The Story Overview

Episode 1

Message: Literacy opens up more opportunities; work is only one of them.

In the first episode of the series we are introduced to a new character Sipho, who is the new, motorbike riding, male nurse at Masakane clinic. We also learn that Sister Bettina is the new head of the clinic because Sifiso has taken up a position in government. Ali has tragically died, leaving his wife Thandi struggling financially. The main focus of the story, centres on Baba D who seems to confuse his medication, and accidentally overdoses; witch in turn causes him to crash his combi. Subsequently Karen discovers that Baba D does not have a driver's license. The crisis deepens for Baba D until Bettina suspends him from the clinic. Baba D finally confesses to Thandi that he cannot read or write and that's the reason he hasn't got a license. Thandi helps Baba D get his job back at the clinic, although he's no longer able to drive until he can get his license. Baba D starts attending night school and begins to learn to read and write.

Episode 2

Message: We can continue to learn new skills throughout our lives.

We learn that Baba D's father was Mozambiquean and that some of his extended family namely Pedro and Cecilio, have moved to Soul City. Since Ali's untimely death Thandi, along with Martha and Bongani, have been struggling financially. The have been threatened with having their furniture repossessed. At first it seems they'll be fine as Martha gets a sowing job, with Patience a lady from the burial society, but things begin to go wrong when Martha falls ill and has to go to hospital. Thandi anxious not to lose the job lies to Patience and tries to do the job herself; eventually she breaks down, believing that she's too old to learn something new.

Episode 3

Message: Depression is a real illness and anyone can get it.

Even though Masakhane clinic is thriving under the leadership of Sister Bettina, she is having her own struggle with depression. The cracks begin to show when she falls out with her best friend Thandi, because she never seems to keep her promises. Bettina tells Thandi that she needs a new caterer for the clinic; Thandi thinks that she's been offered the job, but the clinic hires somebody else. Thandi feels betrayed and hurt, not realising that Bettina is in the throws of depression. Bettina's crisis deepens to the point where she can no longer even face going to work. Sol persuades her to go for treatment and she slowly starts to gather her life back and finally reconciles with Thandi.

Episode 4

Message: Xenophobia is wrong.

Baba D has to choose between his xenophobic friends and his new found family. Jabu, an old friend of Baba D's, granddaughter loses out on a bursary, that's won by Rosa, Pedro's daughter. Jabu then offers Pedro money to withdraw his daughter, which he refuses to do. Baba D now has a dilemma because he has to choose between his new found family are his old friend. Initially he tries to convince Pedro to accept the offer, but after Sello, Jabu's son petrol bombs Pedro's house and injures Rosa, Baba D has had enough and confronts Jabu who is adamant that his son would never have anything to do with it. It is only after Jabu sees the injured Rosa, and realises that this is his granddaughter new best friend, does he recognise the error of his ways.

Xenophobia Storyline in Soul City 6

The series introduces a Mozambiquan family: Pedro, his wife Cecilio and their daughter Rosa. Pedro is the nephew of Baba D, a much-loved Soul City character.

Baba D is at first embarrassed by their presence here: no one knew that he was Mozambiquan himself. He tries to keep away from them and avoids offering any help or support to them. They don't realise that he is avoiding them and so they keep trying to connect with him.

Pedro first realises that something is wrong when he is wrongly accused of being a thief by some vendors. He is only saved because he sees Baba D standing on the road and runs behind him for protection. Baba D is embarrassed at having to introduce Pedro to his friends and asks Pedro to stay away from him.

Unfortunately, Pedro gets arrested by the police even though he has his permanent resident papers with him. Cecilio is forced to ask Baba D for help because, in her experience, the police will arrest foreigners even if they have their papers. This is the main reason she asks Baba D for help - and because she does not want her daughter to be left alone in the house.

Baba D realises from this experience that foreigners are not always fairly treated by South Africans, but he also feels that he needs to defend the behaviour of South Africans. He talks about the high levels of poverty and unemployment, the fact that foreigners take jobs that pay very little, making it difficult for South Africans to demand higher salaries.

He starts to spend more time with Pedro and his family - we see him struggling to eat their "strange" food in a funny and heart-warming scene.

One day Pedro tells him with great excitement that Rosa has won a bursary for her entire schooling career. The family celebrate this wonderful achievement. The mood changes when a South African man starts to harass Pedro and family, trying to force them to give up the bursary. The man, Jabu, believes his grand-daughter should get the bursary because she is South African. Unknown to Pedro, Jabu is a good friend of Baba D's. Baba D tries to intervene and encourages Pedro to take Rosa to another school, but Pedro believes it is his right to send his daughter to the school of her choice and that she is entitled to the bursary because she earned it by studying hard.

From starting with a bribe, to a threat of violence the story slowly escalates to a very dangerous incident: a petrol bomb is thrown into the house while the family is asleep. Luckily, no one dies, but Rosa is seriously burnt. Baba D has finally had enough: he confronts Jabu and his son and discovers that the son through the petrol bomb without Jabu's knowledge. Jabu promises to deal with his son - and is embarrassed that in their love for their own child they almost killed another innocent child.

Episode 5

Message: Help children if they are caring for sick siblings/parents.

Dinana meets Nombulelo a12 year old girl, when she tries to buy back her fathers amplifier that her father had brought into to be fixed previously.
Dinana discovers that Thomas, Nombulelo's father is dying of AIDS, and that Nombulelo is the head of the house, and is struggling. Dinana very quickly gets involved in helping the family when Thomas has to be hospitalized. Nombulelo eventually overcomes her suspicions about Dinana, and is pleased to have her help. One day Dinana doesn't turn up due to work commitments. Nombulelo believing that Dinana has abandoned her goes to meet a sugar daddy. Dinana manages to stop her and convince her that it's not the solution. Dinana then with the help of a next-door neighbour, Mapule, helps the family out so that Nombulelo can return to school.
This family is already living on the Child-Support grant, but Nombulelo has to miss school to collect the grant.

Episode 6

Message: Youth are susceptible to depression, look out for signs and get help.

Smangaliso becomes worried about he's friend Tuko when his behaviour becomes more and more erratic. The timing couldn't be worse, because Tuko had previously convinced Smanga to invest all his savings in a putting together a concert with local band 'Djambi'. The week had started badly when Tuko and Smangaliso discovered that the hall they'd decided to use was flooded. The crisis deepens when during the cleaning up Tuko never seems to be available, Smangaliso is naturally upset and the friendship suffers. Tuko meanwhile is not coping because he's suffering from depression. His condition deteriorates to the point where he decides to commit suicide. Smangaliso as fate would have it arrives at Tuko house just in time to save his life. Tuko recovers in hospital and learns to begin to live with depression. Tuko and Smangaliso reconcile and the concert successfully goes ahead.

Episode 7

Message: Early diagnosis and early treatment of asthma can be life saving and will help improve your quality of life.

Soul City High is abuzz with excitement. Everyone's excited by the visit of the long-distance runner Vuyo Manaka, who's also an ex-pupil of Soul City. Vuyo's visited to train 5 boys in long-distance running for one week & at the end the boys compete against one another, with the winner going through to compete in the Inter School's Championships. Benni, Karen's adoptive son, is also very excited at the idea of training with the famous Vuyo, and decides to compete in the preliminary heats.

He immediately finds himself up against a school bully, Tshepo, who's physically bigger & stronger than Benni. Tshepo regards Benni as a weakling and picks on him every chance he gets. Tshepo & Benni makes it through the heats & starts training with Vuyo.

Benni starts getting sick - runny nose, watery eyes, and sniffs all the time.
Benni stops breathing one morning at the breakfast table, Karen runs to the hospital where they discover that Benni is asthmatic.

Benni is embarrassed about his illness & is afraid that the students, especially Tshepo, at school will find out.

Benni feels alienated from his friends, and in an attempt to gain acceptance with Tshepo & crew, he smokes a cigarette, which brings on a bad asthma attack. Vuyo comes to Benni's aid & saves him with his own pump. Benni finds out that Vuyo is asthmatic & discovers that asthma is not a disease to be ashamed off.

Soul City Clinic becomes very busy & the doctors & nurses can't cope with the pressure.

Bettina & Karen discover that they need to hire an extra nurse & start looking at the budget. Karen is considering retrenching Sol…and Sol finds out.

Ayanda tries to initiate a conversation with Sipho but Sipho is not biting - he's still very hurt after the nasty confrontation with Ayanda about their relationship.

A blast from Sipho's past enters his present in the form of his ex-girlfriend Chantal - the only woman he ever loved, who also broke his heart. Chantal is back to make up with Sipho but Sipho rejects her.

Episode 8

Message: "Take action to support children affected by HIV/AIDS and their carers".

Dianana leaves Soul City to attend a graduation ceremony and gets Nomfundo, the Soul City receptionist, to help look after Nombulelo and her family.

Nomfundo tries to help Nombulelo and her siblings but finds it very difficult to handle Nomfundo's dad, Thomas, who is HIV + and very ill.

The situation becomes heavier for Nomfundo and she turns to Sol for help - Sol is not willing to help because he is angry with Bettina who might have to retrench them.

Nomfundo also approaches Thomas' brother-in law, Terrence for help. Terence has not recovered from his sister's death and is not willing to help his brother-in law unless he personally comes to him for help.

After the rejection from Terence, Nomfundo decided to confront Thomas. She tells him about her own HIV+ status and her fear of dying - which was what kept her from helping Thomas.

Terence reconsider and offers his help now and after the death of Thomas.
Sol organizes a home-based carer and Mapule and the neighbours continue to help.

Episode 9

Message: If you want to have a baby, you and your partner should go for an HIV test.

Nomzamo's baby Siphokazi is very ill. Nomzamo is Sipho's cousin. Siphokazi is HIV+ and is very sick. She dies. Sipho and Chantal talk about having children and decide to go for HIV tests - they don't want their children to suffer the same fate as Siphokazi.

Sol counsels Sipho and Chantal and takes blood for the test. Sipho is very busy helping his cousin and cannot receive the HIV test results with Chantal. Chantal's results are positive.

Chantal is distraught after finding out her test results and shuts Sipho out of her life.

Sipho goes to Sol for counseling. He goes back to Chantal and recommits himself to her and their relationship.

Episode 10

Message: Children cope better if you talk to them about their feelings & fears related to the death of their parents.

Martha dies at Soul Cit. She leaves her sister Thandi and son, Bongani. Thandi takes Martha's death very badly and tries to cope with the trauma on her own. She also shuts Bongani out and does not talk to him about Martha's death. Bongani is very interested in knowing how his mother died and everything else related to her death but Thandi believes that children should not be burdened with such information.

Bongani finds it very difficult to deal with the death of his mother. Thandi tries to shield Bongani from the funeral, so she sends him away to Karen's house. Bongani is very unhappy about the move. Thandi's son Tebogo comes for the funeral. Tebogo convinces Thandi that it is important for Bongani to be part of his mother's funeral.

Bongani is incorporated into the preparation of his mother's funeral and he starts the healing process.

Episode 11

Message: Speak to your Health and Safety Rep, if you think your asthma is work related.

David is feeling rather despondent and unfulfilled by the work that he's doing at the clinic. An old, University friend of his, Ian Masterson has recently moved to Soul City, and opened up a bakery. Ian invites David to come to the bakery. David is rather impressed with progress Ian has made in this life since their University days. David is however not aware that Ian's relationship with his workers leaves a lot to be desired. Mxolisi one of Ian's employees is brought to the clinic after he has an asthma attack while working at the bakery. After talking to Mxolisi, David discovers that Mxolisi is afraid to report his condition at work, in fear of being fired.

David tries to help Mxolisi by talking to Ian about Mxolisi's illness. Ian avoids taking the blame for the poor working conditions of his employees by lying about Mxolisi.

Mxolisi is released from the hospital only to find that he's been fired. And accident happens at the bakery which leaves a few of Ian workers wounded and bruised, causing him to re-evaluate the Health And Safety standards at the bakery. Mxolisi gets his job back, and is moved to another division, where he his less likely to get an asthma attack.

Thandi and Bongani's relationship is better as they talk more about their feelings about Martha's death. Thandi is thinking of going back to school to finish off her matric. She however feels guilty about using the money for herself instead of Bongani. After a great deal of thought, Bongani makes a deal with her and tells he thinks its best if she does go back to school. Thandi is thrilled.

Episode 12

Message: Men can be carers of children too:

Tuko bumps into Neo, and old schoolmate of his.

Neo and Tuko decide to be business partners, with Tuko being the distributor and Neo the supplier of the music merchandise. Neo is the eldest son in a single parent home. His mother is ill and bed ridden.

Monge is the eldest girl in Neo's family and is often left to take care of the home since she is the only female left in the home. In talking to her, Tuko discovers how frustrated she gets at the fact that her brother sees it as her obligation to take care of the home.

Neo believes that he is to be taken care off, since he is the "man" in the home, now that his father has past away.

Tuko draws a parallel with the way his father treats his mother and the way Neo treats Monge. Tuko realizes that he too can help out in his own home without feeling less of a man.

This family already collects the child-care grant for the two children who are under 7 years.

Episode 13

Message: If you have skills, share them with others who want to learn.
Tryphina, Ayanda's mother comes to town and causes a riot. Everyone she encounters likes her. Her flamboyant charm is irresistible. Ayanda is

embarrassed by her mother's unsophisticated nature. Ayanda goes through a journey of self discover, and learns that she need not be embarrassed by her mother's lack of education, rather she should try to teach her mother what she knows. Ayanda helps Sol out with the First Aid classes, and suggests that the classes be opened up to mothers too, not just home based caregivers.

Sandile Nyako, a journalist from Soul City times, comes to the clinic to do a story on the clinic.

Karen teaches Nomfundo to use spreadsheets.

Baba-D insists on going for the driving test one more time. This time around he does well and is rewarded with a driver's license.

A final farewell is held for Karen at the clinic.