The Story Overview

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 was pregnant 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 and he has no idea that they are not his biological parents.

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.

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. 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.

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.

In another thread of the story, Masakhane Clinic gets two new nurses since Dr Francis has left. The two nurses are Sonto and Zama. Sonto doesn’t look very well and is always tired. Bettina has been getting abnormal cramps and decides to go for an examination with Dr Seleke the gynaecologist; she is worried that her symptoms point to cancer of the cervix. Bettina goes for a coloscopy which reveals a growth of abnormal cells in her cervix.

Bettina catches Sonto sleeping on the job and confronts her and she tells her that she has just started taking anti-retrovirals and she is suffering from the side effects. Bettina gets her results and they confirm that she indeed has cancer of the cervix. She starts a campaign encouraging women to do pap smears for free at the clinic. Sonto asks Sol to tell her colleagues that she is HIV positive. Zama shouts out that Sonto is HIV positive when Sonto tries to perform mouth-to-mouth on a child that drowned. Zama has a disciplinary hearing and admits to Sol that she is uncomfortable about HIV since her ex-boyfriend passed away from AIDS and she is not sure of her HIV status.

In another story Khwezi starts school at the Soul City Primary School. When Zandi fetches Khwezi from school, Khwezi tells her that someone in her class has been stealing her lunch. Khwezi’s teacher catches Nomandla stealing Khwezi’s lunch and Nomandla gets detention. When Zandi hears that Nomandla stole the food because she was hungry she takes pity on the girl and decides to pack an extra lunch every day for her.

Zandi learns that Nomandla has not been coming to school and goes to her shack in the informal settlement to find out why. She discovers Nomandla is an orphan and is living in poverty with her grandmother and baby sister. Zandi promises to help sort out a child support grant for the grandmother.

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. Zandi gets a boyfriend, Dumisani, but after discovering that she’s HIV positive he breaks up with her. Eventually he asks Zandi to take him back since he has strong feelings for her.

Conny’s relationship with Tshepo is still going strong. Tshepo, goes for an HIV test even though they have always practised safe sex. Conny accompanies him and has mixed feelings when it turns out he is HIV negative. 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. Nomandla’s grandmother passes away and Nomfundo takes Nomandla and her sister in. Conny and Tshepo become attached to the two little girls. After the gogo’s funeral they discuss the possibility of adopting them.

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