The makers of Africa's third original series, "Jiva". Picture: Netflix
The makers of Africa's third original series, "Jiva". Picture: Netflix

Netflix is back with 'Jiva', its third African original series

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Jul 6, 2020

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Netflix has its third African original series "Jiva"  in the pipeline and it has Busisiwe Ntintili of The Ntintili Factory as the creator, showrunner and executive producer.  

The veteran filmmaker has been in the industry for over 20-years.

"Jiva" is a drama-series about a 25-year-old woman who does a job she doesn’t enjoy to support her family. She has a passion for dancing, and when an opportunity arises, she seizes it with both hands.

This series follows "Queen Sono" and "Blood & Water", both of which have been renewed for a second season. It stars Noxolo Dlamini, who plays Ntombi, the protagonist. 

The series features other familiar faces such as Bontle Modiselle, who is part of Ntombi’s dance group and Given Stuurman, who plays Ntombi’s brother.

Noxolo Dlamini, the lead actress who plays the role of Ntombi on Jiva. Picture: Instagram/@noxi_fitnessfun. 

Ntintili tells us about the challenges they faced since the lockdown started and how it affected their production.

“We started shooting in February this year, and then Covid-19 came to South Africa, and we had to shut down. We’ve been in quarantine, and it has been difficult because once you get into the momentum of shooting and you stop, you lose the energy. 

So everyone has been at home, and we’ve been trying to keep up with the energy so that when we come back, we can still be at that same level, or even higher. 

"The girls have been dancing at home, working out with the coaches and choreographers and this pandemic also gave us time to look at the script again because we never have time when we’re shooting,” said Ntintili.

On what she wants the audience to learn from this series, Ntintili said: “I want them to feel joy, it’s a story about a lady following her dreams, and whether you’re a dancer or what to start your fashion line or you dream of buying a farm, it’s about having that courage to take a chance on yourself. 

"So I think the show is universal, I hope when people watch they can be inspired, can look at their own lives and find hope and inspiration but also have fun. The dancing is out of this world, and I can’t wait for us to showcase our South African dope dancing to the world.”

The release date for "Jiva" has not yet been announced. However, Ntintili is confident that they will start shooting as soon as it is safe to do so as many productions are back at work.

Busisiwe Ntintili, the the creator, showrunner and executive producer of Jiva. Picture: Supplied. 

Ntintili was born in Mthatha but grew up in America where she completed her education after her parents went to exile in 1980. Her passion for film started at a very young age as she would write short stories when she was still in primary school. 

When she reached her teen years, she got into theatre, and by the time Ntintili finished high school, she already knew that she wanted to get into film. She then studied  

English literature and film studies in New Jersey and then moved back to South Africa. She got her big break in the early 2000s when she was appointed as a writer for "Isidingo"after having worked for "Big Brother".

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