South African shows have a secret weapon when it comes to mom characters that get people talking: the worse they are, the more entertaining they can be! Like these mothers, whose crimes range from being drunk in public, to murder and running a drug empire. Mzansi, these are the bad-ass moms we love to hate on TV!
Dawn Thandeka King is fiercer than a rabid tiger in the middle of a feeding frenzy. She’s a murderous gangster crime queen who marries actual hardcore hijacking gangsters and makes them look limper than a spaghetti noodle.
She’s got a heart, make no mistake about that. But she doesn’t mind pointing guns, doing drug deals and hiding murders if it means that she (and her children) are safe from harm’s way. The more you get to know MaNgcobo, the more you realise that a mother with anger issues, a temper and the means to protect her family is the very last person you want to cross swords with.
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Zodwa (Sana Mchunu)
Zodwa is Teddy’s alcoholic mom. When we say alcoholic, we mean she would drink 24/7 if she could. Her boozing is so bad that Teddy has been taken away from her and now lives with a foster family who are trying to give the teenager a normal life.
Not that Zodwa allows it – she’s done everything from arriving at his school unannounced screaming out his name, to actually arriving at his foster home and holding a knife to his foster brother’s throat. Zodwa is the worst of the worst – but a fan favourite for sure. Viewers absolutely love the character.
MamSonto (Connie Chiume)
Then there’s also MamSonto. MamSonto, who’s not telling her daughter Thathi that her thugs hijacked Thathi’s husband and murdered him, leaving Thathi penniless, under investigation for fraud, being forced out of their Sandton mansion and having to live in the township again.
Shame, MamSonto doesn’t even bat an eyelash when the detectives arrive to question Thathi. She plays the sad, supportive mom role perfectly, reassuring her daughter that those criminals will be caught while at the same time knowing full well that they’re in her employ.
Sindi Dlathu turned heads when the soapie first aired, going from previous understated roles to a poisonous businesswoman who bludgeoned a man to death to steal his diamond.
That’s just the start of her mad-bad-mom act. She’s lied to her husband and children. She’s stolen from the poorest of the poor. She’s made illegal business deals. She has made sure that she comes first, and if there are any scraps left over, she still has the first option.
And if you think that’s bad, you know that girl Itumeleng on the show? That was the daughter she threw away as a newborn, then tried to murder, then bury alive. Nice one, Mom – it’s no wonder you were awarded a SAFTA for your performance on the show.
Connie Ferguson’s most ruthless character is also one with a very divided fan base. Some see her as a caring mother who would do anything for her babies – including murder. Others see her as a violent criminal who thinks nothing of dealing drugs to children as long as it puts money in her pockets and keeps the designer fashion filling her wardrobes.
If Harriet Khoza was an animal, she’d be a combination of a black widow spider with a bright red warning sign flashing above her head, and a black mamba snake, hissing and ready to inject deadline venom into anyone who threatens her.