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Episodes

Episode 1

After months spent doing an internship, Samkelo returns home unexpectedly. Sis'Noni wonders whether Sam's been fired: he's definitely hiding something. But Sis'Noni doesn't have the time to find out what because the new clinic is opening in a few days’ time, and the hospital is beset with challenges. Their communication breaks down further when Sam discovers his mother has a secret of her own. Two young Community HealthCare Workers (CHW’s), ghetto-wise AB and prima donna Riri, struggle to see eye to eye with their task of taking health care to the residents of Soul City, a door to door job that pushes Riri to play dirty.

Key topics:
Re-engineering of Primary Health Care: Community Health Workers

Episode 2

Samkelo is on a downward spiral… he’s struggling to find work and turns to drinking with friends at a shebeen. He misses out on his mother’s big day by getting stuck at a rowdy party in Smokey Joe’s.  His brother Mandla is ashamed to see him like that in their father’s gym and Sam feels his brother’s disapproval.

The clinic opening is in full swing and proving a success, but is interrupted by an emergency patient.

AB and Riri encounter a woman in the throes of labour. The baby came early, but the two CHW’s handle it professionally. The healthy baby is born at the clinic.

Murakes dusts off his revamped sponono (car), and brags about his hard work fixing her up, only to crash into Sister Bettina’s brand new car. Murakes has no car insurance, not even third party and its Sister Bettina’s first car, so she is extremely upset. Murakes feels like an idiot and a jerk… and financial ruin is probably also staring him in the face.

Key topics:
Re-engineering of Primary Health Care: Community Health Workers, Maternal and Infant Care
Financial Literacy: Short-term Insurance

Episode 3

Samkelo continues to spiral downward, both jobless and hopeless, and gets into a drunk fight with Mandla which Sis’Noni witnesses. He wakes up feeling terrible, and decides to go to his father’s old gym, where he starts cleaning up with Murakes.  On a routine house visit, CHW’s Thabisile and Humphrey come across Zenani, who had survived a rape the previous day. The two assist and accompany her to the nearest Thuthuzela Care Centre, but Zenani’s experience brings back terrible memories for Thabisile - her own rape that she has never confronted.

Key topics:
Increasing Services for Survivors of Sexual Violence – Thuthuzela Care Centre
Financial Literacy: Short Term Insurance

Episode 4

On their rounds AB and Riri find a child alone with her sibling who is very ill – dehydrated, with vomiting and diarrhea. The two CHW’s have to respond quickly and bring all their training to bear in order to save the child.

Seventeen year-old matriculant Thando wants to exchange her life in Soul City for a more glamorous one involving overseas travel and exotic destinations. She fantasizes about this with her taxi-driver boyfriend, Mavusana. However, she experiences more and more strange bodily symptoms leading her to think she might be pregnant. Her worst fear is confirmed at the clinic.

Samkelo is determined to revamp Smokey Joe’s into a clean usable space. He clears out and even puts up rules. Sonto harasses him for permission to use the gym as a rehearsal space. He gives in. Samkelo tells his mother – to her great relief – that he’s been working at the gym and has not had a single drink.

Jeff  lobbies the clinic committee in supporting him to close the Smokey Joe Gym as it poses a health risk.

Key topics:
Re-engineering of Primary Health Care: Community Health Workers
Maternal and Infant Care
Fertility Management

Episode 5

The clinic experiences an influx of patients with vomiting, diarrhea and high fevers and it soon becomes clear it’s of epidemic proportions. All the staff is called in and the CHW’s are all hands on deck. The overflow gets so bad that people are temporarily “housed” at Smokey Joe’s.

Riri catches Samkelo’s eye. AB and Riri’s relationship is more and more strained, something is clearly up with AB.

Thando avoids talking to Nokhanyo about her pregnancy. She escapes into social media instead… but not before reading up on abortion. Murakes advises Nokhanyo not to be so judgmental in her tone with Thando to get her to open up.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Community Participation
Maternal and Infant Care

Episode 6

The situation at the clinic is a bit calmer than before (with the help of the youth) but residents are still flocking in.   Residents are wary of the water supply after news of the outbreak fills the township through “twitter”.  Environmental officers are called into the clinic, and the outbreak is confirmed -  it is e-coli.

Meanwhile, Riri goes on her own investigation and finds  “ground zero” or source of the epidemic. She is both suspicious and concerned about her mother’s involvement in all this.

An agitated Thando has tried by all means to keep her pregnancy a secret from her sister Nokhanyo, but that is short-lived after a visit from the clinic’s CHWs, Riri and AB.

Key topics:
PHC Re-enginnering: Community Health Workers
Maternal & Infant Care
Fertility Management

Episode 7

The health crisis is still a challenge without any resolution, though the clinic is coping better and with fewer people. Riri complains to Sister Bettina about AB and tells her how he walked away after seeing a family that was not welcoming of them in light of the recent baby deaths. Sister Bettina wants Riri to try harder and suggests that being a CHW is not a competition and urges her to act like a partner. Sister Bettina decides to go out with them and while she and AB are tending to someone in a backroom, Riri prevents a child from drinking from a tap.

Back home, Riri is upset by what is going on and overhears her mother talking about how she had to take the cheapest sanitation tender for Soul City’s water supply. Suddenly Riri has information that she doesn’t know what to do with. She can’t bring herself to talk to Sis’Noni and ends up confronting her mother without accusing her directly. In the meantime she and Samkelo grow closer.

Thando and Mavusana’s relationship is under strain as her fantasy about marriage and a home does not quite materialize.

Key topics:
PHC RE-engineering: Community Health Workers
Maternal & Infant Care

Episode 8

The health crisis makes headlines but the water supply is suddenly shut down without prior warning. The clinic staff is distraught when they hear a fifth baby has died in hospital, and a sense of desperation increases. Riri, also traumatised by the death of the babies, tells Sis’Noni about her mother’s involvement and Sis’Noni goes to confront an intractable Mavis. Sis Noni’s intervention though results in water trucks arriving in Soul City.

In the meantime, Riri and AB go back to Thando, with Riri apologising for her breach of confidentiality. They convince Thando to come to the clinic for a follow up that she had missed. But when Thando is made fun of at school, and she and Nokhanyo argue, Thando packs a bag and leaves the house to move in with Mavusana.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Community Health Workers
Maternal & Infant Care

Episode 9

Soul City Clinic staff, especially Riri and AB, are still struggling to come to terms with what happened during the crisis. The death of the babies sit heavily on them.

Thando is found after a combined effort by the CHWS in Mavusana’s backroom. She refuses to go back home. Nokhanyo is upset at Thando but when Thando starts bleeding and has no one else to turn to, Nokhanyo and Murakes arrive to help. Thando is stabilised at the clinic.

Nokhanyo wakes up in the morning to find her salon has been robbed and ransacked.

Riri confronts her mother about the role she played in the health crisis.

Key topics:
Maternal & Infant Care
PHC Re-engineering: Community Health Workers
Financial Literacy: Short Term Insurance

Episode 10

Murakes and Nokhanyo are on good terms again after she accused him of bringing in bad elements into her yard  who probably burgled her salon. Murakes tells Thando’s boyfriend to do right by Thando and the baby.  Sister Bettina is stressed, something is bothering her that she feels she has forgotten, she checks the clinic data until suddenly she remembers Bab’Jacob. Riri, AB and Sister Bettina find Bab’ Jacob collapsed in his house and is rushed to the hospital.

Riri confronts AB as to why he was embarrassed about them visiting his family house. For the first time AB and Riri truly bond. Riri tells Samkelo about her exam and that she’s no longer sure she wants to be the doctor her mother wants her to be.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Community Health Workers
Maternal & Infant Care
Financial Literacy: Short Term Insurance

Episode 11

Sister Bettina’s unexpected collapse reverberates through the clinic and the community. Her young posse of community health workers feels the brunt of this but soon they combine their efforts to find the people whose lives Sister Bettina affected. The youth of the gym offer assistance, while they continue making plans for a 20 year celebration of our democracy.

Episode 12

Poppie’s life is not her own in a marriage where Jeff is both loving and harsh. Poppie finds solace in her church group where her skills as a baker and seamstress begin to grow her confidence. When she comes home late, Jeff shouts at her for not having started supper.

The Smoking Joe youth’s fundraising and planning for a 20 Years of Democracy event faces challenges.

When Thando finally goes into labor, it requires a variety of people to come together to help and ensure a safe delivery.

Key topics:
Maternal & Infant Care

Episode 13

Thando starts to bond with her baby, Lwandile. Jeff's money pressures are increasing but Jeff is convinced that the gym will be the solution so he increases the pressure to shut the place down.

Samkelo, Murakes, Sonto and Pule's event plans are coming along nicely. They secure the support of the councilor but are shocked when they hear of Jeff's plans.

Poppie's unhappiness at home grows and when she discovers she's pregnant, she has some tough decisions to make.

Key topics:
Mother & Infant Care
Fertility Management

Episode 14

Thando is near breaking point, not at all sure that she can cope with her new-born. But with Nokhanyo and even Mavusana's support, she catches her breath and rediscovers her hope.

After the successful 20 Years of Democracy event, the youth are on a high but that's soon dampened when Jeff arrives with a town planner to inspect the place.  Samkelo realises that he has to put Jeff in his place.

Poppie worries about financial stability when she sees something in Jeff's computer.  After some good advice, she realises she has to do something to secure hers and Zinhle's security.

Sis'Noni feels lonely as Mandla and Samkelo live their own lives and Samkelo gets serious with Riri.  The CHWs get a surprsise visit at the clinic.

Key topics:
Fertility management
Maternal & Infant Care
Financial Literacy: Saving

Episode 15

Sis'Noni struggles to cope at work but refuses help.  She has her back up and is unwavering when for instance Judith suggests counseling for the CHW's.

Ab and Riri encounter a badly neglected elderly lady in a back room of a shack.  They call social services and the family is assisted with a grant and a home care worker.

Riri's mother, Mavis, flips out when she hears of Riri's relationship with Samkelo.  Riri tells her to mind her own business and that she's making her own life decisions.

Nokhanyo bonds with Lwandile and starts considering her own role beyond that of Thando's big sister.

Murakes gets his car back.  He has become financially more savvy - taking deposits for work before starting.  He takes out third party insurance on his car.  He is now a responsible citizen and entrepreneur.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Community Health Workers
Financial Literacy: Saving & Short Term Insurance

Episode 16

Thabisile pays a visit to Zenani, the young woman who was sexually assaulted in an earlier episode. It seems this is Thabisile's way of reaching out to heal her own self, after her assault. But it's salt to her wound when she's attacked by a mugger as she leaves Zenani's house. Judith thinks Thabisile should join the new counselling group she's starting but Thabisile stubbornly refuses. When Thabisile changes her mind, she's touched by Humphrey’s supportive words about her, enabling Thabisile to take the difficult step towards healing.

Nokhanyo takes her sister's child to the clinic and is rather charmed by the attention that the assistant pharmacist, Kgopotso, pays her. When Kgopotso asks Nokhanyo on a date, she shyly accepts.

AB's father becomes ill and he refuses AB's medical advice or any kind of treatment. Here AB's attempts to help are not effective.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Community Health Workers
Increasing Services for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Episode 17

AB deals with his father's sudden death amidst a financial crisis when none of the CHW’s stipends are paid out.  He questions his capacity to help his family and others and blames himself for his father's death.

The CHWs present a solution to their money woes that highlights the power of communal support, while Judith unexpectedly helps the CHWs that are most in need. But added to this, tensions explode between Sis' Noni and Judith when a resident dies of drug resistant TB. Judith feels like Sis'Noni is on a witch hunt to apportion blame.

Nokhanyo stands sweet Kgopotso up. Sonto gets seriously ill and is ill-treated as a youth at the clinic. A night vigil for AB's father reminds us what it means to be a community.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Community Health Workers
PHC Re-engineering: Quality of Care

Episode 18

SIS'NONI is showing the strain and JUDITH does not make it easier for her.  She finds an unexpected ally in Doctor Mthiyane... although there might be more to that than meets the eye.

Coping with a burst geyser at home, SIS'NONI discovers her ex-husband, Malusi, allowed their insurance to lapse.  SIS'NONI gets into it and restores the household and home-owners insurance, grasping the opportunity to drive home the importance of insurance to her two sons, MANDLA and SAMKELO.

NOKHANYO comes up against the clinic's shortcomings when she has to take baby LWANDILE in because of a high fever.  Her experience at the clinic brings SONTO to her door who is on a mission to speak up about how the clinic treats them.  AB faces the police on theft allegations with Pule claiming he stole Gog'Phindi's phone.

JEFF is in a volatile mood when he finds his wife and daughter out later than he likes... but then Zinhle quite innocently gives him an idea on how to win the youth over to his side.

Key topics:
Financial Literacy: Short Term Insurance
PHC Re-engineering: Quality of Care

Episode 19

JEFF is in full drive to get what he wants, i.e. the demolition of the Smoking Joe’s gym.

NOKHANYO gathers her courage and helps SONTO out by going to see SIS'NONI and reporting the complaints against Maureen.  SIS'NONI is a touch overwhelmed by her workload but DOCTOR MTHIYANE helps her maintain her balance.  SAMKELO is fighting to keep Smoking Joe alive while their anonymous benefactor sends new equipment, revealing him to be JEFF.  ZINHLE and PULE meet, an attraction bigger than them.  JEFF is accosted by the taxi boss DAVID RAPOLA. Time is running out for him to get the youth out of the gym.

Key topics:
PHC  Reengineering: Community Participation

Episode 20

SIS'NONI is pushing herself too hard but refuses to delegate. She ends up making a big mistake with the clinic’s medicine order.

Pule insists on putting the decision to move Smoking Joe's to a vote but isn't happy with the verdict. Meanwhile he connects with Zinhle. Samkelo and Jeff both get pressure from David. And as SIS'NONI' tries to hold her team together, Sister Maureen breaks down and reveals an old pain.

Key topics:
PHC Re-engineering: Quality of Care

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