PrimeTime: 'Grassroots' is an important coming of age story

The Debeza Family: Luzuko Nkqeto, Lihleli Tini and Zikhona Sodlaka PICTURE: SUPPLIED

The Debeza Family: Luzuko Nkqeto, Lihleli Tini and Zikhona Sodlaka PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Published Aug 18, 2019


Some of my favourite shows are returning this month: "The Good Fight", "Suits", "Succession" and also the "Suits" spin-off, Pearson, starring Gina Torres. I’m excited, while also wondering how I’m going to manage in to my already-packed TV watching schedule. 

But before they all return and take over my life, I’d like to introduce you to a show that I haven’t missed an episode of.

Grassroots is a new drama series from Clive Morris Productions airing on 1Magic on Fridays at 7.30pm. It’s a story about two families, the Nalas and the Debezas and their battle for chieftaincy in their Eastern Cape Village. It plays out mostly between their sons, Monwabisi and Asanda. 

Not only are they rivals, thanks to their families, but also compete heavily in sport and love. They both wanted the rugby scholarship to get in to the fictional St Sebastians, a top rugby school in Joburg. The boys are also in love with the same girl, even though she has made her choice of who she wants. 

This increases the hatred they have for each other and it’s made worse when the pair turn up at the school and find themselves having to share a room. This builds up the tension between them, especially because there’s a lot of secrets they both have about their families. 

Lihleli Tini as Asanda Debeza in Grassroots


They also have to deal with the pressures of following their dreams, while  having to do what their families expect of them. 

The show boasts an all-star cast of Zikhona Sodlaka, Justin Strydom, Luzuko Nkqeto, Sibulele Gcilitshana, Lerato Mvelase, with Oros Mampofu and Lihleli Tini as the leads; Monwabisi and Asanda, respectively. 

It’s a new story that we can relate to. We all are aware how many black men have to choose between their chosen career and duty to the family. 

Oros Mampofu as Monwabisi Nala


They also have to follow their strict cultural rituals, which at times will come at the cost of following their dreams and  personal beliefs. 

Add the family secrets; the love triangle and the lengths parents would go to protect their children, it all makes for riveting TV. The only thing Monwabisi and Asanda have total control over is rugby and even then that may not be enough. 

The side story of the black female principal in a storied boys only boarding school is also an interesting one and I look forward to see how they go about dismantling the system and bringing in diversity in the school.  

Grassroots also streams on Showmax.

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