Tsholofelo Matshaba and Thembinkosi Mthembu hit the bigtime on The River this month with promotions to starring cast.
Their characters of Kedibone and Mabutho have gone from recurring to starring for the new Season 4, which started on 1Magic last Monday (8 February).
And now their names are in the opening sequence, before the title, where every actor hopes to be.
This is Tsholofelo’s third season of portraying domestic abuse survivor Kedibone and Thembinkosi joined the show last season as punch-happy, moonlighting convict Mabutho.
This turn of event means that both characters will always be in the thick of things for the season, pivotal to the main storylines, with a detailed backstory.
How much do you know about them?
We got our clutches on their character profiles from the show’s writers to give you added insight from their creators:
During varsity holidays, she would teach matric learners Maths and Science in her high school. She always loved giving back in the community.
They got married within six months going against her parent’s wishes. What was she supposed to do? She was in love. They had a small wedding and continued living in Refilwe.
The first birthday she celebrated as a married couple, Kedibone experienced domestic violence for the first time. She came home late after her extra-classes with her matric learners.
Jacob was overwhelmed by jealousy and he beat her. He accused her to sleeping with another teacher. The next thing she was bathing Kedibone and apologising, blaming her for making him angry. She forgave Jacob and kept the incident to herself.
Even when she went straight to the police station to report Jacob, they would never take her seriously. One docket after another would go missing.
When Kedibone tried to go above Jacob, he would accuse her of trying to get him fired. He threatened her that, if he loses his job, he will kill her and no one would know.
From them on, each time he beat her, she would run to Thato, but continued to hide abuse. She was ashamed. Her family had warned her about rushing into marriage.
Jacob would show up to fetch her declaring his undying love for her, making everyone envious of such a romantic man.
Kedibone couldn’t bear to bring the child into a family like that. She kept her contraceptives at work and could only take them from there.
Things got worse when Thato got into a physical fight with Jacob defending his sister. Thato was locked up. Kedibone took Jacob’s side blaming Thato for making matters worse for her.
Thato never gave up on his sister, he continued housing her each time she came running into the house with broken ribs or a broken arm. She would beg Thato and Malefu not to tell anyone, especially the police, or the rest of the family.
It was as if things were coming normal. Jacob came home late one night. He got into bed and claimed he could smell a man’s cologne on the sheets. He took her to an abandoned mine. He stripped her naked demanding that she admits who she was having an affair with.
He beat her up to a pulp, degrading her and calling her names. Kedibone woke up in hospital and found out she was pregnant but lost the baby.
Kedibone came out from hospital, cooked Jacob his best meal and stabbed him to death in his sleep. She then handed herself over to the police.
Mabutho is nothing like the humble and good-looking man that one sees when they first meet him. As much as those qualities are real, so is his no-nonsense, manipulative and dark side.
He is loved by his elders for being that old fashioned young man who still believes in offering his seat to women and elders but be rude to him and take him for granted, he will beat up and explain his reasons later.
Women throw themselves at him, but he has no shame dishing out rejection as he believes in being the chaser.
Once he has his eye on a woman, he doesn’t take rejection well. He uses his isiZulu to get what he wants and, in most times, he gets it.
He was born and raised on the South Coast in KZN, in a small town called Harding, by his grandmother when his mother passed away. His mother and Paulina’s father were siblings.
He knows his father but has no interest in having any relationship with him, since he abandoned him and his mother.
He is the middle child and the only boy in the family of three. With no father figure in the family, he has had to take up the role of being the man in the family. He did that with what he knows best, unnecessary violence.
He battled through school due to his poor academic performance. He loathes anything mathematical. He never finished high school. He dropped out after repeating grade 10 three times.
His lack of education is his greatest insecurity. He takes care of himself holding down odd jobs. He mostly gets fired for fighting at work, brought on by his short temper.
His greatest strength is that he is good with his hands. He is those type of employees who work and never watches the clock. If the work is done, and his money is in the bank he is the happiest.
Mabutho is street smart and can read people as quickly as he walks into the room. His photographic memory comes in handy when he is involved in criminal behaviour.
He has had short stints in Westville prison for assault and house breaking. Once he is drunk, he speaks less.
He has a child with a woman he grew up with in the village. They are no longer together but he cares deeply for his son. He sends money home every month for him when he has a job.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé