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City Press review: The Herd brings life to Sunday nights

2018-08-05 00:00
 

City Press review: The Herd

Channel: Mzansi Magic (DStv 161)

Day and time: Sunday, 20:00

Rating: 5/5

It’s not a stretch to say that the new drama series The Herd is one of the most riveting shows currently on our small screens.

The show is produced by the relatively new kid on the block Seriti Films, and the company has brought together a team behind the scenes and a cast of actors who are deeply invested in perfecting their craft, which is not always an easy thing to do.

The Herd’s enigmatic, supernatural storyline is full of toxic love, and an obsession for power and material wealth. And any sacrifice, however evil, will be made to achieve success.

As it explores the lengths to which people will go to obtain their heart’s desires, the show brings to life a story that is a reflection of how one person’s actions – albeit enabled by witchcraft – can change the future.

Winnie Ntshaba’s MaMngadi makes you feel a disturbing amount of sympathy for her, and her mastery of the character is one of the most powerful portrayals of a taboo subject I have seen in a very long time.

Like the fictional sangoma Schotho played by Zikhona Sodlaka in Igazi, MaMngadi may be larger than life and over the top, but is far more intriguing than offensive.

We’ve come a long way from the series Shaka Zulu produced in the 80s, with its hilarious sangomas who breathe fire – this was more a portrayal of white fear than of the reality of black ancestors.

When MaMngadi shows her love for her husband Bhekisizwe Mthethwa (Sello Maake Ka-Ncube), you believe in its sick sincerity, and when she sits around the table with her two witchy sidekicks, their plotting and scheming makes you wish you were in the room so that you could add your two cents to the dilemma that they’re trying to solve.

The witches are as scary as they are entertaining. The absolute havoc that the three create for the sake of MaMngadi’s fortune is one of the strongest drivers of The Herd’s plot.

A turning point for the show, and one of the scenes that has resonated most powerfully with audiences, is when Bhekisizwe talks to his daughter Kayise (Sihle Ndaba) about guarding generational wealth. His words about the importance of investing in ourselves and in the generations to come are enough to start a movement.

Another striking scene is when Zethu Dlomo’s character Lwandle, a surprisingly gifted gunslinger, starts shooting at bottles of gin to relieve the frustration she feels about her dad, who is drinking himself to death.

The Herd is the perfect combination of drama, suspense, relevance and entertainment.

Executive producers Kutlwano Ditsele, Leanne Kumalo and Thabang Moleya have offered viewers a show that will leave Mzansi Magic with no choice but to bring it back for another season.

The Herd is compelling and unpredictable, and scenes in every episode will stick in your mind and come back to haunt you.

READ NEXT: City Press goes behind the scenes on Mzansi Magic's sinister drama, The Herd

(Photo: Supplied/City Press)

Read more on:    mzansi magic  |  tv  |  the herd

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