|Hamilton Dhlamini is the man at the centre of the new drama 'Umlilo' starring the three ladies Gcina Mkhize (L), Nomzamo Mbatha (back) and Nokuthula Ledwaba(R) Picture: Antoine de Ras|
It's a good story
We have always complained about how South African stories were not being told. We have so many great and unique stories and have highly capable writers, that every time we switched on the TV, we were disappointed with some of our dramas. Well that stops now. Umlilo is a damn good story, told in a riveting way that not only draws you in, but leaves you wanting more. '
High Production Values and Good Direction
It's a quality show. You can see very clearly that no cost was spared for this show to be produced and the viewers win. The location shoots, the house they are shooting in and the set itself- impressive. There is no substandard camera work and editing. It flows and the direction is great. There is a scene during the pilot, where Hamilton's character, Mnqobi, is talking about his wives and both are standing behind him. Nomzamo's character, Khwezi, slowly makes her way to join the wives, in a move that not only signifies her interest in being part of the family, but that she IS part of the family and one of his 'wives'. Clever.
Also, it's produced by Quizzical pictures who produce some of the best shows in the country, including Intersexions, The Lab, 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls and Swartwater. If that's not a great track record, we don't know what it.
They keep us guessing
Who is taking those pictures and why? Why is Mnqobi and his family being watched/stalked? Even though they do reveal WHO it is at the end, but we don't know why and who hired him. Now THAT is great story telling.
Polygamy is an accepted practice in the country. The President is a polygamist, so seeing a drama that fleshes that out, is very progressive. The dynamics between the wives, Cebisile and Dumile, are already very interesting. The main wife, Cebisile, is very controlling and likes Dumile to toe the line and not do whatever she wants without consultation, which of course plays them off against each other. Now with Khwezi getting into the picture, how is their relationship going to be like? Also, how do Mnqobi's children handle a polygamous father?
A Great Cast
One of the best things about the show is that it has an amazing cast. Gcina and Hamilton are revered performers, while Daniel Hadebe has proven his talent while on Scandal! Former Generations character, Thato Molamu is his fine Lothario self in this show and the relatively new faces, Nomzamo Mbatha and Omuhle Gela, also hold their own, especially Nomzamo. We are looking forward to see how the show will go on and we hope the storyline and the character development is on point.
We saw two Chevrolet vehicles on the show and that's a great move because it means it's so good, that a major vehicle company wants to get involved. We rarely see that in South African dramas, so it's a step in the right direction. Let this be the start of corporate SA getting behind local productions!
Interest piqued? Then tune into @etv at 9pm tonight.