It's almost time for e.tv's new telenovela Gold Diggers and the lead cast has been revealed.
The series follows the Gumede family and explores the dynamics of love, money, family feuds and economically motivated relationships against the backdrop of the mining industry.
As with the soon-to-end Ashes to Ashes, it's also a telenovela with a finite number of 155 episodes. It premieres on Monday, 10 August but warms-up on the Friday before with a behind-the-scenes preview special. It will air Mondays to Fridays too.
And now, without further adieu, these are the lead characters and cast:
Played by: Mbongeni Ngema
From an early age, Patrick knew that he would be a miner. His father wasn’t rich, but had a patch of land and a couple of cows some which helped him to lobola Ruth.
Patrick and Ruth's marriage was more of an arranged marriage, although not a forced one. But after marrying Patrick, Ruth couldn’t leave or sell the land that belonged to her father in Mashekesheni.
Patrick only joined her later. By then Patrick had a child, Credo with his mistress May and Ruth only found out about the child after Patrick took May as his second wife.
Ruth couldn’t stand the betrayal so she kicked both May and her child off her land. Ronald, who was very young at time, became Ruth’s comfort - the only man who dearly loved her, who didn’t keep things from her and who would never leave her. That’s how she would love to see him forever.
Credo died in a rock fall incident and the family was forced to sell the cows and let go of their land to cover the hospital bills, hoping that they would be compensated by the mine. But after an internal investigation it was revealed that Credo’s accident was due to his negligence. This why Big Boy went to the mines to help with the family’s bills. (More about him below)
Played by Clementine Mosimane
Ruth grew up in Mpumalanga. Her father had two wives: one in Lesotho and Ruth’s mother in Mpumalanga. Ruth is their only child. Marrying Patrick was her dream come true, yet the dream easily turned into a nightmare when Patrick asked to take a second wife.
Ruth was reluctant at first, but finally gave in, only to find out later that Patrick already has a child with May before she officially became a second wife. So Ruth’s son, Ronald, was not Patrick’s first born, but the illegitimate Credo was. Out of anger Ruth chased away Patrick's second wife with his son.
Ruth felt betrayed by Patrick, a wound that never healed properly. As the years passed she would forgive, but not forget and since then has seen May as a spiteful, vicious snake who could strike her anytime.
Ruth constantly acquires muthi to protect her from May’s evil intentions, she just can’t fold her arms and relax around this woman from the streets - as she refers to her. However with Ruth, caring comes naturally and her compassion becomes her weakness sometimes.
Played by Tina Jaxa
She grew up in a humble home in the Eastern Cape Province. May has never been content with modesty - she hated to be poor and couldn’t understand why a pretty girl like her could not have what she desires.
In her teens, she had an affair with a Priest that brought shame to her family. She was sent away to relatives until the stigma wore off, but while away, she met the wrong crowd and the next thing May was a saleslady and trying modelling on the side.
She has done almost everything there is to do, from modelling, waiting tables to modeling on top of the tables as a stripper. May is street-smart, she’s a hustler, she’ll cross the line if it benefits her and has little respect for rules or for anyone for that matter.
Big Boy Gumede
Played by: Mxolisi aka Zuluboy
Big Boy is the 1st
born son of Patrick and Ruth. He is a proud, protective, impetuous, determined hard-working miner. He is loyal to his family and lover and will protect them to the bitter end.
He does not shy away from a physical fight, he is confrontational when he needs to protect himself or the ones he loves. Although he is butch, he is also an attentive romantic lover at heart. He can be a gentle listener when he is with his lover or brute and stubborn when he is with his fellow miners.
He is head over heels in love with Nandipha who he will go to the end of the world to protect. His goal is to secure Nandipha’s freedom from her pimp, Gideon, so that they can be together.
Played by: Thabo Malema
Ronald is Patrick Gumede’s second child to his first wife Ruth. Ronald has problems with his knee, which is the reason he couldn’t join his father in the mines but stayed behind to work on the farm and look after the family.
Ronald is an optimist seeking nothing more than to live happily with his wife, foraging off the land. He’s left in Big Boy’s chair to be the man of the house, but he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to anyone let alone his siblings.
From time to time, he finds himself snapping, especially at his younger brother, Lucky, who has recently formed a special relationship with Ronald’s wife, Hlengiwe. He and Hlengiwe can’t have children and they have been trying to use muthi to conceive. His marriage to Hlengiwe was arranged but he has grown to love her a lot.
Played by: Mpho Sibeko
Lucky is intelligent, charming and he has brains - he could easily be an A-student, yet all Lucky wants is freedom. He refuses to bow to his parents’ imposition that he goes to college after finishing school.
Lucky is forever challenging authority at the homestead, therefore becoming a headache for everyone, except Hlengiwe - Ronald’s wife. Hlengiwe listens to Lucky and is always amused by his free spirit which creates a special bond between them.
Lucky never instigates trouble with intention to hurt, he’s very kind and caring and that is often revealed when Olwethu is in trouble. He cares for her deeply.
Played by: Zimkhitha Nyoka
Olwethu is a wise old soul. She speaks the truth and calls the grown-ups on their waywardness in a nice way. She has an ability to see through people and always tries to find a solution to a problem.
Her beautiful heart makes her everyone’s favourite and hence she is the bearer of secrets as everyone confides in her. Olwethu also takes a lot of hurt as her caring is often taken for being nosey. She’s creative - she draws, does beadwork.
Played by: Fikile Mthwalo
Hlengiwe is a traditional, respectful woman with little to say, but so much to give if she could find her voice. She appears timid to safe guard herself but she’s an observer with a lot to say if only given a chance.
She’s an incredibly quiet woman who is barely noticeable when she enters a room. Little is known about her past, her aspirations and needs. She is comedic, traditionalist and kind-hearted hence Ronald fell in love with her.
She feels pressured by Ronald’s mom Ruth, who wants a grandchild. She would also love to give Ronald a son but she wants it to come out of love and not obligation.
Played by: Peter Mashigo
Gideon is a feared criminal who uses intimidation to control and instill fear amongst those around him. However Gideon has not always been this hardened - his childhood informed the person he turned out to be.
He had a rough childhood and was neglected by his mother which forced him to fend for himself. He later developed a hatred for women and sought opportunities to exploit them. He is a charming smooth talker but behind the charm lies a dangerous man who wouldn’t think twice about killing someone who threatens him or his operations. He is Nandipha’s pimp.
Played by: Keneilwe Matidze
Nandipha is a tough, smart young woman who works as a prostitute. Her upbringing taught her that life is about the survival of the fittest. She learnt that she could use her sexuality and her smarts to survive. Her survival skills is to think fast and to outsmart others. Although she is a prostitute she still has her pride and maintains boundaries she will not allow anyone to overstep.
She has survived the hardships of working for her ruthless pimp, Gideon. Gideon was like a father to her. However he kept the receipts whenever he spent money on her and now she owes him a large debt. She fears running from Gideon because he will kill her.
She is in love with Big Boy, she knows he will protect her but she suspects that he is naïve.