Lithapo (a Sesotho word meaning The Ties that Bind Us) is a South African telenovela about Nolo, a young man from QwaQwa in search of his biological father in the city.
Through his journey he navigates romance and revenge, while smashing the patriarchy within toxic masculinity, in the midst of post-Apartheid protest.
His journey takes him through the corrupt world of urban property development, whilst exploring the complex lives of the ordinary working class people in Alex, as well as affluent Sandton moguls, all caught in the middle of an inevitable dawning of change.
After his mother's sudden death at the hands of cattle thieves, Nolo comes to learn of his mother's secrets that she had hoped to take to her grave, about the lover that had left her behind.
He takes off on a journey to find the man he never knew as his father - a successful city slicker who wanted nothing to do with him.
Nolo's journey through Lithapo then becomes a tale of two cities: Sandton vs. Alex, where there is mayhem in the streets, and angry residents protesting the shocking levels of service delivery in the township.
They have all reached a boiling point because of a child that drowned in a pit toilet.
Bins are overturned... street vendors scatter... when a taxi lands in the midst of this chaos as Nolo arrives - far away from his rural homestead, determined not to get distracted by the big city lights.
Meanwhile, 'across the road' but a world away in Sandton, lives the Hlongwane family. Their lives are the opposite of his, but their destinies are intertwined.
A love triangle develops when he falls in love with Pabi, a young woman who also becomes involved with the head of the Hlongwane family.
The passions between Pabi and Nolo are thwarted from the start, but when he finds out that everything he believed about his life had been a lie, Nolo must choose between father and mother, loyalty and love, good and evil – all against the backdrop of a tumultuous country that, like him, is trying to redefine its identity.
Although these worlds exist within a stone's throw of each other across a controversial bridge, they are fundamentally worlds apart, as powerful metaphors for South Africa's growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots.
The chilling fog on the foothills of the Drakensburg mountains in QwaQwa symbolically becomes seamlessly woven into the congested smog of the city, as the ties that bind the world of all the interconnected characters together.
Lithapo is produced by Quizzical Pictures. Harriet Gavshon and JP Potgieter are the executive producers; the producer is Siphiwe Hlabangane. The head writer is Neil McCarthy and storyliners include Thishiwe Ziqubu, Nas Hoosen and Magano Mamabolo.
The title sequence music is by Robert of Mahlomola Recording.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Khojane Morai ... Nolo
Clementine Mosimane ... Likeledi
Seputla Sebogodi ... Kabe
Mangaliso Ngema ... Senzo
S'thandiwe Kgoroge ... Thandeka
Lebohang Msiza ... Nkosana
Angela Sithole ... Zano
Kgaogelo Monama ... Tselane
Lorraine Moropa ... Pabi
Joyce Skefu ... Moipone
Israel Matseke Zulu ... Professor (as Israel Makoe)
Sibongile Nojila ... Patricia
Thabo Malema ... Mfazwe
Kamogelo Molatlhoe ... Cebile
T.J. Mokhuane ... Thabang (as Thabang "TJ" Mokhuane)
Recurring / Guests
Sisanda Henna ... Trevor
Altovise Lawrence ... Laiken
Tamara Jozi ... Buhle
Lara Lourens ... Chantal
Nontsikelelo Ndume ... MaJobo
Peter Tshabalala ... Community Member
Busani Mbili ... Police Officer
Ansu Visser ... Henrietta
Dambuza Nqumashe ... Jericho
Tshepo Maseko ... Brian
Andre Odendaal ... Mr Malan
Karabo Dibodu ... Police Officer 1
Lethabo Bereng ... Tshepo
Justin Strydom ... Louw
Sabelo Phito ... Elderly Man
Emmy Seloise ... Thabang's Friend #1
Cass Sengwane ... Thabang's Friend #2
Ramsay Odinaka ... Voove Manager Ricardo
Bukhosi Mathema ... Senzo's Goon
Neo Malao ... Young Kabe
Makepeace Mahlamvu ... Warehouse Businessman
George Brown ... 1992 Police Officer
Thapelo Sebogodi ... Young Senzo
Camilla Waldman ... Aria
Tebogo Nxumalo ... Mugger #1
Mondli Thusi ... Mugger #2
David Maaroganye ... Tony
Nomshado Jaola ... Rea
Lubabalo Tokwe ... Nondu
Nelly Sithole ... Model #1
Kitso Ntsoane ... Model #2
Moliehi Makobane ... Mantwa (as Moliehi Didie Makobane)
Dineo Nchabeleng ... Vivienne
Lerato Madonsela ... Model
Innocent Dlamini ... Doorman
Keletso Malapane ... Businessman 1
Sefako Mamabolo ... Businessman 2
Jerome Galiao ... Doctor (as Jerome Galioa)
Sello Motloung ... Thapelo
Mlindelwa Mahlangu ... Nkosana's Client
Easymon Nkomo ... Titus
Mokgadi Mabuti ... Johannesburg Hospital Doctor (as Mogadi Mabuti)
Mnatha Vika ... Spokes
Kagiso Diseko ... Kgotso (as Kagiso "Gwyza" Diseko)
Thandi Qambela ... Nurse
Gontse Nkuna ... Doorman
Michele Levin ... Dr Page
Khutjo Green ... Maki
MK Kgoadi ... Mayor
Luzuko Nkqeto ... Lentswe
Felicia Mahambehlala ... Makazi
Ernest Mooketsi ... Pastor
Macebo Twalo ... Andile (as Macebo Maplan Twalo)
Masello Motana ... Kitty
Kaseran Pillay ... Dr Mercury
AJ Cullinan ... Luke
Naledi Seseli ... Thandi
Keabetswe Jan ... Lebo
Doctor Khasu-Nkatlo ... Evodia (as Doctor Khasu)
Tebogo Sema ... Detective Conradie
Thabiso Rammusi ... Felix
Eliston Pillay ... Jay
Oarabile Podile ... Quincy
Siphiwe Hlabangane ... News Anchor
Mamodibe Ramodibe ... Lulu (as Mmamodibe Ramodibe)
Nandi Nyembe ... Ma Shezi
Malefane Mosuhli ... Ramatla
Sam Phillips ... Alpheus
Ntsiki Ndzume ... MaJobo