Israel Matseke Zulu, who built his solid acting reputation as Israel Makoe, is a top billing TV star. When you hear the name Israel Makoe, the first thing you think of is voetsek! Even though the word has existed before him, Israel Makoe – Matseke-Zulu, to use his preferred name – practically owns voetsek. On Gomora, Matseke Zulu plays Don Buthelezi, Teddy Zondo’s father who voetseked out of Zodwa’s life 19 years ago, leaving her pregnant and manless.
And now, Israel Makoe – Matseke Zulu – king of voetsek, has arrived in Gomora and everyone is eager to hear him say that violent voetsek.
Sandra Stein strikes again
After prosecutor Ndzimande failed to pin the Mbongeni Ndaba murder charge on Mam Sonto, he turned his anger on Ntokozo Dlamini who had chosen to back the Gomora godmother at the very last minute of the trial. Ndzimande had offered Ntokozo a snitch deal which he rejected after Buhle emotionally blackmailed him into saving Mam Sonto.
After a tense trial, Sandra Stein, representing Ntokozo, demanded that the judge dismiss all charges against her client, as advocate Ndzimande had failed to produce any tangible evidence. His strongest piece of evidence – Jomo’s jailhouse confession – was dismissed as hearsay. When the judge asked Ndzimande to offer proof to counter Stein’s dismissal request, the prosecutor could only aahm and oh. The judge’s gavel fell onto wood. Case dismissed.
At the end of proceedings, Thathi thanked Sandra Stein who had twice saved her, first with Mam Sonto and secondly with Ntokozo.
“It’s been a rough week,” said Thathi.
Sandra Stein chuckled. “Even rougher for the prosecutor,” she quipped.
Sandra Stein got into her car and rode off into the sunset having added to her burgeoning reputation as the best lawyer on Mzansi Magic. Surely the time is ripe for Shannon Esra to get her own TV show.
Israel Makoe quits being deadbeat dad
After Israel Makoe, now Israel Matseke-Zulu, re-entered Zodwa and Teddy’s life, Zodwa wanted him to voetsek. Initially Teddy was confused. But he soon warmed up to his father. They spent time together. Zodwa quickly noticed that Teddy was becoming more and more scarce at home. When she phoned him, Teddy – knowing very well that his mother would not approve of him spending time with his father – told her he was at soccer practise, meanwhile he was with Don at the shisanyama. At the end of their get together, Don wrote down his phone number and gave it to Teddy.
“Call me anytime,” he said.
Later, while doing the laundry, Zodwa found the shisanyama napkin with Don’s phone number on it. She yelled at Teddy for telling lies. But Teddy didn’t hold back. He told her he only wanted to get to know his father. Ever since he came into your life, you have become disrespectful, came Zodwa’s clap back. Teddy gave her a powerful nxa! Almost as powerful as an Israel Makoe voetsek, and walked out.
Miss Hlungwani – real name Leera Mthethwa – gave out the grade 11 final exams. The learners who passed proceeded to grade 12, Matric year. Langa got top marks, along with another learner. But the usually competitive Langa did not even do his Carlton dance; he is still sore from the fact that Ntokozo and Mam Sonto walked away on the murder charge.
Teddy did not get his results. When he queried this with Miss Hlungwani, she pointed out the fact that he owed the school R400 for a missing text book. Tedd’s results would be held for ransom – kidnapped – until this debt was cleared.
Zodwa and Teddy clash
When Teddy told Zodwa about the R400 ransom demand for his results, she told him she didn’t have that kind of money. She was not going to ask her employer, Gladys, as she knew that the Dlaminis had legal bills to pay for Ntokozo. In fact, the Dlaminis had raided Ntokozo’s college fund to pay Sandra Stein.
Teddy met his father Don, King of Voetsek, Israel Makoe – who will probably say voetsek when he sees that I didn’t call him Israel Matseke-Zulu. Don did not have the money on him. Instead he reeled out big English words, proving that Teddy got his aversion for English from his mother!
Later Don, who is keen to make up for ghosting his son, began to hustle. His sold his precious wrist watch – his chronometer, he called it – along with other things. He gave Teddy the R400 he needed to liberate his kidnapped Grade 11 results. But Zodwa forbade it. You can’t take that man’s money. In fact she called him a pig!
Not wanting to clash with his mother, Teddy gave back the money. And Israel did not scream voetsek. But he refused to take back the cash. Give it to homeless people, toss it in the river, he said. But he wasn’t taking it back.
Teddy kept the money. He used it to pay the R400 ransom and Miss Hlungwani released his results. He passed! Onto Grade 12 he goes, the first in his family to reach Matric.
Israel Makoe voetseks out of Teddy’s life?
Zodwa was seething with rage when she realized that Teddy had disobeyed her. She did not even congratulate him on passing grade 11.
Teddy and Don agreed to meet again at “their usual place.” But Don stood him up. Had he voetseked out of Teddy’s life, again?
Zodwa was busy telling Teddy her “I told you sos” when Don entered the shack without knocking. He gave excuses for standing up Teddy. But the tall tale he told about someone snatching his phone on the street was implausible. Because Teddy could see the bulge of his phone in his pocket. As Teddy tried to come to terms with being abandoned by his father, for a second time, Zodwa told him that this was why she had tried to keep him from Don.
Langa has an art attack
A heart attack can be brought on by extreme stress. But Langa is young, has a strong heart and, at best – or worst – he can only have an art attack.
After Ntokozo and Mam Sonto were let off the hook by the judge, Langa was left with steam shooting out of his ears. Gladys who was home alone went upstairs to find an inebriated Langa standing on Ntokozo’s bed – shoes and all – with a paint spray can in his hand. On the wall, painted in EFF red, were the words MURDERER and GUILTY. Ntokozo’s ripped posters were all over the floor. Thank goodness Langa had the sense to leave the Lionel Messi poster unharmed.
Gladys and Langa exchanged opinions and then wapa! Gladys slapped Langa. The alcohol must have numbed the pain because Langa didn’t seem affected. Downstairs, Langa went crazy, screaming help they want to kill me. Melusi rang Thathi who came rushing over. When Thathi yelled at Gladys for slapping her child, Melusi sided with his baby mama which did not go down well with Gladys. These two are going to smash. Mark my words.
Melusi appeared to have finally gotten through to Langa when he explained to him why he had made the difficult choice to support Ntokozo in the murder trial. Baby steps. Perhaps this is the beginning of Langa’s long road to recovery.
Sonto’s business troubles
Mam Sonto may have escaped the murder charge. But the court of public opinion had its own verdict. The Alex Township Community Forum maintained its boycott and closure of Sonto’s businesses, namely her tavern and the auto workshop/scrap yard through which she processes stolen vehicles. Mazet and Sonto were on the brink of resorting to street tactics but Pretty intervened. For the sake of maintaining peace with her daughter, Mam Sonto has so far kept her knives sheathed. I’m not sure Sonto will allow the Community Forum to continue walking all over her. One must die; Sonto or the Community Forum. My money is on the one with the gun.
Kudos for Gomora
For the past year, Gomora has kept viewers enthralled with its mix of pure fiction and social issues portrayed through drama. As I had predicted – you can call me Prophet – Gomora won a SAFTA for Most Popular Soap/Telenovela.
Further kudos go to the Gomora casting director Kutlwano Ditsele for choosing Israel Matseke-Zulu for the role of Don Buthelezi. Even without Nimrod Nkosi and Utatakho, the resemblance between Sicelo Buthelezi and Matseke-Zulu is as uncanny as that of father and son.
Till next week, my pen is capped
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog