Isono is a South African telenovela set in Vosloorus which tells the story of a heroic son - born into a dysfunctional family - who searches within himself for the strength to stand up against a powerful and evil matriarch who will stop at nothing to serve her own needs.
BET's first original telenovela revolves around the character of Mary Ndlovu (Nthati Moshesh), affectionately known in her community as "Mother Mary".
Mary hides in plain sight, pretending to be a philanthropic socialite who takes in unwanted delinquent children and cares for them in House of Grace, a centre for "at risk" youth in Vosloorus on the East Rand of Johannesburg.
But behind the façade lurks a cold-hearted criminal; a woman who is not above fraud, murder, or trafficking children in an illegal adoption ring.
She is untouchable. Or so she thinks.
Mary Ndlovu is running away from her traumatic past. A past that she believes is safely buried.
She is a narcissist to the core and a staunch believer in Christ. Yet she launders her illegal money through the church, among many other illicit dealings.
Mary has one biological child, a daughter - the musically talented and idolised Esther (Didintle Khunou) - and two adopted children: Simon (TK Sebothoma), who is devoted, talented and troubled; and her favourite son and right-hand general, Gabriel (Bohang Moeko), who is resourceful, damaged and brooding.
As the series begins, Gabriel is facing a crisis of conscience.
Secretly he wants to walk away and become a force for good, but a tragic set of events force him to question the life of crime in which he was raised.
However, Mary's powerful grip keeps pulling him back towards the dark side.
He has started feeling like he needs to separate from the toxicity of the home he was raised in. But leaving is not going to be so easy.
Into this world arrives Abednego (Senzo Radebe), a violent, amoral man and a former House of Grace child who ran away after a physical romance with the young Gabriel.
The series starts with his return into the world of Mary and her children after a 10-year absence.
With the return of Abednego comes the opportunity for Mary to infiltrate the network of a rival criminal, using Gabriel and Abednego as foot-soldiers.
She is not above distracting her prey with seduction.
Her daughter, Esther, is struggling with a once-promising performing career in music that is now nose-diving due to an escalating drug problem.
Mary, on the other hand, is about to be honoured as a role model of the nation for her work in rescuing vulnerable children.
Isono is a BET Original Drama Series, created by Mahlogonolo Manchester Mahapa and produced by Clive Morris Productions. The executive producers are Clive Morris, Dom Gumede and Lala Tuku; and for BET, Khetiwe Ngcobo.
The head writer is Neil McCarthy, with a team of storyliners including Nas Hoosen, Abena Ayivor and Nonzi Bogatsu. The director is Zuko Nodada. Mahlogonolo Manchester Mahapa is the creative director and showrunner.
The composer and music director is Mpho "37mph" Pholo and the title sequence theme is by Ambitiouz Entertainment.