New etv drama Matatiele made its much anticipated debut on South African television on 7 April 2015.
The show boasts a cast that includes talented veterans like Charmaine Dini Mtinti, Amanda Quwe, Motshabi Tyelele, Mike Mvelase and Mothusi Chebeletsane.
New stars Solomon Sebothoma and Zimkitha Kumbaca play the lead roles starring as Lefa and Nontle respectively.
The 26-part drama is based in the small town of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape. The story presents a modern-day love story set against the backdrop of a long-standing family feud between the Sangqus, a Xhosa family and the Sotho’s Monaheng family.
The families have been at loggerheads as far back as the iMfecane warfare in the 1800s among indigenous ethnic communities. Nontu Sangqu and Lefa Monaheng meet and fall in love. Their forbidden love affair plays out in the backdrop of cascading hills and deep valleys of Matatiele, cloaked in secrecy.
Social media was abuzz on the night of its debut with Ashes to Ashes actress Maggie Benedict tweeting: “Nicccceeee @RolieNikiwe! Blerry Nice!!! #Matatiele”
Zikhona Sodlaka said: “#Matatiele finally, a great show. Ndonwabile (I am happy).”
The show is the first project under the banner of Rolie Nikiwe, an acclaimed filmmaker’s , own label Branded Soul.
“This is an exciting narrative that will capture the imagination and hearts of South Africans. I am very excited to be at the helm of what promises to be a ground-breaking project. It is also the first drama to be set and shot in Matatiele, with incredible community involvement. It is a project that even I am in awe of,” said Nikiwe.
Matatiele airs on etv every Tuesday at 9pm.