The male cast of JIVA! have shared their experience of supporting an all-female lead cast, in light of the premiere of South Africa’s first Netflix original dance series.
On Tuesday, 22 June 2021, the male cast members of JIVA! were exclusively interviewed by JustNje. In a virtual sitting, Prince Grootboom, Given Stuurman and Zamani Mbatha detailed their characters and the significance of supporting an all-female lead cast. JIVA! is premised on Ntombi, played by Noxolo Dlamini, and her efforts to get out of her stagnant life through creating an all-female dance group to compete in a dance competition, with R1 million as the grand prize.
Grootboom plays the antagonist of the entire series, Makhekhe. Makhekhe is Ntombi’s ex-boyfriend, who uses the passing of her father to ultimately live the life that Ntombi had dreamt about. Stuurman, on the other hand, plays the character of Samu, who is Ntombi’s little brother. Stuurman enters the JIVA Loxion dance competition to promote his designs, as he aspires to own a successful clothing brand in the future.
Mbatha plays the character of Bheki. Bheki is a street vendor with a crush on Ntombi. Every day, Bheki is mesmerized by Ntombi as she catches her taxis opposite to Bheki’s stand at the taxi rank. In light of the characters all revolving around Ntombi, it was important to gauge the significance of the males supporting the female-led cast.
Stuurman detailed the experience by stating, “For me, it’s a great thing, you know. I, for myself, for the longest time have wanted to write a story about a leading Black female, you know. I’m just so happy that now is the time that we have a cast led by young, Black, strong females, you know. For me, it is the greatest honour to be by the sidelines and supporting those people, you know – As we should.”
JIVA! is currently available for viewing on Netflix.
Watch the full interview below.