Zimele Phakade's family on Imbewu: The Seed Back from left: Nokubonga Khuzwayo, Nqobile Ndlovu, Mpumelelo Bhulose, Xolani Mfeka and Rafael Griffiths Front: Thembi Mtshali-Jones and Leleti Khumalo PICTURE: Supplied

Deception is a major theme of e.tv’s new daily drama, Imbewu: The Seed and it plays out almost immediately on the first episode of the show. But at the end of the episode you will once again get a reminder that there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed.

The series kicks off introducing the Bhengu family. The poor brother, Phakade (Sandile Dlamini) who also happens to be a preacher and still stays in rural Umbumbulu; the rich brother, Zimele (Mpumelelo Bhulose) who is a successful businessman and lives in a palatial home in Umlazi. We also meet their families and also the matriarch, MaNdlovu, played by Thembi Mtshali-Jones.


Leleti Khumalo’s character, MaZulu, married to Zimele has a big secret that only she, MaNdlovu and Phakade know about and that secret is what the show is anchored on. It doesn’t take too long before we are shown the backstory and essentially let in on the secret.

The ramifications of this secret have finally come calling and there’s now a dilemma- will the Bhengu family be able to handle the fallout that’s sure to come?

While the core storyline is about secrets, the secondary storylines are pretty simple. Zimele has different relationships with his two sons- one being the favourite who can do no wrong in his Zimele’s eyes and the other the misunderstood, almost black sheep of the family who also happens to be outspoken and aware that he and his father do not get along. Then there’s the last born, Buhle, who is the apple of her father's eye. She’s the catalyst for all the drama.

Not much is known about Phakade’s family, except for one of his daughter’s being excited about becoming a preacher, like her father. And Phakade? Well, he also has a lot to deal with and is caught between his faith and his family duty, a trope I expect to be used a lot on this show.

The show looks expensive. The set certainly shows this and the art director clearly had fun with designing the look and feel of the show, especially when it comes to Zimele’s home and office and the Rampersad home.

Imbewu: The Seed has a lot riding on it, especially because it’s a show that’s created by Duma kaNdlovu, is co-produced by Anant Singh and Leleti Khumalo and it’s set in KwaZulu-Natal, which is rare for TV shows. It’s the second TV drama to be shot in Durban, after SABC 1’s Uzalo, which also happens to be created by kaNdlovu. The expectations are very high.

So will it deliver? The show has potential to be gripping, thanks to it being on the 9.30pm time slot, which is where e.tv puts its hard hitting shows, as seen with Umlilo and last year’s Harvest. It’s sometimes difficult to judge whether a show will work or not, based on the first episode. However the cliffhanger more than made me ready to tune into the next episode, which I probably will be doing.

Catch Imbewu: The Seed on e.tv, weekdays at 9.30pm