Grassroots and what sets it apart
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By Siyathemba Ben31 July 2019

Grassroots and what sets it apart

Grassroots, the new drama co-produced by 1Magic and Showmax, explores some tough and pertinent themes. But it’s not just relevant – it’s also super entertaining. We’ve watched a couple of episodes of Grassroots by now, and here’s why the show gets a “yes” from us.

Exploring the idea of manhood

South African television is growing in leaps and bounds and that makes us really happy. However, we’ve noticed that there tends to be a similar thread when it comes to the storyline. When it comes to Grassroots, you will love the fresh angle and focus on young men who are trying to find and define themselves in the world. This is not something we see a lot of in television dramas and we certainly need more of these stories.

Mark Madai, commissioning editor at M-Net, explained to the Sowetan: “They explore what is manhood throughout the story … Is it a physical thing? Is it an emotional thing? Is it emotional maturity? So, those are the themes we focus on.”

Rugby is a very big part of their lives and from what we’ve seen, it will probably be one of the tools used to get these young men to answer some of these important questions.

Secrets and rivalry

What would a story be without some secrets and rivalry? There’s a big secret that needs to be protected at all costs, one that, if it ever came out, could destroy people’s lives. From the beginning, we could tell that Monwabisi and Ayanda want nothing to do with each other. Their beef is not only personal, but it is also seen on the rugby field.

This is obviously bigger than rugby. One of the boys witnessed a murder and is trying to protect a loved one, while the other one has suddenly had to step up and take his father’s place at home. It’s two completely different scenarios but they are connected.

Impressive cast

Is it just us or is this Connie Chiume’s time to flourish? In case you’ve forgotten, the veteran actress made her mark when she appeared on Black Panther in 2018. That really got the world to notice her. Here at home, she also starred in Housekeepers, which was a successful show. Now she’s a cast member on Grassroots and that alone should tell you just how powerful the story is.

Connie is not the only powerhouse on the show. There’s also Zikhona Sodlaka, who’s known for her roles on shows such as Housekeepers and Igazi. Speaking to 1Magic about the show, Zikhona said: “It’s a very urban, cultural experience. We get to cross into two different worlds. We are in rural Eastern Cape and in the world of Johannesburg through the eyes of these two young men who have come to play a sport which is something that defines who they are…”

Most of the cast members agree that the show explores things that are happening in reality. Whether it’s family rivalry, grandparents working hard to look after their grandchildren or young boys finding their place in the world.

There’s definitely something for everyone on Grassroots. Watch the series on Showmax to see which reality you can relate to.

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