This time the award-winning actress and director is back in the second season of Lockdown as the no-nonsense, domineering and ruthless Deborah Banda, a prison governor at Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Service.
It is a worthy addition for the country’s groundbreaking prison drama whose cast is a combination of upcoming talent and seasoned actresses.
Lockdown has scored firsts as a drama about prison life and women. An exceptionally talented cast brings depth, authenticity and substance to the prison experience.
While most public servants wear their work uniforms with pride, Banda seems to wear hers with a vengeance.
She is out to settle scores with potential rivals and whip subordinates into line.
One of those who is likely to pose a threat to her authority is Beauty Moeletsi (Slindile Nodangala), the former prison governor who is obviously disgruntled at the power shift at South Africa toughest correctional facility.
Nodangala is another mercurial talent whose acting skills became evident at Generations where she played the role of no-nonsense shebeen queen and entertainer, Ruby Dikobe.
Another character who has been relegated to an underdog role in this season is Sharon Zulu (Lindiwe Ndlovu), a former right hand of the scheming Moeletsi.
Zulu has swopped her proud khaki-and-green prison warder uniform for the blue overalls of the inmates following an ignominious arrest for corrupt activities.
And time will tell before we witness a collision between the new governor and hardened inmates such as Zandile Mkhwanazi, alias MaZet (Thandeka Dawn King) and Maki Magwaza (Linda Sebezo). The latter is reputed to be the most dangerous prisoner in the country.
Nomvete’s tell-all autobiography, Dancing to the Beat of the Drum (2014) reflects on her Generations years and an abusive relationship at the hands of Zimbabwean-born ex-husband, Collins Marimbe.
She subsequently returned to the UK to pick up the pieces and start again, worked with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, among others and starred in Coronation Street, the longest-running soapie on British TV.
She even directed a play and landed a role as Leah Tutu in Forest Whitaker’s The Archbishop and the Antichrist (2017), based on Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s role at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The return of the super-bitch is welcome news indeed.
* Lockdown 2 airs on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) on Mondays at 8pm.