The Cast

Find out more about your favourite cast member and the character they play

Please note: Soul City is not place specific. For instance, we avoid using names like Soweto, Chatsworth, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Cape Town, etc. The reason for this is that we want our audience to feel that Soul City is here and everywhere. In the Character Bible you will find many instances of place specification - this is in order to give readers a sense of where characters are from; their social backgrounds. 

A-List B-List C-List
Sister Bettina Khumalo Smangaliso Lindiwe "The Voice"
Thandi Mazwai Benni Zola Dube
Dr. David Hurley Martha Ngcobo Eddie Motau
Dr. Ayanda Ngubane Bongani Ngcobo  
Sipho Ndlovu Karen van Niekerk  
Nomfundo Dladla Sol Grootboom  
Thandi Mazwai    
Dinana Mabelane    
Tuko Tau    
Baba Dlamini (Baba D)    

 

SISTER BETTINA KHUMALO
(played by Lillian Dube)

AGE: 50

PROFESSION: NEW DIRECTOR OF MASEKANE CLINIC. In Series IV she was upgraded to deputy-director of the clinic.

THE MATRIACH - BETTINA IS THE MOTHER-FIGURE OF THE SERIES - THE MORAL VOICE OF SOUL CITY.

Multi-lingual background. Bettina was the eldest child in her family. Her father deserted the family when she was still young. Her step-father was cruel and repeatedly raped her when she was a child. This tragic back story was explored in Series I and II.

In Series III she met the love of her life, Vusi, and married (Vusi had an STD from a previous girlfriend. As is her nature, Bettina was practical and non-judgmental: She encouraged Vusi to see the doctor, made sure he took antibiotics, made sure he informed his ex-girlfriend, getting her to deal with the problem in a likewise manner). In Series III Bettina was also instrumental in mobilizing the community in a housing scheme, getting them to move out of their unstable shacks and build houses. In fact, mobilizing her community is something she is very good at - a great organiser.
In Series IV Bettina was largely involved in helping Vusi recover from a stroke he had due to high blood pressure. Ironically, Vusi died in a construction accident - scaffolding collapsed on him (occurred between Series IV and Series V).

Bettina spent Series V in mourning, burying herself in her work. She became involved in helping the Vilikazi family - the mother was HIV-positive, the father struggling to make ends meet, the family rejected by church and neighbours. As a devout Christian, this caused Bettina to question her own faith in the church. To an extent, she lost faith in life. But who can blame her? In Ep7 of Series V her best friend Sister Lizzie (Sol's wife) was killed in a taxi accident. Compounded by the death of Vusi, Bettina became increasingly aware of her own mortality. However, by the end of Series V there was a sense she was becoming stronger, more her old self.
In Series VI Bettina will carry two Depression messages: "Depression is a real illness and anybody can get it. (Adult-driven - moderate depression syndrome.)" and "Depression is treatable and going for help is the strong thing to do. (Treatment involves more than one approach.)"

DOMAIN/LOCATIONS: Mainly the clinic but her house in Soul City has been well used. Her house has a inside bathroom/toilet and electricity.

FRIENDS: Thandi, Ali's wife (although in Series VI this relationship will change radically - Bettina, who represents the clinic, will come into conflict with Thandi, who represents the community). Sol. Almost everyone. If you need good advice, go to Bettina.

Dr. DAVID JAMES HURLEY
(one of the two new interns introduced in Series V)

AGE: 30

OCCUPATION: DOCTOR

LANGUAGES: English and Afrikaans

THE RESCUER - David may not save the world, but he is determined to make a difference.

David has a natural generosity of spirit coupled with a desire to compensate for his privileged upbringing.

David was schooled at Bishops in Cape Town where he did well at rugby and cricket, making the first team in both sports, matriculating with A's in Science and Mathematics. His father is a well-known doctor in Constantia and it was taken for granted David would follow in his footsteps. Recent graduate from UCT - he spent his first year of internship at Groote Schuur patching up PAGAD gangster victims.

His bourgeois background embarrasses him - it's something he even tries to hide, which explains why he doesn't mind working at Masakhane Clinic for very little pay - money has never been an issue for him, nor hunger, nor thirst... But he's an achiever, professionally - likes to keep up to date with new medical developments, drugs, etc…He also likes to stay in shape - rides his bike to the clinic, jogs at lunch-time.

David started at Masakhane Clinic gung-ho, keen and PC. In contrast with the other intern, Dr. Ayanda Ngubane, David was very happy with his posting - he might've even preferred Tugela Ferry.... Ironically, Ayanda turned out to be the better doctor and has now settled in well at the clinic. David helped Sol to deal with his depression after Lizzie's death - even sold him his bicycle, getting him to exercise more, to get his mind off things.

No romantic involvement as yet - lots of potential there… but he is shy around women. Very decent guy, liked by all. He's a bit of a fish out of water but he is dedicated to working at Masakhane.

FRIENDS: Sol, Ayanda, Nomfundo.

DOMAIN: Clinic. Shares a flat in Killarney with an old UCT buddy.

Dr AYANDA NGUBANE
(the other new intern)

AGE: 28

OCCUPATION: DOCTOR

LANGUAGES: Zulu, Sotho, English

A WORLDLY-WISE PRINCESS - Ayanda thought she knew what she wanted out of life - money and status. Soul City has already shifted some of her views.

Ayanda is a modern woman - good-looking and self-assured. Her success has been achieved through sheer determination and hard work.
Ayanda grew up in extremely difficult circumstances in Msinga, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Her father and mother were almost constantly away from home during her youth, her father working in a factory in Johannesburg, her mother as a domestic in Pietermaritzburg. Fortune smiled upon Ayanda in the form of her grandmother who, although illiterate herself, encouraged the young girl to work hard, that education was a way out of the loop of poverty they were living in. Ayanda excelled at school and received a bursary to attend St Mary's College for Girls in Kloof where she was a border and continued to do well at school. Adapting to St. Mary's was tough - the girls around her were mainly white, all from wealthy families. Pretty soon Ayanda was one of them, spending free weekends at mansions in Durban, getting a close-up taste of BMWs, caviar and champagne. Her matric results were good enough to get her into Medunsa where once again she breezed through. When the internship ruling came up, Ayanda was disgusted. How dare the government tell her what to do with her life?! All she wanted to do was get a loan from the bank, open a private practice in Durban, and make tons of money. Soul City Hospital!? Masakhane Clinic?! She couldn't think of anything worse. Despite her resentment she's a damn good doctor.

In Series V Ayanda met an old friend from med school - Dr. Collins Nxumalo. In her crisis episode she was "date" raped by Collins and learned the lesson that rape is rape - message: "Any form of coerced sex is rape". This event drew her closer to Karen who is also a rape survivor. Ayanda is now wary around men, this being the second love affair that has turned sour on her.

At first glance she seems like a yuppie - cell phone, Uno, designer wear - but it's more of a shield hiding a life driven by fear of poverty.

In Series VI Ayanda will carry one of the Adult Literacy messages: "If you have skills, share them with others who want to learn."

Ayanda's mother is TRYPHINA. A rural woman, she worked as a domestic in Worsley St., Pietermaritzburg, where she met Ma Agnes, a patient of Ayanda's.

FRIENDS: Nomfundo, David, Sol.

DOMAIN: Clinic. Has a one-bedroom apartment in Sandton.

KAREN VAN NIEKERK
(Greta Fox)

AGE: 46

PROFESSION: ADMINISTRATOR OF CLINIC.

LANGUAGES: Afrikaans and English. Will try a bit of Zulu. Sign language.

ALWAYS THE BRIDES'MAID.
Karen grew up in Boksburg North and went to Boksburg High. She has come a long way from her white conservative roots. Her first boyfriend died in a motorbike accident while she was studying nursing (in Boksburg, staying at res) and it utterly destroyed her life - Karen was riding pillion and suffered typical guilt syndrome of "it should've been me, not him". Withdrew from her circle of friends and went to work in Vanderbijl Park. From there she was posted to Masakhane Clinic - a posting she resented at first but one that gave meaning to her life. She probably wouldn't admit it, but Soul City has become her family.

Romantically, it's been a series of disasters. She had a brief fling with a doctor but it got messy - she's prone to getting involved with men who will not commit (mainly because she doesn't want commitment - scared of losing someone close again). But she's running out of time when it comes to marriage, etc. - her friends are all married or divorced with kids. Fell (slightly) in love with Mario, a social worker at the clinic, at the end of Series IV - he's coloured and she's a white Afrikaner, which caused a few problems. Mario has since moved cities and the relationship is over.

Karen is highly organised and efficient. She manages to work wonders on limited resources and always puts the clinic first. Her dedication is not always appreciated. Karen can be quite abrasive - she does not suffer fools easily - but she's bright and has a strong moral base. She had a temporary problem with drinking and driving in the final episode of Series IV which resulted in her knocking down a young boy, Benni Ndlovu - an incident that would change both their lives.

In Series V she adopted Benni, a 10 year old impish angel. He's given her a hard time but they have grown to love each other. When Benni's uncle tried to take him away, Benni refused to go, thereby cementing his relationship with Karen. In her new role as "mother", Karen has adopted a practical approach rather than a sentimental one. Karen anyway finds it difficult to express her feelings (Calvinistic upbringing). Sifiso, the ex-director of the clinic (who is deaf), was often there to help and support, providing a good male role model for Benni. Her brother, by contrast, is a racist - he was horrified by Karen's decision to adopt Benni. Similarly he was unsympathetic when Karen was raped in Ep 5 - adopting the stereo-typical male view that she must in some way have "asked for it". Karen let him know, in no uncertain terms, what she thought of him and his opinions.(Karen was raped by an executive of a company planning to donate money to the clinic. It was an extremely traumatic experience and left deep emotional scars that she is still dealing with.) Karen pretends to cope but she's vulnerable.

FRIENDS: When Karen first arrived at Masakhane she didn't get on at all well with Bettina but that has gradually changed. In Series VI she will support Bettina's new position as Director of Masakhane Clinic.

DOMAIN: Lives in a small flat situated on the main road in Melville.

BENNI NDLOVU
(Joseph Nale)

AGE: 13

OCCUPATION: School pupil.

A LOVABLE IMP - Benni touches people's lives and hearts with his irrepressible vitality and ingenuity. He is charming, clever and shines brightly.

Adept at card tricks himself, life has dealt Benni a strange mix of cards - the strangest of which is that he now finds himself the son of a white woman.

In Series IV he pretended to be homeless when Karen knocked him down in her car - she had had too much to drink. Eventually Karen found out that Benni lived with his Granny in Soul City and took him home (this after Benni had been living in Karen's flat for a week, milking her feelings of guilt, getting her to stop drinking and driving.)

In Series V Benni's granny died - he stopped going to school and took to the streets. Some bigger boys got him to call Karen to try and get some money out of her. Karen convinced Benni to come home with her and so started the process of adoption which is now final. He loves Karen and is wise to whatever is going on, even if he can't quite articulate things. For instance, he was semi-aware that Karen had been raped in Ep6 of Series V, although she protected him from the truth. You can't bullshit Benni, that's for sure.

Sifiso was an important part of his life - he'd even learned sign language in order to "impress" Sifiso, whom he sees as a father-figure. Now with Sifiso gone, Benni will be in search of another father-figure.

In Series VI Benni (along with Bongani and Tuko) will help carry one of the Asthma messages: "Early diagnosis and early treatment of asthma can be life saving and will help improve your quality of life. (Child-driven story. Normalize inhalers.)"

FRIENDS: In Series V Benni connected with Bongani and quite often he'd spend the afternoon at the Mazwai house where Karen would pick him up on her way home from work.

DOMAIN: In Series VI Benni will be going to Soul City High School.

SISTER LIZZIE DLAMINI
(Nandi Nyembe)
(This character is deceased)

PROFESSION: Nursing sister.

Lizzie discovered that she was HIV-positive in Series I. Her husband George died of an AIDS related illness in Series II - he was very unfaithful to Lizzie. In Series III, Sister Lizzie helped diffuse the hostage crisis when Sol took the clinic hostage. Sol (also HIV-positive) and Lizzie became romantically involved and married at the beginning of Series V. In Ep7 she died in a taxi accident. As Lizzie was much loved, the accident had a profound effect on all at the clinic.

SOL GROOTBOOM
(David Dennis)

AGE: 42

PROFESSION: HEALTH COUNSELLOR - RUNS THE SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION OFFICE AT THE CLINIC.

LANGUAGE - English and Afrikaans and Xhosa.

THE WOUNDED HEALER - a remarkable person with great inner resources, able to help others.

Sol discovered he was HIV-positive in Series III. Rejected by society, fired from his job, and abandoned by his girlfriend, Sol took the clinic hostage in a foolhardy attempt to draw attention to his plight and that of other stigmatized HIV-positive people. Let off lightly in his subsequent court case, Sol now works as an HIV counselor at the clinic. He met Lizzie, a nurse at the clinic who was also HIV-positive, and the two become romantically involved - a match made in heaven.

At the end of Series IV Sol did some stand-up comedy work at Tshisa's Tavern, a new hot venue in Soul City, where he proposed publicly to Lizzie. They married in Ep1 of Series V. Justin, an old friend of Sol's, who had rejected him when he discovered Sol was HIV positive, came onto the scene needing help - turned out Justin had AIDS and was dying. Sol moved Justin into his house, upsetting Lizzie, almost causing a rift in the marriage. But it is not in Sol's nature to turn his back on someone in need. Justin died at the end of Ep1.

Lizzie was killed in a taxi accident in Ep7. Her death shattered Sol's world and he withdrew from everyone. David helped to draw him out of his grief and start living again. In the final episode of Series V Sol became slightly infatuated with "the voice" - a Soul City radio announcer called Lindiwe whom he knocked over on his bicycle.

Sol is not all that gregarious. A good listener. Kind of private, sensitive, gets on well with everyone. Very intense, especially when it comes to prejudice around the HIV/AIDS issue. Likes to do things his way. A crusader with integrity.

FRIENDS: David.

DOMAIN: Clinic. House in Soul City.

ALI MAZWAI
(Aubrey Moalusi)

(Series VI begins with the recent death (three mnths previously), by heart attack, of this character - he is out of the picture.)

PROFESSION: PORTER AT THE CLINIC

THE CLOWN. Ali was a humorous character, a good father to Lizeka and Tebogo, and a good husband to Thandi. He was the "everyman" of the series, the person to whom life, although a struggle, was always an adventure. In Series V Ali hit a mid-life crisis Who am I? What have I done with my life? Out of this he decided to study to become a para-medic. He was about to leave the clinic to attend a para-medic when out of the blue he suffered a massive heart attack and died. Everyone will miss Ali, none more so than Thandi, his loving wife.

THANDI MAZWAI
(Clementine Mosimane)

AGE: 38

PROFESSION: Unemployed. Had a small crèche way back when the series started.

LANGUAGES : Sotho & Tswana.

MOTHER EARTH.
Ali's wife of many years, mother to Lizeka (who has since moved to Cape Town) and Tebogo, she is a caring and loving person. Takes an active part in the community. She is humorous and a very action-orientated person - takes nothing lying down. Her husband has recently died and her children are slipping away from her, leaving her days empty, needing to be filled. Her strong friendship with Bettina has always been great role model material. They supported each other through thick and thin, especially when Bettina lost her faith in the church in Series V. This will now change as we pit Thandi against Bettina, the Community against the Clinic. Thandi was under-utilized in Series V (Clementine is a fine actress) and we are giving her a much bigger role this time around.

Thandi was also involved in getting Khosi, a teacher at SCH, to stop the bullying that was going on at the school. This after Thandi caught her son Tebogo stealing money from her purse to "pay off" Tuko, the school bully.

In Series V Martha, Thandi's sister, moved in with Ali and Thandi, along with her son Bongani. Thandi has always been hugely supportive of Martha who is HIV-positive. Thandi also helped Bongani adapt to township living (previously Martha and Bongani lived in the "maid's room" of a suburban house until her white employer relocated to East London).

Thandi is never reactionary - she will always try and be fair and consider both sides in a dispute. Very sensitive, soft, motherly; gentle and compassionate. And she's a good cook!

In Series VI Thandi will carry one of the Adult Literacy messages: "We can continue to learn new skills throughout our lives. (You can learn outside the formal setting of a classroom.)" Thandi will also carry an HIV message (this after Martha dies): "Children cope better if you talk to them about their feelings and fears related to the death of their parents."

FRIENDS: Bettina is/was #1. Baba-D (only because he was mates with Ali). Obviously Martha.

DOMAIN: Clinic. Ali/Thandi house in Soul City. Her house has a bathroom and electricity.

TEBOGO MAZWAI
(Milton Makgatho)

NOTE: TEBOGO HAS LEFT HOME AND IS STUDYING AT THE TECHNICON IN PRETORIA - ELECTRONICS. WE WILL ONLY SEE THIS CHARACTER IF WE REALLY HAVE TO.

AGE: 18

OCCUPATION: Technicon student

Ali and Thandi's son. In Series II he suffered at the hands of Tuko, the school bully, stealing money from his mother's purse to "pay the guy off". Tuko has since become Tebo's friend. In Series IV Tebo had a wet dream and was told he'd go mad and get pimples if he didn't have sex with someone - Thembi was the unfortunate choice which caused all sorts of heartbreak (but they've since become friends).

In Series V when Martha and Bongani moved into the Mazwai house, Tebo took Bongani "under his wing" and is protective towards him.

After Lizeka left for Cape Town, Tebogo became prince of the family. Now he has graduated from SC High and has left home to study Electronics at the Pretoria Tech, staying with his aunt in Pretoria. The loss of his father greatly impacted on him.

FRIENDS: Tuko, Smangaliso, Thembi.

DOMAIN: Thandi house, Spaza shop. (We won't see much of Tebogo in Series VI, if anything)

DINANA MABELANE
(Kekeletso Mphuthi)

AGE: 23

LANGUAGES: English, Sotho & Zulu.

PROFESSION: APPLIANCE REPAIRWOMAN. Started her own repair shop in Soul City near the clinic called DARE - Dinana's Appliance Repair Enterprise.

SURVIVOR EXTRAORDINAIRE - Whenever life knocks her down, Dinana has an extraordinary ability to bounce back.

Dinana was an only child, an orphan, brought up by her Aunt. In Series II she was raped by her uncle and went public with it. Dinana is a fiercely independent young woman and is determined to make something of herself. She studied engineering at the local technicon. She is extremely capable - from changing a light bulb to repairing a car engine. Some men find this threatening. She had a long affair with Stanza which is now over. He was on the road far too much with his band for there to be anything lasting about the relationship. She waits for no man.

In series IV Dinana revealed her entrepreneurial spirit - she opened her own business, DARE, and learnt much about SMME (Small Micro Medium Enterprises).

In Series V she made the mistake of over-extending her business. She also unwittingly she bought a Kombi that was stolen and learned a lesson the hard way. Through that experience she met Percy, the second-hand car salesman who fell for her big time. They started dating but that's over now. Later in Series V Dinana's business had to face competition when Zola Dube opened up a new appliance shop in Soul City. At first she was angry and despondent but was determined to fight back and learned that competition can be good for one's business. She employs Tuko to do deliveries.

Dinana is a perfectionist - and sometimes gets impatient with the short-comings of lesser mortals - and she will let them know all about it. She is tough but fair. Nomfundo is her best friend - at times they disagree but they are very close and will always support each other.

There will be a few hitches along the way, but Dinana is destined to one day win the Business Woman of the Year Award.

In Series VI Dinana will carry an HIV/AIDS message: "Help children if they are caring for their sick siblings and/or sick parents, because they have rights and they need to be children. (They should not be heading households.)"

FRIENDS: Nomfundo.

DOMAIN: Her shop situated in a garage that she rents in Soul City near the clinic. She shares a small flat (Lizeka's old place) in Yeoville with Nomfundo.

TUKO TAU
(Sicelo Dlamini)

AGE: 18

OCCUPATION: School pupil (Grade 12)

LANGUAGES: Sotho

A BOY LONGING TO BE THE MAN
Tuko used to do a lot of teasing and bullying at school. Very sassy and street-wise, cheeky. His father was an alcoholic in Series II and that turned him into a problem child - he bullied other children to try and hide his own problems. In Series IV he teased Tebo about his "wet dream". In Series V Tuko got a job working for Dinana but blew it when he tried to get her to expand. He left Dinana and went to work for her competitor, Zola. Tuko's parents have moved out of town so he's now living with his uncle and aunt. His uncle has a drinking problem that nearly got Tuko into big trouble - the uncle stole a TV from Zola's shop, under Tuko's nose. Luckily, Dinana stepped in and stopped Zola from calling the cops. The end result was that Tuko now works for both Dinana and Zola as a delivery guy - he has a bicycle with a sidecar, servicing Soul City residents.

Stays with Uncle Tafeta Tau and Aunt Maria Tau in Soul City. Their house has an outside toilet and no electricity.

Lives by his wits. Bright. Wants to get everything too quickly.

In Series VI Tuko will carry two messages: 1. Depression: "Youth are also susceptible to depression. Look out for signs and get help." & 2. HIV/AIDS: "Men can be carers of children, too."

FREINDS: Tebogo, Smangaliso, Thembi, Mandisa (an old girlfriend).

DOMAIN: Soul City High, Spaza shop, streets.

NOMFUNDO DLADLA
(Sindi Dlatho)

AGE: 28

OCCUPATION: Good singer who got a job as receptionist at Masakhane Clinic at the end of Series IV.

WAITING IN THE WINGS - Nomfundo is still waiting for her life to happen. Her job at the clinic is okay but she would love to realise her dream - to be a singing star. And if she can't do that she will help others to realise theirs. She will always be there to give advice and support.

Nomfundo came into Series IV as Simon's new girlfriend from Durban. She's HIV-positive (from her dead boyfriend) which threw Simon - he rejected her then realised that he was being dumb and went back to her. She got a job as the receptionist at Masakhane Clinic and became part of the Soul City community. Simon is now out of the picture.

In Ep7 of Series V Nomfundo offered her services free-of-charge to Soul City High to coach the school choir and prepare select candidates for "Dream Catcher", a TV show saucing new talent. Joseph, a matric kid who is HIV-positive, was by far the better singer but was overlooked by the organisers (including the school principle) because of his HIV status. Nomfundo took exception to this blatant prejudice and publicly disclosed her own HIV status to the students. The decision was overturned and Joseph awarded the prize. The relationship between Nomfundo and Joseph is delicate, beautiful. She has shown him that despite his HIV status, he can live a productive and positive life, and reach for his dreams.

IDEA: Nomfundo could become a clinic antagonist, perhaps even leave the clinic - this out of the conflict between Thandi/Bettina, or in the clinic's handling of HIV/AIDS.

FRIENDS: She lives with Dinana and is very close to her. Ayanda. David. Sol. Easy going, likeable nature.

DOMAIN: Clinic, Dinana's flat, DARE.

MARTHA NGCOBO
(Connie Chiume)

AGE: 42

LANGUAGES: Zulu, Sotho and English

OCCUPATION: Unemployed. Used to be a domestic worker.

A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES - In many ways life has happened to Martha; she has seldom taken charge of her destiny. She accepts her lot in life and tries to make the best of it.

In Series IV she worked as the "maid" for a white yuppie couple. When she found out she was HIV (got it from her late husband) and disclosed the illness to her "madam", a lot of shit hit the fan. Martha moved in with her sister Thandi (Ali's wife) but the crisis was resolved and it seemed at the end as if she was going to return to living in the back room at her "madam's" house.

In Series V Martha's employers relocated to East London. Martha and her son, Bongani, moved in with Thandi and Ali (Martha's sister and brother-in-law). Not wanting too put pressure on Bongani, she decided it was better not to discuss her HIV status with him. Bongani reacted negatively but Martha put it down to maladjustment. Until Bongani was almost killed in an accident. Through Sol and Thandi, she realised that she had been wrong and decided to discuss HIV/AIDS and dying openly with Bongani. This helped both of them to come to terms with the disease and the prospect of Martha's death. She even had a will drawn up. Bongani asked that, in the event of Martha's death, Ali and Thandi become his guardians.

In Series VI Martha will die from AIDS.

FRIENDS: Thandi and Bettina.

DOMAIN: Mazwai house. Clinic.

BONGANI NGCOBO
(Muzi Ngcobo)

AGE: 13

LANGUAGES: Zulu and English

OCCUPATION: SCHOOL STUDENT

IN SEARCH OF HIMSELF - Bongani's changing circumstances have left him feeling bewildered about his own identity and his place in the world.

Martha's son. Model C kid. Bright, caring, very protective towards his mother. Slightly reckless. Struggled initially with the fact that his mother is HIV-positive but is now dealing with it. In Series V Bongani was still going to Sacred Heart School in JHB but will now be going to Soul City High. He has had to adjust to living in the township which wasn't easy at first. He alienated Tebo but since then they've become friends - Tebo is like an older brother to Bongani. Now that Tebo is out of the house, Bongani is the only male around and this will put more pressure on him.

Sol has been a great help in giving Bongani advice regarding his mother, to the extent that Martha got upset with Sol, thinking he was "scaring" Bongani.

In Series VI Bongani will help carry the HIV message with Thandi: "Children cope better if you talk to them about their feelings and fears related to the death of their parents."

FRIENDS: Benni.

DOMAIN: SCH, Mazwai house, clinic.

BABA DLAMINI
(Fats Bokholane)

AGE: mid-60's

OCCUPATION: CLINIC DRIVER

LANGUAGES: Zulu & Sotho

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET - no hidden depths here. Baba-D is upfront and direct.

In one of the early episodes of Series IV a rather eccentric elderly man arrived at Masakhane Clinic with a personal problem: he could only go one round with his girlfriends - he had four in all, Betty, Wihleminah, Sophie & Maria. Finally his problem was "solved" by Ali who gave him a wad of condoms!

Crude but big-hearted. A flirt.

In Series V he caught his bright nephew raping a young woman and did the right thing - went to the police and reported the matter - even though it meant alienating his own brother.

In Series VI Baba-D's character must be played down. He will, however, carry one of the Adult Literacy messages: "Literacy opens up more opportunities - work is only one of them. (Formal ABET setting)"

The clinic combi is in fact owned by Baba D. He came to the clinic as a "package" deal, combi and driver. The clinic pay him a driver's salary plus R200/month rent for his combi, a service/tune-up once a year and tyres when he needs them is part of the deal. During the day he may only use the combi for clinic purposes but after-hours and on weekends it's his to do with as he sees fit.

FRIEND: Ali, but that's now history. Phineas and Solly - drinking buddies. Thandi has become his confidante.

DOMAIN: Clinic. Kombi. He lives in the back ouitside room of his cousin's house in Soul City. The toilet and the shower are outside. In the evenings his two mates, Phineas and Solly usually come over for a beer and a gossip, to play draughts - they sit outside on vinyl kitchen chairs discussing the news, soccer, reading the newspaper. Neither Phineas nor Solly have any idea Baba-D is illiterate - he's hidden it even from them.

ZOLA DUBE
(Menzi Ngubane)

AGE: 34

PROFESSION: Businessmen.

Zola is suave. He has a catering company which supplies the clinic canteen with health sandwiches. In Series V he opened an appliance shop in Soul City which threatened Dinana's business until they found a way of working together. Zola's a very good actor but as we are not doing any SMME messaging in Series VI, it seems unlikely that we will be using him.

Charming, self-assured.

LINDIWE "THE VOICE" SITHOLE

AGE: 30

OCCUPATION: SOUL CITY RADIO TALK SHOW HOST.

THE BLIND PROPHET

Lindiwe is blind but has "inner sight", and a voice like honey. She is totally unafraid to tackle contentious issues and knows what is going on in her community. In Ep13 of Series V she helped organise a "Disability Awareness Day" at the SC Community Hall. She made a big impact on a paraplegic woman called Mapaseka, whose husband was abusing her. Through Lindiwe, both Mapaseka and her husband re-united. The episode ended with a hint that Sol may become romantically involved with Lindiwe.

EDDIE MOTAU

AGE: 40

PROFESSION: TEACHER

LANGUAGES: Zulu and English.

Tuko's English teacher - one of the few male role models in the series, he teaches at Soul City High and is respected by all. As we intend using the school as a ABET "night school" for Adult Literacy, Eddie will be well used in that sphere.

DOMAIN: Soul City High School.

SMANGALISO

AGE: 18

Lives vicariously through Tuko, his school buddy.

Smangaliso is kind of hip - dyes his hair. An only child, his parents are fairly wealthy by Soul City standards. He has a computer and is linked to the internet, wears brand clothing, likes to go to the mall to movies - lives a bit of a dual life. Sometimes he's mocked for being a "Model C" kid but we don't want to play this up too much.

DOMAIN: His home, SCH, Spaza shop.

FRIENDS: Tuko. Knows Dinana.

SIPHO NDLOVU

AGE: 29

OCCUPATION: MALE NURSE

It was always Sipho's dream to be a doctor and his oldest brother, Ernest, was determined to fulfill it. They came from a working class family so money was always tight. Before Sipho matriculated at Orlando High, Ernest got himself a well paid job working for a trucking company, spending weeks on the road, often travelling as far north as Zambia. This enabled Ernest to pay Sipho's first year Med School (Wits) fees in advance. And the second year. Sipho wasn't the greatest student - his grades were average - but he worked damn hard and always passed. Every once in a while Ernest would pop up and slide Sipho a grand or so - pocket money to buy new clothes - Sipho's a natty dresser, likes to look good, goes to the gym three times a week and builds those biceps. During the holidays Sipho got a job working at Bara Hospital as an orderly, earning a little extra. He liked the environment and was treating it as an apprenticeship for when he would finally graduate. But then a raw twist of fate intervened and turned his life upside down. The cops arrived at Wits and pulled him out of an anatomy class, started questioning him about Ernest. Turns out Ernest is dead - shot while attempting to rob a cash-in-transit van. Turns out Ernest has been doing this for the past three years. Turns out Ernest never worked for the trucking company after all. No more money for Med School fees. Sipho joined Bara full-time, had a year knocked off his nurse's course, completed it three years later, and went to work at Sterkfontein State Psychiatric. Two years on and now he's at Masakhane Clinic.

Sipho rents a bachelor flat quite close to Dinana and Nomfundo in Berea.

NOMVULA
(RAIN MAIDEN)

Age 12

Gender Female

Physical Appearance Thin / wild hair

Cultural Life / Religion Working hard to be the mother

Education Std. 4

Intelligence Green fingers, survival instinct, smart

First Impression A loner

Lasting Impression Wistfull child

Strenghts Resourceful, caring, responsible

Weaknesses Afraid to ask for help, aloof, distrustful

Language Shy, stutter in public (nervous)

Life Goal To go to school eventually

Life Obstacle Adult responsibility

Principle Motivation Keep the family together

Interests Animals, plants, her doll

Relationship Dead parents, stronger siblings, understanding with last year's teacher, stunted younger brother, younger sister (age 9), unaware of extended family

SECONDARY CAST

  • Sipho Ndlovu - Sipho is a well groomed 'sexy' black man of 29 yrs old he is fit and energetic, rides a motobike, a man's man, without being sexist, a role model for the new century. What makes Sipho different is that he's male nurse, because of this he is initially viewed with suspicion, but as the series develops he has a romance with the glamorous doctor Ayanda. The character will need to fluent in at least one of the vernacular languages.
  • Makhosini: secondary speaking role - Friend of Baba D. Zulu speaking man in his 50's, unemployed typical township guy.
  • Sandile: secondary speaking role - Friend of Baba D. Zulu speaking man in his 50's, unemployed typical township guy.
  • Thembi: minor speaking role - Zulu speaking township woman in her 50's wife of Sandile.
  • Eddie: secondary character in various episodes - Teacher at Soul City high black man in his 30's
  • Pedro: main character - Pedro originally from Mozambique, now legally living in South African. He is a black man in his late 30's early 40's and speaks English with a Portuguese accent.
  • Cecilio: secondary character in various episodes - Cecilio is Pedro's wife also originally from Mozambique, now living in SA. She also speaks English with a Portuguese accent and is a black woman in her late 30's and 40's.
  • Rosa: secondary character in various episodes - 12 year daughter of Cecilio and Pedro's daughter also speaks with a Portugese accent.
  • Arnand: secondary character - English speaking Indian male in his fifties, owner of a shop, gentleman and general good guy.
  • Patience - Sotho speaking, church going African woman in her late 40's early 50's. Head of the burial society.
  • Kwesi: minor lead character - Kwesi is the leader of up and coming Kwaito band, he's in his early 20's very hip, and confident and speaks township slang.
  • Jabu: lead character - A friend of Baba D, in his 60's Zulu speaking man. A proud father who suffers from xenophobia.
  • Ms Mafela: minor character - Headmistress at Soul City Primary, Black woman in her late 30's early 40's
  • Sello: secondary character - 40 year son of Jabu. Plays the part of a baddie.
  • Mr Matjila: minor character - Black man in his 40's or 50's Pedro's landlord. Multi-lingual must speak English.
  • Dikaledi: minor character - Jabu's 11 year old daughter, speaks English and Zulu.
  • Dr Tshabalala: secondary character in multiple episodes - Prominent Surgeon at Soul City hospital a black man in his 40's has charm and stature, talks English and Zulu.
  • Dr Ngwenya: minor character - Dr Ngwenya is a respected psychologist at Soul City hospital, is a multi-lingual black woman in her late 40s early 50's.
  • Thomas: Minor lead in 2 episodes - Nombulelo's father sick, frail and dying. Multi-lingual man in his late 30's, early 40's. A once famous muscian.
  • Zanele: Minor role in 2 episodes - Nombulelo's 7yr old sister
  • Lesego: minor role in 2 episodes - Numbulelo's 4yr old brother. Non-speaking part, but must by able to follow basic directions.
  • Mapule: minor role in 2 episodes - Nombulelo's kindly neighbour black woman in her 30's.
  • Mvusi: minor role - Man in store, in his 30's.
  • Themba: secondary role - Old Zulu man in his seventies, kind gentle looking.
  • Regina: minor role - Themba's wife late 60's.
  • Vuyo: minor character - Athletics star, in prime fitness must look the part. Multilingual in his 20's.
  • Tshepo: lead character - 13 yr old boy, excels at athletics, leader of the pack. Multilingual.
  • Mpho: minor character - 13 yr old boy Tsepho's side-kick.
  • Oscar: secondary character - Oscar is multi-lingual man in his early forties, was once a famous musician, but still plays the saxophone ( actor does not need to play saxophone ). Vibrant , bubbly character friend of Thomas.
  • Chantel: lead character - Attractive coloured woman in her early 20's, plays a romantic lead who tragically ends up being diagnosed with HIV.
  • Mpontsheng: secondary character - Sotho speaking black woman 34 yrs old. Sister-in-law of Thomas.
  • Terence: secondary character - Sotho speaking black man 37 yrs old husband of Mpontsheng.
  • Mrs Stuurman: minor character in 2 episodes - 50 year English speaking coloured woman, mother of Chantal.
  • Nomzamo: secondary character - Young black Sotho speaking woman. Mother of a 2 year old with AIDS baby. Dramatic role this character must be good actor.
  • Mamela minor character - Is a young black woman in her 20s. She is looking after her sick mother, but is not without her prejudices. Multilingual needs to speak English.
  • Simon minor character - Young 9 year old black boy son of Mamela, dramatic part - must be able to act.
  • Aunt Thembile - Frail old rural Sotho speaking woman in her 70's. Thandi's aunt.
  • Portia minor lead - Stylish professional singer in her mid-fifties. Zulu speaking mother of principle character Nomfundo.
  • Dr Singh minor character - Indian woman in her 30's. Doctor at Soul City high.
  • Ian Masterson lead character - White factory owner in his 50's, stern no nonsense kind of guy who doesn't treat his workers very well.
  • Mxolisi lead character - Bakery worker in his late 40's, dignified hard worker who suffers from asthma, needs to speak good English.
  • Mr Rachabane minor character - Imposing union shop steward, leader. Black man in his forties, multi lingual including English.
  • Neo lead character - Young, handsome very hip black man in his twenties. Leader of the pack, the man every boy wants to be. Needs to speak Tswana\Sotho, and township slang.
  • Monge lead character - Very attractive, fiercely independent young 17 old black girl. She plays Tuko romantic lead, is nobodies fool, Neo sister. Needs to speak Tswana\Sotho.
  • Attie minor character - Black woman in her 50's frail and dying from AIDS. Monge and Neo's mother.
  • Lungi - Smangliso's outgoing, independent girlfriend. Bubbly multi lingual 17 year black girl.
  • Mrs Sakwe minor character - Authoritive black woman in her late 50's, driving license inspector.
  • Tryphina lead character - She is a large, flamboyantly dressed woman. TRYPHINA always wears bright colours - her presence brings a ray of light into a room. She's gregarious, loud and has a ready laugh. She is a rural undereducated but clever woman in her 50's speaks Zulu. Ayanda's mother.
  • Sandile minor lead - Sandile is a young over-enthusiastic journalist , he's is in his 20's and is mult-lingual.
  • S'thembile minor role - Young unsophisticated mother, who's child gets burnt.