Soul City Episode Synopses

A breakdown of each episode.

Episode One

The series begins with Jabu coming out of prison after serving eighteen years for armed robbery and he moves into a halfway house for ex-convicts. He goes looking for Eunice his girlfriend who had a baby boy when he went to prison, only to discover that Eunice passed away sixteen years ago and his son Mandla is in matric. Mandla was brought up by Lihle and Tifo, Eunice’s brother and he has no idea that they are not his biological parents.

Episode Two

Jabu confronts Tifo about his son and since there is bad blood between the two men Tifo doesn’t want anything to do with Jabu. Lihle discovers that Jabu is out of prison and suggests that they tell Mandla about his real parents. When Mandla is told, he is very upset, confused and runs away from home. When he comes back he requests to meet his biological father.

Episode Three

Nomfundo organises a concert at Mandla’s school and Mandla’s band plans to perform. His parents Tifo and Lihle are not aware of this and he knows that Tifo wouldn’t approve. Mandla invites Jabu to the concert which makes Tifo very unhappy. As the night goes by and Mandla’s band performs, Tifo is furious and cannot believe his son is part of a kwaito band. Tifo shouts at Mandla and hits him. Mandla packs his bags and goes to stay with Jabu. Since Jabu is staying at the halfway house he can’t afford to look after Mandla and asks him to go back home.

Episode Four

Jabu is offered a job to teach the saxophone at school. Ms Kwena discovers that Jabu was in prison and she asks Jabu to give a talk to the learners on the pitfalls of a life of crime. Jabu gives a passionate speech about his past on how he lost his loved ones through crime, disclosing publicly about his past and Tifo is furious. At the school parents are involved in helping and Tifo accuses Jabu of stealing his cellphone. Jabu has had enough of Tifo and leaves town.

Episode Five

Mandla gets sick and the doctor tells the family that he is having renal failure and he needs to get a kidney transplant. The family tests and they are not a match Tifo has to go look for Jabu. Jabu turns out to be a match and the kidney transplant is done successfully. The relationship between Mandla, Tifo and Jabu is then greatly improved.

Episode Six

Mandla packs a bag and leaves home, hoping to be taken in by Jabu. Jabu confronts Tifo, asking why he hit Mandla. Jabu tells Mandla he doesn’t have the means to support him, that he’d be better off returning home. Bettina returns to work and finds out the clinic has run out of pap smear test kits. She enlists the support of Tinyiko, the chairperson of the clinic committee, to secure supplies from the hospital. Sonto, who is feeling much stronger and no longer suffering side-effects from the ARVs, asks Bettina to redeploy her full-time to nursing. Zandi, moved by the plight of little Nomandla, gets Mavis Dube to talk to the primary school governing body about schools as centres of care, suggesting they start a feeding scheme.

Episode Seven

Jabu calls Mandla to tell him he’s been offered a job teaching saxophone at the school. Ms Kwena asks Jabu to give a talk to the learners on the pitfalls of a life of crime and Tifo is furious. Sonto preforms a mouth-to-mouth to an unconscious child who is brought into the clinic after a drowning accident. Zama stops her, loudly disclosing Sonto’s HIV status to everyone in the waiting room, claiming Sonto will infect the child with the virus. Conny, Zandi and another parent, Nasrin, initiate the primary school feeding scheme, but some children are reluctant to make use of it because of the stigma attached to poverty. Mandla is having recurring headaches and Lihle is becoming worried about his health.

Episode Eight

Zama attends a disciplinary hearing at the clinic but shows no remorse when charged with discrimination and breach of confidentiality and respect. The feeding scheme is starting to pick up and more and more learners are making use of it. A new volunteer, Dumisani, who has joined the team, asks Zandi out on a date. Tshepo, Conny’s boyfriend, decides to go for an HIV test even though they have always practiced safe sex. Conny accompanies him and has mixed feelings when it turns out he is HIV negative.

Episode Nine

Jabu accuses Tifo for stealing his cellphone. Jabu is deeply hurt by the accusation and a huge argument ensues, almost ending in blows. Mandla is in bed, ill with another headache, when Tifo arrives home and informs Lihle that Jabu stole his phone. Lihle takes Mandla to the clinic where he is diagnosed with a kidney infection and given treatment. Jabu gives Mandla the saxophone and tells him he has to go away. Mandla is devastated and confused. Conny becomes increasingly insecure about Tshepo and considers breaking up with him. Tshepo reassures her of his commitment to the relationship and asks if she will meet his parents.

Episode Ten

Mandla’s kidney infection takes a turn for the worse. He is rushed to the hospital where he undergoes a series of tests, all pointing to end stage renal failure. Sol goes to Zama to have his blood taken to check his CD4 count. The result confirms that it’s time for him to consider taking anti-retrovirals. Conny calls Tshepo and tells him she no longer wants to meet his parents. Tshepo comes over to the diner and confronts Conny.

Episode Eleven

Tifo asks Mandla how he would feel about Jabu being a potential donor. Mandla is obviously keen on the idea but Tifo doesn’t know how to get hold of Jabu. Zandi’s brief romance with Dumisani is short-lived once he learns that she is HIV positive. Tshepo and Conny patch up their relationship. Zama goes to Sol and tells him she wants to have an HIV test. They discuss the implications and Zama reveals her deep-seated issues around losing her first love.

Episode Twelve

Tissue cross-matching and blood tests conclude Jabu is a suitable donor and transplant surgery is planned for the end of the week. Jabu expresses his fears about the upcoming surgery and Dr Groenewald sets up a meeting between Mandla and Jabu and a mother and daughter who have successfully gone through the same procedure. Dumisani has had a rethink about Zandi and asks if she will accept him back into the feeding scheme - clearly, he has strong feelings for her. Zandi gives him a second chance. Sol is very touched when Sonto gives him a pill box for his anti-retrovirals medication. He begins treatment and asks Sonto out for dinner at Zandi’s.

Episode Thirteen

Transplant surgery goes well and Mandla now feels there will always be a part of Jabu within him. Nomandla’s grandmother passes away and Zandi takes Nomandla and her baby sister in and promises to look after them while the Department of Social Services search for suitable foster parents. Conny and Tshepo become attached to the two little girls. After the gogo’s funeral they discuss the possibility of adopting them. For the first time, Tifo publicly admits that Mandla is Jabu’s son.