Bonko Khoza on playing a serial killer in Red Ink

Bonko Khoza and Nqobile Nunu Khumalo star in the new thriller Red Ink on Showmax. Picture: Supplied.

Bonko Khoza and Nqobile Nunu Khumalo star in the new thriller Red Ink on Showmax. Picture: Supplied.

Published Mar 2, 2024


Following the success of his robust role as Mqhele on “The Wife”, Bonko Khoza returns as Napoleon Dingiswayo in the Showmax drama series “Red Ink”, adapted from Angela Makholwa-Moabelo’s best selling novel.

While his portrayal of Mqhele earned him a SAFTA, he has been praised as one of South Africa's top actors as continues to solidify his name on the entertainment industry.

Khoza who is also known as the ‘Butcher’, says viewers who gravitate towards crime thrillers and have an appetite for a thriller or horror series will definitely enjoy the show.

“I think humanising the characters in their situation is what’s going to set this show apart. Get into the mind of a killer. I also hope it just shines a light on issues of gender-based violence.”

In the series, he reconnects with Kwenzo Ngcobo and Abdul Khoza from ‘The Wife’.

“It’s beautiful. Kwenzo is one of my best friends. We see each other all the time. Then, Abdul, our past four jobs have been together since ‘The Wife’, and we still have more work together on the way. He brings out the best in me, and I also try to push him to a place where he can see the best in himself. Whenever I’m on a call sheet with them, I know I have to bring my A-game.”

Speaking about the conversations shared with Makholwa-Moabelo regarding the story, he says he was given freedom to create something unique with the role.

“Angela really gave me the freedom to interpret the character and create something special. Most days, we were just chatting away and laughing. I’d like to think we’ve become friends. She’s an amazing author but an even more amazing person with the kindest heart. Honestly, we hardly spoke about the story— everything I needed was already in the book.”

The eight-part thriller, in which new episodes land every Tuesday, tells the story of journalist turned publicist Lucy Khambule (SAFTA nominee Nqobile Nunu Khumalo), who is approached by Napoleon, an imprisoned serial killer who wants her to tell his story.

Red Ink is a partnership between Makholwa-Moabelo’s Britespark Films and Bomb Productions.

This marks the first Showmax Original from Bomb, which made DStv’s most-watched drama series, ‘Shaka Ilembe’, as well as classics such as Venice winner ‘Yizo Yizo’, Oscar-nominated ‘Mandela’, Sundance winner ‘Amandla: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony’, and SAFTA winners like ‘Isibaya’.

SAFTA winners Zeno Petersen and Adze Ugah (both directors on ‘Shaka Ilembe’) direct ‘Red Ink’, which is executive produced by Makholwa-Moabelo, Oscar nominee Angus Gibson, and Emmy nominee Desiree Markgraaff.

Saturday Star

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