Xitsonga web series Mafanato only has 12-minute episodes, but they’re delightfully entertaining! Whether it’s lies and love, or murder and intrigue, the characters will keep you glued to your small screen as life at the riverside lodge plays out, one wild scene at a time.
Here’s a who’s who and a reminder of where you know the Mafanato stars from.
Mafanato (Mathabo Bila)
Mafanato is the core character. She’s newly divorced and living her best life now that she’s free. But she’s also got a couple of ghosts from her past that she’d prefer to keep hidden in the closet.
Where you know Mathabo from
Mathabo played Khensani in single-season telenovela Giyani: Land Of Blood. She didn’t need to learn Xitsonga for the show, saying that “what people don’t know is that my mother is Tsonga and my father was Sotho, so we spoke both languages at home.” She was also the writer and producer of 2016 short-format drama To Ike.
Percy (Fumani Shilubana)
Percy is Mafanato’s fiancé who doesn’t know what to say when Mafanato’s mom ruins the wedding and drags his bride off the altar. Perhaps he should’ve asked for permission to marry his bride and paid the suitable lobola before throwing together this swanky wedding event. Percy also has a couple of secrets.
Where you know Fumani from
Fumani has acted in many shows, where he usually plays a character of substance and stature. He was Detective Maswanganyi in Bone Of My Bones, the mayor in comedy series Ga Re Dumele, Dr Mokhethi on Generations, Detective Nathaniel Seboko in Hillside, and an investor in The Mayor.
Sphamandla (Mandla Gaduka)
Sphamandla comes across as the kind of guy who tries to be overly nice to everyone. But behind that façade lurks someone with a far more sinister agenda and it’s one that involves Mafanato. Like when he smiles from ear to ear and tells Mafanato, “Why are you not responding to my texts?” That’s enough to tell you what kind of man he is.
Where you know Mandla from
Mandla acted in dramedy series Gauteng Maboneng as Solomon, Choppa on soapie Generations, Damian on telenovela Ashes To Ashes, as well as himself as a celeb guest on reality game show Red Cake – Not The Cooking Show. Mandla also showed off his dance moves in Season 1 of game show Dance Your Butt Off.
Maureen (Siyasanga Papu)
Maureen is the trouble that’s about to blow up Mafanato and Percy’s happy wedding. She’s still married to Percy… and she’s carrying their baby daughter on her hip. Maureen is sassy and filled with attitude, but she’s also got a venomous bite to match her rage at her husband’s cheating ways. To say that she doesn’t like Mafanato is an understatement.
Where you know Siyasanga from
Siyasanga currently plays troubled sister Pretty on Mzansi Magic’s break-out hit show Gomora. Pretty is the kind of troublemaker you love to hate and viewers sit waiting to see what she’s going to do in each episode. She’s also had roles on soapies as Fezeka on Isibaya, Portia on Rhythm City and Lena on Saints And Sinners.
Ntombi (Koketso Mojela)
Ntombi is Mafanato’s bestie and maid of honour at her intimate wedding. Try as she might, she struggles to contain the drama that her friend brings to her life.
Where you know Koketso from
Koketso’s only had three other main roles, as Zethu in dramedy 90 Plein Street, Khumo in drama Hillside, and Grace in Noah’s Ark. You may not remember from her big Hollywood role: as a sex worker in 2006 action thriller Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou.
Ted (Zigi Ndlhovu)
Ted is a flash, angry young man who doesn’t like being made a fool of. Especially when people are watching – like at Mafanato’s wedding, when his girlfriend gets down on bended knee and proposes to him after the bride is dragged off.
Where you know Zigi from
Zigi is no stranger to the entertainment business, mostly in dramas and soapies, like Mr Radebe in drama series Broken Vows and Sbu in cop thriller The Docket, as well as Phumudzo on Venda soap opera Muvhango.
Mafanato is now streaming on Showmax.