Durban - Award-winning film producer Anant Singh will not allow threats from detractors to prevent him from telling stories.
“He is trying to add fuel to start a fire but we are storytellers and we are here telling a story we believe people will want to watch,” Singh told POST at the launch of Imbewu: The Seed on Thursday.
He was referring to Phumlani Mfeka, the leader of the anti-Indian lobby group Injenje Yaba Nguni, who allegedly threatened to set Singh’s Videovision offices in uMhlanga alight.
Mfeka made the threats in defiance of the new TV series, co-produced by Singh, Duma Ndlovu and Leleti Khumalo.
Imbewu: The Seed, which will be screened on Mondays at 9.30pm on e.tv, has been billed as a social cohesion project, showing stories of Indian and Africans living together in harmony in KwaZulu-Natal.
However, Mfeka reportedly believes the series will mislead the public and not show the tension between the African and Indian people.
At the launch, Singh, who opened a case of intimidation against Mfeka, added that he was not concerned about him, but was troubled by the threats.
“I have made movies against the apartheid government and they were not happy and I continue to make all kinds of films.
“As a film-maker, it is your choice to do the film or not and he is complaining about the series and he as a viewer has the right to complain.
“However, you do not have to watch it. What is fishy for me is that there are 10 other similar films being made but why is he picking on this one?”
He described Durban as the “creative hub of the country” and added that after the launch, film and television opportunities in the city would grow.
“This is Imbewu. It is the seed. It is the start and we as a film industry in the province are going to grow.”
One of the series’ directors, Menga Nhlabathi, who also directed the hit series Uzalo, said Imbewu was unique and would promote social cohesion.
“The story focuses on Durban, the inclusive Durban, and we have a blend of African and Indian families who work together and interact all the time.
“It is interesting to see how the cultures interact.”
Actor Koobeshen Naidoo of Keeping Up With The Kandasamys will play Pranav Rampersad.
He said the experience of working on set in the city was “amazing”.
“Six months ago I was teaching and now here I am taking on this role,” he gushed.
Actress Jailoshini Naidoo, who plays his wife Nirupa and mother to their two daughters, added: “This is an incredible story filled with everything an audience needs.
“It has drama, romance, suspense, lies, deceit and much more. It’s definitely going to be a hit.”
Kajal Maharaj, who will feature as Shria Rampersad, said the series would open opportunities for fellow actors and her “sister” in the series, Mira, played by Mishka Gounden, described Imbewu as “unlike anything anyone has seen”.