A con man in a suit, Khulubuse Mtshali (Desmond Dube) has just scammed the people of Alexandra township with a pyramid scheme that’s left everyone bankrupt. It wouldn’t be the streets of Jozi if there was no mob justice, and the people want their money back. Problem is, their scapegoat is Khulubuse’s son, Mnqobi (played by Sipho Mdingi).
Meet the stars behind SA’s hottest new crime drama Impilo
Impilo: The Scam features enough well-known personalities to lure us in for a first look, and more than enough new talent to firmly hook us. Here’s who to look out for.
The Zulu word “Impilo” is commonly interpreted as “health” but can also be translated as “life” – making Impilo: The Scam a fitting title for what’s about to befall Mnqobi Nkosi (played by Sipho Mdingi). Yes, Mnqobi’s life becomes one big scam when he is dragged into the underbelly of the crime world in Alexandra, Johannesburg, thanks to his father’s dubious dealings.
When his father, Khulubuse Mtshali (played by Desmond Dube) cheats his community out of their hard-earned cash, the mob is out for blood – and it seems Mnqobi will be the one to pay the price.
Desmond Dube is first face you’ll no doubt recognise. Can you remember where from? And who are the other must-watch stars of Impilo: The Scam?
Who to watch in Impilo: The Scam
This singer, actor and all-round entertainer is one of SA’s most famous faces. From his days doing commercials such as the “Amaglugglug” ad for Sasol and starring alongside comedy legend Leon Schuster in Panic Mechanic to acting in riveting dramas such as Hotel Rwanda, Desmond has proven that his talent is varied and that he can shine in any role that comes his way. He was most recently on circuit in the movie The Adventures of Supermama, opposite Nomsa Buthelezi.
At around the same time Desmond’s star was rising (in the mid-90s), Sipho was born. Fast forward a decade and Sipho was joining his local community theatre group in Diepsloot in Johannesburg, where he still lives. The young actor says his love for the art started there. Since then, he’s performed at various festivals (including the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown) and theatres (such as The State Theatre). And Sipho’s talent doesn’t stop at acting – he’s a writer and director too.
Sthandiwe has been one to watch ever since she starred as the twins Zinzi and Zoleka in Generations from 1999 to 2005. Thereafter, she moved onto South Africa’s other big soapie, Isidingo, from 2005 to 2009. Since then, she’s been involved in numerous local drama series, including Fallen and The Road. Now, in Impilo: The Scam, she plays Nokulunga Nkosi, Mnqobi’s mom and Khulubuse’s ex.
Nkosinathi Maphalala (or Nay Maps) is a presenter, model, actor and reality star. He has been in isiBaya, the reality show Tropika Island of Treasure and local drama Uzalo. Now he takes on the role of Pacino.
This young actress’s first claim to fame was as a presenter for YoTV. Most recently, she has grabbed viewers’ and critics’ attention in her role as Lerato in Generations: The Legacy. Look out for her as Naledi.
TK’s biggest role to date has been as Happy in The River. In Impilo: The Scam, he plays Tebza.
Siya Raymond Sepotokele
Sowetan-born Siyabonga is best known for his role as bad boy Lehasa in the telenovela Keeping Score. Not only is this rising star a talented actor, he’s a classically trained opera singer. In Impilo: The Scam, he portrays Macable.
Impilo starts on Monday 8 July on Mzansi Magic (161) at 20:00. Also available on DStv Now.