Aphiwe Mkefe / Zimkhitha Nyoka
Mzansi Magic kicks off 2018 with Nkululeko, a new Sunday night coming-of age drama series that premieres on 7 January at 20h00.
It's filmed and set in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha and centres round Nkululeko Zwai, a brainbox who excels at maths.
As the series opens, Nkululeko is preparing for a maths competition that promises to radically change his life for the better but then he makes an impulsive decision in the midst of blossoming love and suddenly everything falls apart. He finds himself in deep trouble and his future in jeopardy.
Hey, who landed the starring roles??
Nkulukelo is played by newcomer Aphiwe Mkefe, who landed the role through the show's open auditions which were held in September this year... you may remember seeing the audition call on TVSA
Sizwe Msutu / Zimkhitha Nyoka / Tina Jaxa
Who's that girl?
Another starring casting went to Isithembiso and Mutual Friends star Zimkhitha Nyoka, who plays Sibulele Nginda, the girl at the centre of Nkululeko's unravelling.
Sibu is described as smart and intelligent and her relationship with Nkululeko changes both their lives forever. She's the daughter of Khayelitsha's prominent Brigadier.
Other notable characters are:
Nkululeko's best buddies are Mandla (Tiisetso Thoka) and Buhle (Abongile Salli) who have to face their own demons while helping him come to terms with his life choices.
Buhle is a colourful hustler from a poverty-stricken family. He believes money can end all his problems and isn't afraid to dabble in criminal activities to acquire it, while Mandla is a “Cheese Boy” who struggles to find where he belongs.
Nkululeko’s father Thami is played Montana and Isikizi star Chris Gxalaba. He's a caddy at a golf course and a single dad - his wife left him for "greener pastures". His main goal is to give Nkululeko the opportunities he never had.
Sibu's father is also played by a Montana star, Sizwe Msutu, and he's similar to Thami in that he wants Sibu to have every opportunity. He's determined to protect her at all costs - especially from the influence of troublemakers.
Others in the cast include Tina Jaxa, Andile Mxakaza and Jet Novuka.
The series is a co-production between Bomb (producers of Isibaya, Yizo Yizo, The Road) and Cape Town based Dumile Films.
Dumile Films wrote the story and Bomb produced and mentored the project. This from Sibulele Siko-Shosha of Dumile:
Sibulele: Having grown up in Khayelitsha, I am humbled by the opportunity given by Mzansi Magic to showcase local stories, providing a platform to a new breed of storytellers. Partnering up with the great Bomb Pictures has enabled us with the support to express our noteworthy stories that will be enjoyed by South Africans.