Dive into the high-stakes world of Empini: Episode 1-2 recap

24 May 2024

Dive into the high-stakes world of Empini: Episode 1-2 recap

The first two episodes of Empini have landed on Showmax and the tension is already simmering! The series follows Ndoni Themba, a fierce daughter driven by the need to right the wrongs done to her family, and if you haven’t started watching yet, here’s why you need to catch up.

From trauma to tenacity

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Ndoni Themba in Empini S1

We kick off with a chilling flashback. Fifteen years ago, a young Ndoni witnessed the brutal murder of her father, Bonga. The murder scene was staged to look like a suicide, painting Bonga as a traitor and an alleged apartheid spy. Fast forward to the present, and Ndoni, now a tough-as-nails bodyguard at Mkhonto Protection Services (MPS) has a clear mission: to avenge her father’s betrayal.

Glamour and tension as Bonga is remembered

Siyabonga Thwala as Khaya Bhodoza in Empini S1

We meet Khaya Bhodoza, the powerful head of MPS, who was present the night of Bonga’s murder. Today, he’s wealthy, influential, and married to Winnie — the daughter of the Vice President. At an MPS anniversary event honouring Bonga, we’re introduced to Uhuru, engaged to Khaya’s daughter Nosi, and Mkhonto, Nosi’s flamboyant brother. The glamorous event takes a tense turn when “the General”, an ambitious political climber, overshadows Vice President Enoch Mbhatha with a charged speech. 

Ndoni’s quest for the truth

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Ndoni Themba in Empini S1

Ndoni visits her father’s grave, struggling with her inability to prove his innocence. A mysterious figure, Madlopa, appears, sharing her belief that Bonga was not a traitor. Ndoni confides in her friend Jabulani, but despite his warnings not to dig too deeply, Ndoni refuses to abandon her quest.

Assassins and father-figures

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Ndoni Themba in Empini S1

During an assassination attempt on Vice President Enoch Mbhatha, a bodyguard and an attacker are shot. Ndoni’s superior, Thobani, and his MPS team manage to save the Vice President, but Ndoni ignores direct orders and chases down and captures one of the assailants. Instead of reprimanding her for her insubordination, Khaya praises her, comparing her to her father and insisting she is like a daughter to him. 

Ndoni reveals her doubts about Bonga’s suicide to Khaya, seeking his help and connections to investigate her suspicions. However, Khaya manipulates the conversation, questioning her mental health, as we flashback to a young Ndoni in a mental institution, crying out for her father. Khaya promises Ndoni he’ll look into her claims, but just as she leaves his office, he makes a cryptic phone call: “We have a problem.”

Watch the trailer for Empini

Ndoni’s journey is just beginning, and with powerful enemies and dark secrets lurking, we can’t wait to see what comes next. Add Empini to your watchlist and tune in next Thursday for more episodes, only on Showmax!

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