun de Jager ... Assistant Coach
Mbuso Shezi ... Doctor
Sisa Mkoyi ... Mwezi
Amahle Mntengenya ... Ludwe
Bandile Luvalo ... Zakes
Oyama Sinxoto ... Young Boy
Darryn Ogilvie ... Charl Schoombie
AJ Cullinan ... Jacques Bantjies (as Aj Cullinan)
Jacques De Silva ... Dorm Master / Mr Abrams
Connie Chiume ... Gog' Selina
Siyabonga Sepotokele ... Tau Lesolle (as Siya Sepotokele)
Senzo Radebe ... Phakama Zwane
Jonathan Blaine Shore ... Richard Michaels
Ndumiso Nyovane ... Chief
Macebo Twalo ... Councilman 1
Chichi Letswalo ... Dipuo Lesolle
Wandise Samela ... Doctor
Yolinda Erasmus ... Susan Schoombie
Tyson Mathonsi ... Vice
Bohlokwa Mpiti ... Tshepo (as Bonhlokwa Mpiti)
Sheila Mokgosi ... Sis Joyce (as Shiela Mokgosi)
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi ... Bontle
Thabiso Makhubela ... Zenzo (as Thabiso Mukhabele)
Lekoane Phasumane ... Ntsizwa
Lloyd Masola ... Cousin 1 (as Lloyds Masola)
Mzwandile Ngwenya ... Cousin 2
Danny de Bruyne ... Assistant Selector
Craig Urbani ... Saunders