When We Were Black (Season 2)
Length: 6 x 48 Mins, SABC 1
Awards: SAFTAS 2014, Best Supporting Actor, Deon Lotz
It’s 1985. Political tension in the Cape Province is at an all-time high and the apartheid government declares a State of Emergency. Amidst this turmoil, Mandisa (Zandile Madiwa), a young dreamer with a golden voice, yearns to become the next Brenda Fassie. Her mother Rebecca (Andrea Dondolo) knows is that her darling child sings at their church in Langa, and that one day Mandisa will follow in her footsteps and become a nurse. When she comes home to find Mandisa singing along and dancing provocatively to Brenda Fassie’s “Weekend Special” on television, Rebecca is horrified. Rebecca tries to stop Mandisa from venturing out of the safety of childhood. She bans Mandisa from watching television, from improving her singing at MAPP (a venue in the “coloured” suburb of Athlone where art and musical ability is nurtured). Rebecca is pleased when Mandisa’s best friend, Jomo (Lemogang Tsipa), returns from his studies at Fort Hare. She is sure Jomo will contain Mandisa’s restlessness. Jomo has always been in love with Mandisa but her feelings for him are ambiguous. Mandisa is encouraged to go to MAPP by her teacher, Mistress, and Jomo agrees to take her there. In Athone, Mandisa encounters a world that will change her life forever. She meets a talented and appealing guitarist, Shaheed (Keenan Arrison), which leads to Mandisa joining his band. But there are deeper challenges within the band: three of its members: Shaheed (Keenan Arrison), Rachael (Kim Syster) and Zwelakhe (Mbulelo Grootbom) are MK operatives. They belong to a cell run by Benny Mahmood (Charlton Geogre), one of the most wanted cadres in the Cape Province – by the Security Branch. Headed by the recently appointed Kobus Landman (Deon Lotz), the Anti-Terrorist Unit is set on doing whatever it takes to take Benny down to quell the bombing in the area.