At the launch of Mzansi Magic’s award winning telenovela Gomora in March 2020, the much publicized theme was ivili liyajika, the wheel turns; nobody knows this more than Mazet. Zanele (real name Siphesihle Ndaba), known on the streets of Gomora as Mazet, is a feisty gangster chick who is not afraid of a fight. Nothing can be more uncomfortable for a strong young woman than having to suddenly become vulnerable and dependent on other people. The strong shall become weak and the weak may one day gain strength. As the saying goes, the wheel turns.
Death of a thug
When Don realized that Ntokozo had betrayed him and set him up for war with the feared gangster Qhoqhoqho, he tied up the young man and drove him to a remote location. As Ntokozo sat in the backseat, with wrists tethered, he still assumed he and Don were on their way to fight Qhoqhoqho. But when Don stopped the car, out came a shovel. Ntokozo was ordered to start digging his own grave near a river.
Meanwhile, Mazet, Thathi and Stompie who were in on the plan to set up Don were all worried since he had not returned to base. While speaking to fellow gang members Sdumo and Brains, Stompie learned that Don had a special burial place for his enemies, down by the river. Stompie realising the meaning, rushed to tell his co-conspirators Thathi, and Mazet. Also concerned for Ntokozo’s safety were his parents together with Zodwa and Teddy. They drove around Alex in Melusi’s car, searching for him, because Suzuki loves to milk their Gomora sponsorship deal. When Teddy spoke to Mazet on the phone, she told him that Don had taken Ntokozo to the river in something other than a Suzuki. Mazet rushed to the river with Melusi, Zodwa, Gladys and Teddy following moments later in a, you guessed it, Suzuki. When Melusi phoned Don to plead for the return of his son, Don gave his signature powerful voetsek and hung up the phone.
Mazet, who had a significant head start on the rest of the search party, found Don on the verge of shooting Ntokozo. She pleaded for Ntokozo’s life. Seeing that Don was distracted, she went for his gun, resulting in a scuffle for the weapon. The gun went off. Mazet fell to the ground in all her yellow beauty.
Meanwhile in the vicinity of the river, the late comers, seated in the Suzuki, heard the gunshot. Melusi who has already lost two children to the psychotic women of his life, not to mention the other babies aborted by Gladys, stopped the car and ran in the direction of the gunfire. Melusi arrived to find his son facing Don with gun in hand. In front of Ntokozo was the comatose Mazet. Melusi offered his own life in order to save Ntokozo. Don accepted the gift. Just as he was about to shoot, another gunshot rang out. Don fell to the ground. Behind him, Zodwa stood with smoking gun in hand. She had killed Don with the revolver that Teddy had illegally acquired in order to protect himself from his father who, of late, had been acting crazy. Zodwa had rescued Melusi and Ntokozo with a single bullet, and probably blocked Gladys from inheriting the Suzuki.
Mazet fights for her life
Mazet was rushed to hospital where she remained in critical condition for a few days. In the hospital waiting room, a detective (Grobbelaar) questioned Melusi, Gladys, Zodwa, Ntokozo and Teddy who were all anxious about Mazet. The detective found all five witnesses to be uncooperative, as they all sought to protect Zodwa.
The bullet fired from Don’s pistol had damaged her spine. In the blunt, scientific manner of doctors, Zanele’s physician gave her the sad new. Gomora’s most beautiful gangster will never walk again. At first Mazet kept this news to herself but eventually she told Thathi. She did not breathe a word of this to Ntokozo even after she was discharged from hospital.
Arriving at the Molefe home, Mazet was welcomed with balloons and bunting. But the family did not expect what came next.
Mazet was in no mood for balloons or the unnecessary cheer; she wheeled out of the living room, pursued by the wide eyes of the well-meaning family whom she had snubbed. Ever since she found out she would never walk again, Mazet has swung between the two extremes; please help me and please voetsek and leave me alone. She has repeatedly refused assistance from everyone, apart from Tshiamo. Mazet twice fell to the ground while attempting an unassisted wheelchair transfer and on both occasions she was aggressive in her rejection of Thathi’s help. But she is somehow more comfortable with Tshiamo helping her.
When Mazet came out of hospital, she told the family to keep Ntokozo away from her. But this did not keep him from trying to see her. When the persistent Ntokozo walked in, the entire Molefe household was distracted by Detective Grobbelaar who was again looking for answers about Don’s death, as if anybody really cares. Just as Mazet yelled at the detective about being put in a wheelchair by Don, Ntokozo arrived on the scene. He finally knew the truth, but remained determined to win Mazet back. Except Mazet was just as determined to push him away.
Statutory rape loading
What seemed like a consolation hug by Stompie on the grieving 15 year old Sibongile has grown into an inappropriate adult-child liaison. Stompie helped Sibongile sneak her father’s body out of the mortuary and into a cemetery, all of this behind Zodwa’s back after she had vowed to never give him a descent burial. Once upon a time, girls in school uniform were sacred to men. But there is Stompie, letting Sibongile feel his biceps, and happily allowing her to prick her lips on his wiry beard. Perhaps the writers of the show have a social lesson to teach.
Speaking of lessons, I feel the writers have missed the opportunity to go deeper in illustrating disability matters. Does Mazet have a catheter on, a colostomy bag, why is Mazet using the saaaame wheelchair we have seen on other Mzansi Magic dramas, as though people with disabilities do not have style or individuality. The same way everyone expresses their individuality through personal shoe choice, that’s how wheelchair users pick their chairs. I swear I have seen the same ill-fitting wheelchair on Isibaya (Fezile and Judas), Isithembiso (Banzi) and The Queen (Brutus). The viewers deserve better, as do people with disabilities.
Till next week, my pen is capped
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Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic DSTV