Camera phone - the enemy of man

Camera phone brings down Thathi and Melusi

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To an Instagram model, a camera phone is the gateway to fame – click click, flash! To a businessman, a smartphone is an office on the go. But in the hands of someone with a grudge, a phone is a lethal weapon.

As Mam Sonto teetered on the brink of a murder conviction, she pulled off a great escape by blackmailing the detective in charge of her case. In one cunning move, she not only got the law off her back but she also regained the favourite daughter she had lost.

Coup at Gomora Secondary

Lindokuhle, a rowdy overage student, has been troubling the school teachers. Even at home his mother is seeing flames. In the week before last, he refused deputy principal Ngoveni’s instructions to wash toilets. Lindokuhle’s dissent eventually led to a confrontation with principal Dlamini. The not-so-young man struck Dlamini in the face. Tjo! If you have been following Gomora then you will know that Dlamini does not stand for nonsense. Two quick punches dropped Lindokuhle to the floor.

Camera phone brings down Dlamini

Unfortunately, we live in an age where every idiot with a camera phone thinks they are Kutlwano Ditsele and the on-looking school kids filmed the altercation. The double misfortune for the school principal is that the video was posted online but only showed Dlamini punching the schoolboy – sorry, school man. Lindokuhle who threw the first punch was portrayed as the defenceless victim and Dlamini came off like a raging monster. The teachers union stood in support of one of their own. But after a demonstration orchestrated by the devious vice principal Goveni, the district manager was left with no option but to suspend Principal Dlamini, much to the pleasure of his deputy who had been eyeing the highest office at Gomora Secondary.

Melusi Dlamini was apoplectic with rage, having passed up lucrative job offers to serve Gomora. You have to feel for Principal Dlamini. He is a kind-hearted man. He had just hired Zodwa – a rescue job on his part – and took in Teddy when his alcoholic mother could not provide for him. Lindokuhle was clearly the aggressor. As Pretty Molefe stated, “how can you hit a whole principal?”

Dlamini’s suspension not only re-enacts real life problems in South Africa’s education sector, where teachers now fear for their lives, but it also divides opinions of viewers on social media. Although Dlamini has many sympathisers, one has to ask why he chose to retaliate with fists rather than a slap across the child’s face or a lash across the backside? This is how school children were disciplined in the good old days. A single stroke of the cane for minor infractions or six of the best for serious offences.

As soon as Dlamini was placed on suspension, the district manager confirmed Goveni as acting Principal. Goveni seems to be a spineless man who owes his ascendancy to the abundance of camera phones and underhanded scheming. I foresee anarchy at Melusi Dlamini’s beloved Gomora Secondary.

Thathi says sorry

After spending nights in a dingy one room apartment, Thathi returned to her childhood home. Arriving home, Thathi’s first words were “I’m sorry Ma.”

Detective Kolisi, the victim of blackmail by Sonto, misled Thathi into believing she had falsely accused Sonto of murder and grand theft auto. Eaten from the inside by guilt, Sonto accepted Thathi’s apology.

Sonto caught on camera phone – sort of

As mother and daughter sat down to share a cup of tea, Thathi demanded that Sonto put an end to her car thievery business, a request to which she reluctantly acquiesced. But, before long, Thathi would catch her mother in the middle of a phone call with a client who needed stolen cars. Snatching the phone from her mother, Thathi told off the client, an act which almost drew the wrath of Mazet. More on Mazet later.

Wishing to keep peace with her daughter, Sonto agreed to close her illegal business but secretly began to look for a new base for operations so as to avoid further discovery by Thathi.

Apart from trying to keep her mother away from crime, Thathi had to contend with legal summons for a mountain of unpaid debts. Although all her assets have been seized by creditors, she still has unpaid debts. Her lawyer advised her to declare bankruptcy in order to avoid further legal trouble with creditors. But the legal fees alone will cost R75,000 or a roll in the hay with the lawyer, a proposition which Thathi did not take up. It seems when a woman is desperate, every man with money wants to sleep with her. First it was Uncle Rodney and now the lawyer!

A camera phone humbles Thathi

While serving tables at Sonto’s tavern, Thathi bumped into her former maid, Dorothy, a woman whose name she always assumed was Dorcas. Imagine that; someone wakes up at 5am to catch a bus to Sandton, cook for you, clean up for you and you still don’t have the courtesy to remember their name. Dorothy, or Dorcas, or whatever her name is, sympathised with Langa, the only one in the Ndaba family who  treated her well. As for Thathi, Dorothy, or Dorcas – who can remember her name – she was pleased as a pig in poo to see her former boss humbled by Life. The still bitter ex employee went on to film Thathi working in the dive that is Sonto’s Inn.

Having seen the video of their friend working her manicured hands off in a lokshen bar, Thathi’s former Sandton companions came to see her downfall, first hand. They shut down the bar and spent the day ordering Thathi around and sarcastically enquiring about her overseas holidays. I guess mean girls don’t only inhabit the halls of high schools. They exist even in the adult world. Pretty had no sympathy for her sister. In fact, she aided the bullies and gleefully filmed Thathi’s humiliation.

Thathi mades a decision

After serving the women she once bragged to, Thathi was fed up and stormed into Mam Sonto’s office. Without preamble, she told her mother to resume operations. With Thathi’s help, Sonto and Mazet are going to steal cars.

This arrangement makes sense. Thathi knows a lot of rich people, some of whom have enjoyed her downfall. She knows the Sandton social calendar; birthday parties, all white parties, homes with cash and jewellery, people with top end cars.

Sbonga comes out of the shadows

I am pleased to see Sbonga getting more lines in his role. Until now, Khaya Mthembu has been restricted to minimal dialogue. Having seen him in different roles, I am surprised that the producers of Gomora have not made his character more visible.

In conversation with Sonto, Mazet described herself as violent (someone who has no time for talking). But so far all we have seen is a doe eyed Zanele falling for Ntokozo and constantly getting slapped by Mam Sonto. I feel that her role as a tough girl has not really been well illustrated.

Thathi has been mocked by friends and family. It is almost frustrating to see her constantly disrespected by Pretty, Lorraine, Rodney and her trashy lawyer. I am rooting for her.

Till next week, my pen is capped.


Gomora is on Mzansi Magic channel 161 DSTV, weekdays

Photo from Mzansi Magic twitter




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