Youngins Season 1 episodes 13-15 recap: Give and take

By Gen Terblanche8 March 2024

Youngins Season 1 episodes 13-15 recap: Give and take

Episodes 13-15 centre on Zintle’s death and memorial service as Youngins poses a question: as long as the dragon protects and enriches our village, are we okay with letting it eat one child a year? 

What happened in Youngins episodes 10-12? 

Amo (Ayakha Ntunja) saw fellow student Zintle (Lihle Ngubo) arguing with Principal Mthembu (Loyiso Macdonald), who’d secretly groomed her and gotten her pregnant, and Amo called an ambulance when she found Zintle in agony following a backstreet abortion. Principal Mthembu continued to target Amo and her friends for intimidation. Khaya (Toka Matabane) got suspended for getting drunk and insulting his maths teacher Mr Ramathuba (Simo Magwaza) at the Freshers Ball, leading to the threat of expulsion and a meeting between the Principal and Khaya’s abusive father Freddy (Nubijana Madlala) and protective mother Mamello (Sibongile Phakathi), after which Freddy viciously beat Khaya in front of the whole school. And Tumelo (Lebohang Lephatsoana) and head boy Sefako (Tabile Tau) agreed to resume their secret love affair, but on Sefako’s terms.  

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What happened in Youngins episode 13? 

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Khaya reluctantly returns to school at the end of his suspension still bruised from his father’s abuse. While driving Khaya to school, Freddy switches back to verbal abusem calling Khaya an evil waste of a child and he warns Khaya that if he ever acts up like that again, he’d better kill himself, because if he had his way, Freddy would have hung him from the roof of their house and watched him die without a care. So, your standard father-son pep talk. Back in his dorm, Khaya calls Sefako’s attempts to comfort him gay, while Khaya’s burnout buddies like Mazambane (Kadiya Banyini) give him a new nickname – Three Ciders – and joke that Khaya needs to be panel beaten like a real man, and treat his suspension as bragging rights. 

Amo is baffled by Buhle (Kealeboga Masango) and the other students’ “whatever” attitude to Zintle’s medical emergency. But when Pearl (Keneilwe Matidze) urges Amo to tell her if she knows anything about who Zintle was having sex with, Amo is quiet. Pearl prepares a sex education lesson for the students and a nurse demonstrates how you roll on a condom (all the “educational materials” have a white skin tone). And that’s it. No discussion about what to do when someone tries to pressure you into not using a condom. At the end of the sex-ed class, Principal Mthembu tells the students that Zintle has died.  

Later Amo tells Mahlatse that she feels guilty for being so afraid of the principal that she didn’t speak up to help Zintle before it was too late. And she admits to Mahlatse that she lied about her parents’ perfect marriage: her father used to beat her mother and he killed her in front of Amo. Now Amo believes that her mother died because Amo never told anyone what was really happening at home.  

What happened in Youngins episode 14? 

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Principal Mthembu hides his guilt when Zintle’s devastated parents, Mr Hlatshwayo (Vuzi Nkuna) and Mrs Hlatshwayo (Carol Tolo), visit the school and Buhle and Sefako are asked to arrange Zintle’s memorial service. Alex recites a poem in Zintle’s memory, while Buhle talks to the netball team about how they’ll honour her, and Tumelo tries to comfort Amo later by telling her that Zintle’s ancestors knew what they were doing when they sent Amo to find her. While they’re talking, Tumelo does a little digging and finds out that as far as Amo is aware, Mahlatse is her friend, like Tumelo is her friend – which is not what Mahlate has been telling him! It looks like Amo now has a whole boyfriend she isn’t aware of.  

When Principal Mthembu tells Khaya, “It’s tragic, what happened to that girl,” Khaya reminds him that that girl had a name – Zintle. Khaya desperately needs the principal to help, inspire and support him again but Principal Mthembu looks Khaya right in the bruised face that his father gave him and gives him nothing but empty words. Still believing in the principal, Khaya stages an angry confrontation with Amo after Buhle tells him that Amo is convinced that the principal was responsible for Zintle’s pregnancy. Khaya accuses Amo of spreading rumours, and warns her that she’ll get expelled and the principal will sue her. Piece by piece, Khaya loudly tries to discredit Amo’s evidence and her suspicions but Amo tells him that a child is dead because they all allowed a grown man to take advantage of her.  

Later, when Khaya’s hanging out with the guys, they joke around trying to figure out who got Zintle pregnant. Tshepo (Tshepo Matlala), the class clown, and his gang stage a mock funeral for Zintle at the netball courts in front of her friends, and while in bed with Buhle, Khaya gets distracted wondering why none of the Olifants gossips had any idea about the principal grooming Zintle.  

What happened in Youngins episode 15? 

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Zintle’s death is still the talk of the school. Palesa (Amogelang Telekelo) seems to be taking the death to heart, and even Mazambane is sick of Tshepo joking about it. Tumelo urges Sefako to open up to him because he knows it can’t be easy setting up Zintle’s memorial, and Sefako admits that the guys can joke all they like but someone’s daughter is dead.  Khaya calls Amo aside and apologises for the way he spoke to her but when Amo asks Khaya whether he’s still hell-bent on protecting the principal, Khaya warns her to stop playing Superwoman. Amo tells Khaya that his apology means nothing, and that she’ll protect her fellow learners, even if she burns for it.  

Amo later confides in Mahlatse that the whole incident with Zintle is giving her flashbacks to when she buried her mother. When Mahlatse probes, Amo reveals that she hasn’t spoken to her father since he killed her mother. And Mahlatse reveals that his father may not have murdered his mother, but he certainly broke her in a way that has never healed, and that Mahlatse hates him for it.  

The school gathers with Zintle’s parents for her memorial service. And Buhle gently tells Zintle’s mother that her daughter was a good girl who taught and helped others. Principal Mthembu shakes hands and offers sympathies as if he had nothing to do with Zintle’s death. But he has already selected his next victim, and Buhle sees him slip his hand onto Grade 9 pupil Lerato’s (Dakalo Molope) thigh as the choir sings for Zintle.  

Amo snaps when Tshepo and his band of clowns enter their next class wailing in mock mourning. And Buhle pulls Amo aside to tell her that she believes her. She saw the principal touching Lerato in the same way that she’s seen her own father touching the girls he grooms in their church. Later when Amo, Khaya, Buhle, Tumelo and Mahlatse assemble, Khaya is the only one who won’t hear a word against the principal. Even when Buhle tells Khaya what she saw, he insists that Principal Mthembu is a good man. So Tumelo reminds him that predators are good actors, first. Mahlatse asks why the government refused to employ Principal Mthembu for a long time. And Amo points out that a predator doesn’t have to be a big scary monster, it can be someone who is supposed to love you. Someone like Khaya’s father.  

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What is Youngins about? 

Tshedza Pictures’ (Adulting, Outlaws) Youngins follows five students at government boarding school Olifantsfontein High – new girl Amo Mosweu (Ayakha Ntunja), head girl Buhle Kunene (Kealeboga Masango), Buhle’s soccer star boyfriend Khaya Jali (Toka Matabane), Tumelo Dibakwane (Lebohang Lephatsoana) who’s the only openly gay boy in school, and his Grade 10 friend and roommate Mahlatse Jiyane (Thabiso Ramotshela), who’s the school’s drug dealer. When Amo uncovers Principal Mthembu’s (Loyiso Macdonald) predatory behaviour around female students, she and her four new friends become targets.  

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