Rewind with me, all the way to the end of March 2020, just as the first Covid lockdown was declared, and we see Mam Sonto – real name Connie Chiume – the crime queen of Alex on one end of the city. In another part of the world, in Sandton, far away from the Gomora rats and the dilapidated roofs secured in place by old car tyres, we see Thathi Ndaba descending the marble staircase in her absurdly furnished mansion with her equally absurd jewellery collection and two maids whose names she couldn’t even be bothered to recall.
LOOK AFTER YOUR PARENTS
Many people lose their jobs or become sick and have to go to the same dilapidated childhood home they neglected
— Writing Jay™ ✍️ (@RewindMzansi) April 3, 2020
The next thing we saw was an illustration of how life can change in the blink of an eye. The carjacking gang led by Mam Sonto – Jomo, Mazet and rookie car thief, Ntokozo – rob Mbongeni and Thathi of their Mercedes. Mbongeni – real name Themba Ndaba – decides, hey I’m Brutus on The Queen, I’m sterring, so he grabs Ntokozo’s gun which goes off. Mbongeni dies in his wife’s lap, proving what I have said many times before; thighs will kill you!
This was the turning point of Thathi’s life, the crossroads of her relationship with her mother, Mam Sonto whom she had forgotten about since her rise up the social ladder.
Mam Sonto tells the truth – sort of
When Thathi lost her Sandton mansion and her forgettable maids, she found herself back in Gomora, the squalid neighbourhood she had left two decades ago.
When Mbongeni was killed by Mam Sonto – she didn’t pull the trigger but the buck stops with her – she was first to arrive and offer emotional support to Thathi. She gave Thathi shelter and even prayed, I have receipts, trust me.
WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK ON TV
— Writing Jay™ ✍️ (@RewindMzansi) April 2, 2020
For a year, Thathi relentlessly searched for her husband’s killer. She almost got Mam Sonto but the cunning o’lady blackmailed the detective in charge of the case into giving Thathi false information. Later, a second detective, Mahlasela – one who was as incorruptible as Madiba – came gunning for Mam Sonto. When finally Mahlasela found out the truth, he did not live long enough to tell anyone. She buried him in an unmarked grave.
Fast forward to February 2021; we see boring Bra Mike – Mam Sonto’s yawnsome, dead fiancé – haunting her. Mike’s ghost demanded that Mam Sonto confesses to killing Mbongeni. Sonto tried a cleansing ritual to shake off Bra Mike’s ghost. But that didn’t work. In fact, Mam Sonto lost her eyesight which resulted in her finally telling the secret she had kept for a year.
Thathi kidaps Mam Sonto
After Mam Sonto confessed – half confessed, because rather than snitch on Ntokozo, she admitted to killing Mbongeni but pinned the shooting on Jomo, who is too dead to defend himself – she got her eyesight and peace of mind back – no more Bra Mike, thank God! But she lost her daughter. Thathi went about the house in silence. She soaked her sorrows in lots of wine which must have given her Dutch courage for what was to come.
Mam Sonto was fast asleep when Thathi shook her awake. When Mam Sonto opened her eyes, she saw three nostrils, two she recognized as Thathi’s and the third was the barrel of a pistol. She asked what in the devil’s name was going on, but Thathi told her to sharrrup! A word which is so funny even in such a tense scene.
Pretty, the daughter whom Mam Sonto doesn’t love much, was worried sick about her mother, even before she had gone missing for more than a day. The police wouldn’t do anything because you’re only a missing person if you’re absent for more than 48 hours.
Mam Sonto almost escaped when she clobbered Thathi over the head. She tied Thathi to a chair hoping to talk some sense into her. But as soon as she released Thathi, her daughter took her hostage again.
Meanwhile Principal Dlamini mobilized the whole of Gomora to begin a search for Mam Sonto, proving that he might still have feelings for ex girlfriend, Thathi who kept a straight face like she didn’t kidnap anybody’s mother. Only Mazet was suspicious of Thathi because she knew Mam Sonto’s “golden egg” would naturally be out for revenge, since she found out Sonto’s gang killed her husband
Mam Sonto catches a bullet
Thathi and Mam Sonto had a heated exchange. Thathi then shot her mother in anger. Immediately after shooting Mam Sonto, Thathi was remorseful but she had waded too far into the pool of blood that she feared going backwards. I mean, how do you pull up into the hospital yard and say “is there a doctor in the house because, I just shot my mother, please get the bullet out.”
As Mam Sonto slowly faded away, Thathi still held her hostage despite the guilt she felt. Finally Thathi took her to hospital. When the family joined her in the hospital waiting room, she told them that a mysterious good Samaritan had discovered Sonto and phoned Thathi. Pretty wasn’t believing this story. The doctors managed to remove the bullet. Sonto is alive but bedridden.
Gladys relives childhood trauma
Gladys was just recovering from that warm slap she received from Zodwa when a new problem materialized. Her mom’s sister, Aunt Tono arrived. When Gladys shut the door in Tono’s face, it was clear that there was bad blood between them. Gladys then gave strict instructions to her family not to let Tono into the house. But Gladys was away when Tono next returned. Zodwa, who knew her from childhood and regarded her as her own aunt let Tono into the Dlamini home. Of course, Gladys was breathing fire when she came home. She wanted Tono gone. And then Tono became gravely ill and Melusi would not allow his wife to toss her onto the street. A doctor was summoned to look at Aunt Tono. He gave her medication only to make her comfortable. She was terminally ill.
But still, when Gladys knew Tono was dying, she didn’t care. Aunto Tono stole Gladys’ inheritance, from her late mother’s life insurance policy, before disappearing and leaving her niece and nephew (Mohato) penniless. But Tono had the final word. As she lay on the bed dying, she told Gladys that the woman she thought was her mom wasn’t really her biological mother. Tono coughed blood. And died. She left Gladys swimming in a pool of questions about the identity of her real mother, about the lie she had lived all her life.
In her will, Aunt Tono asked to be cremated and her ashes sprinkled in her village. Gladys, wishing to be alone so that she could find her real mother, declined Melusi and Ntokozo’s company. She would travel alone to the village. Even that klap from Zodwa can’t have hurt as much as this bombshell.
Speaking of childhood trauma, it is coming to the anniversary of Mbongeni’s death. Seventeen year old Langa is having a difficult time without his father. It was doubly sad because as Thathi comforted her son with a hug, Melusi – who may very well be the boy’s biological father – sat next to Langa. Talk about hypocrisy. When Thathi is done judging her mother for keeping a yearlong secret, maybe she will confess to a seventeen year old lie.
Thathi is angry with Mam Sonto for telling a lie for one year
But Thathi has been lying about her son’s paternity for 17 years
— Writing Jay™ ✍️ (@RewindMzansi) March 8, 2021
Where is Miss Manzi?
There was some good news from Gomora. In Teddy’s rape trial, Miss Manzi – real name Sihle Ndaba – confessed to the crime. We now await sentencing. It’s a pity that we did not get to see an actual trial with lawyers and stuff. Perhaps Sihle Ndaba’s other work commitments – she has returned to the soon to be cancelled show, Isibaya, where she plays attorney, Cebisile Mkhize – have made it difficult for her to be on two film sets at once, especially with Isibaya’s winding down being filmed mostly in KwaZulu Natal.
Till next week, my pen is capped
Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic, DSTV. You can watch old episodes on Showmax.
Image from Twitter and videos from YouTube
Connect with the author of this article on twitter @RewindMzansi