The River stars seasoned actress Sindi Dlathu in the lead role as Lindiwe Dlamini, a part that was written for her by the executive producers as a tough as nails mining magnate, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
The show sees two different but interdependent worlds collide in spectacular fashion. One side of the river is populated by society’s upper crust in exquisite mansions who will go to any lengths to maintain their wealth. The other world is inhabited by the exploited common folk who constantly toil and have little to show for it.
Others characters include Hlomla Dandala as Zweli, Lawrence Maleka as Zolani, Don Mlangeni as Thato, and Moshidi Motshegwa as Malefu.
“In my perspective, the show is about the situation our country is in right now. It’s about the haves and the have-nots. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. The rich steal from the poor and they’ll do whatever it takes to stay on top.
"The show follows the lives of characters who are brought together and divided by a diamond discovery in Cullinan, which is just outside Pretoria,” Dlathu said.
She said her character, Lindiwe, came from a hard life, so she learnt from an early age that the world is not for the weak or those who feel sorry for themselves.
“She hardly allows herself to be vulnerable, but when she does, it’s usually for her children. She’s a femme fatale who will stop at nothing to get what she wants,” she said.
The actress said she enjoyed playing Lindiwe as she’s such an imperfect person in the perfect world she has created for herself, and she has to constantly strive to stay on top.
“The show intrigued me. The creators of the show, Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon, are two gentlemen I’m very familiar with. We worked together on Muvhango many years ago and I’ve always admired their storytelling talents and their work ethic.
“The space that Lindiwe finds herself in means that she can never rest on her laurels. Of course, the fact that I’m on the same show as consummate actors such as Tinah Mnumzane, Hlomla Dandala, Moshidi Motshegwa and many other amazing people is just a bonus,” she said.
Some of the themes that the show brings to light is that of greed, hunger for power and sacrifice.
Dlathu said leaving Muvhango was a difficult decision to make, but once she got on the set of The River, she just immersed herself in the character.
“There really wasn’t a lot of time for preparation because the schedule was hectic. I’m a method actor, so it meant really diving into it.
“Leaving Muvhango was difficult. That had become my home, and Duma had been my mentor for as long as I can remember.
“When you’ve been on a show for that long, everyone becomes family - you’re not just colleagues. Things that happen to your fellow cast and crew members affect you. But for me, all of this happened at the right time when I was ready for change and growth,” she said.
Dlathu said everyone should catch this uniquely South African story.
“It has a storyline with twists and turns for days and a wide variety of talented actors and actresses.
“Also, I love the way more and more young black people are being given the chance to tell their own stories; stories that affect us to this day. I think that broadcasters are being more open-minded to investing in young talent. I look forward, though, to a time when creatives will be able to own their intellectual property,” she said.
* Watch Sindi Dlathu on The River on 1Magic (DStv 103) on weekdays at 8pm.