A unique 13 part drama series has joined the new SABC 3 lineup since last week.
Thula’s Vine explores the story of Thula’s journey from a successful urban celebrity that encounters a fall from grace, and returns to her roots to discover a passion for her birthright.
The show explores theme such as land ownership, sibling rivalry, parent and children struggling to understand each other, family feuds, romance, betrayal, mystery and drama.
“It’s got a bit of everything for everyone, and viewers will be able to identify with it. I think we definitely tried to portray the themes as honestly and as sensitively possible. I am hoping viewers are moved by the characters and their relationships regardless of how they might feel. I want our audiences to feel something, love them or hate them,” said lead character, Renata Stuurman who plays Thula.
Other actors include Sivan Raphaely as Patrica, Wandile Molebatsi as Nkanyezi, Connie Chume as Nothando, Nandi Nyembe as Ntombi, Martin Le Maitre as Gerard, Mary-Anne Barlow as Susanne, Emmanuel Castis as Jaco, Bontle Modiselle, Lindy and Yule Masiteng as Uncle Boy.
“Working with actors like Nandi Nyembe, Connie Chuime and Yule Masiteng was like having a master class every day by some of South Africa's most legendary talents. It was an incredible experience to observe them and work with them,” said Stuurman.
In Thula’s Vine, we will see the charming well-known radio personality, Thula living the high in Jozi, until she is caught having an affair with a well-regarded, married politician.
She then flees to her rural farm home to escape the escalating media scandal.
We learn that the owner of the farm, a white man, was her father, who had an affair with a local black woman and became pregnant with Thula. After many years of being away from home, Thula is now forced to face her estranged relationships with her older white sister, her activist black brother and her biological black mother. To make matters worse, Thula learns that her older sister is planning on selling the family farm where she grew up and her older black brother is fighting the sale, claiming that the land belongs to the black community. A bitter battle ensues between the farm owners and labourers and Thula is put in a difficult position of having to choose one side of her family over the other.
“As an actor I'm always drawn to complex, flawed characters and relationships and I think Thula's Vine offers this especially due to the family dynamics in the story. The challenge for me is always trying to be as honest as possible when telling a story and Thula's Vine was no different. It’s a story that has been beautifully told by Busisiwe Ntintili, the head writer and the challenge is always to do it justice and engage the audience. As with any good drama, it's the relationships the audience will relate to most. Family relationships are a topic anyone can relate to, mother-daughter, sibling rivalry are all themes we're familiar with from our own lives,” she said.
The production also features a sterling crew which includes South African talent such as Mmabatho Montsho, Que Ntuli and Sello Letsatsi as directors, Tiyane Nyembe and Gaopie Kabe as director of photography and Megan Firth as line producer. Together they have rallied a formidable team so that the story could be told.