Tjovitjo Teasers September 2017 – Upcoming SABC1 drama series ‘Tjovitjo’ teasers , previews, updates, episodes, highlights and spoilers for September 2017

Sunday September 2017

A seemingly misfit rural boy relocates into an urban slum community on the outskirts of Johannesburg in search of fortunes.

Be sure to tune into Tjovitjo@ 8pm every, Monday on SABC 1 at 20:00.

You've seen the promos on TV, you've heard rumblings about it but what is SABC1's new Sunday night drama Tjovitjo?

It premieres on Sunday, 20 August at 20h00 so it's taking on Mzansi Magic's Sunday night drama iNumber Number, which has its roots on SABC1.

What impact is Tjovitjo going to have on the ratings? What is it about? TVSA spoke to the person closest to the show to bring you the inside scoop - the person whose eye was through the lens, series director Vincent Moloi of Puo Pha Productions:

 Please can you tell us about the scenario of the show?

It's a story of a low life dance group leader named Mafred, played by Warren Masemola, who has a dream to lead the biggest pantsula dance troupe ever. But he is slowly realising he is losing power. He no longer has the same kind of agility he used to have.

From a distance, he can see his dream disappearing and frustration mounts. And it leads to him to develop an explosive and irrational behaviour, which often costs his dance group Tjovitjo.

And when a new person arrives in this community of Tjovitjo, and starts developing feelings for a girl Mafred is also eyeing, it makes matters worse for Mafred. And this sets us on a love triangle conflict.

Tjovitjo refers to the celebratory whistle of pantsula dancers.

Who are the starring cast?

Vincent: It's a combination of known cast and those who have never acted before, let alone been on TV. But we feel equally privileged to be working with them.

I'll mention a few.... Warren Masemola plays Mafred, Lali Dangazele plays Mandisa, Soso Rungqu plays Kopano (who is at the centre of the love triangle), Rapulana Seiphemo plays Bra Terror, Sibulele Gcilitshana plays Queen, Harriet Manamela plays Ausi Tshidi, Ntosh Madlingozi plays Rev Mabusa and Hlengiwe Lushaba plays Mmapaseka.

We are particularly excited to give new faces a platform to show their talent on this show like Jabulile Mhlambi who plays Thandeka, Sithembiso Makhanya who plays Madamo, Victor Mohale who plays Virus, Charles Mafafane who plays Slender, Thandeka Motha who plays Deka, Lebo Tsoari who plays Maskhozi and lastly Tebogo Chauke, who is our main choreographer for the show and plays the character of Schoolboy.

The pantsula dancers (from left to right): Molefe Mochubi, Tebogo Chauke, Charles Mafafane and Lebogang Tsoari (against the wall), Thandeka Zinhle Motha and Sithembiso Makhanya.

The series is executively produced by Lodi Matsetela, who co-owns Puo Pha Productions with Vincent.

 Where is it filmed?

 We shot it in Crown Mines on the outskirts of Johannesburg in what was the mine's top level managers' housing complex built around 1904. But now it's an almost forgotten and dilapidated neighbourhood so the old English architecture still stands.

Music is a big part of the show - as important as the dancing. Producer and muso Oskido has compiled the music which represents young people from different generations.

There are 26 episodes in total. Each episode is 30 minutes.

How did the location impact on your directing?

Our location has a rich gritty texture. It presented the kind of aesthetic sophistication and cinematic language I have been dying to show on South African television as a director. It provided me with an opportunity to produce the kind of acclaimed work we, as Puo Pha Productions, set to do. It's nothing like what you have seen before.

You would think it's a location in Mozambique, Peru or anywhere in the world really, but not Johannesburg. It shows a combination of a faded glory of the past, and current desperation of a community living on the margins of society.

The series is written by Vincent, Pule Hlatshwayo and Onthatile Matshidiso. The theme tune and accompanying music is composed by film composer Zethu Mashika.

What themes did you want to highlight as the director?

The show deals with many themes that are current in our society but one I want to highlight is the violence of poverty. It is so obvious for all of us to see, yet we go on as if it's business as usual.

And slowly, this violence of poverty eats our young and it pushes our society into a desperate situation where logic and morals don't apply anymore but survival comes first.

Newcomer Jabulile Mhlambi as Thandeka.

What techniques did you use to highlight them?

The simple need for food. We use the presence of food or lack of food to show the status of each character in this community. And how young people are forced to be parents at an early age.

But in all of this, dance brings about harmony and neutralises the desperation. And it is when dance is threatened we understand the existence of this community is threatened. Which somehow makes a point about the need to celebrate our culture and what is unique to us South Africans. And that is what we, as Puo Pha, are about.
The SABC and Puo Pha Productions have a licensing deal for the show. This means that Puo Pha has made the series with their own finances and the SABC is buying it as a complete entity.
It also means that the intellectual property rights for the series remain with Puo Pha, who aim to sell it internationally. 

 What was the biggest directing challenge?

There were many but I'll keep to two, for now.

The first is we have a kick-ass ensemble cast that we feel humbled that they came on board. We can't thank them enough really. They're true artists who take their work very seriously because that's who they are.

And then we have another level of cast - many of them have never acted before, let alone been on TV. They are actual pantsula dancers we took through acting classes for over a year in collaboration with the Plat4orm, because it is also Puo Pha's philosophy to develop talent and nurture it.

So the directing challenge comes when you give directorial notes to someone like Rapulana Seiphemo and Charles Mafafane at the same time. These two are miles apart with regards to acting experience and talent. So you have to constantly switch your directing approach all the time. It's safe to say it forced me to have two characters of myself. And at times I just had to find a middle ground.

The second challenge is that SABC1 has entrusted us by agreeing to a licensing deal. This allows us a significant creative and editorial control. But you must then deliver an even better quality show because of the very fact that a leading channel like SABC1 has shown confidence in you.

So I won't lie, the pressure to make Tjovitjo exceptional was huge. But that's what we wanted, and we must live up to it.

Tjovitjo takes on iNumber Number on SABC1 from Sunday, 20 August at 20h00.