Following our invitation from eTV to have lunch with the lead family on their popular telenovela, Gold Diggers, we had no idea what to expect.
Shortly after we arrived at their offices in Hyde Park we were lead onto a bus and transported into the world of Gold Diggers’ Gumede family.
We were first introduced to the show in August 2015 following eTV’s push into creating it’s own telenovelas.
The initial season’s storyline followed the lives of the show’s mining community quite closely with particular focus on the Gumede family.
Mbongeni Ngema played the role of Patrick (the family’s patriarch) who had two wives. His first wife (Ruth) is played by Clementine Mosimane, while his second wife, May, is played by Tina Jaxa.
A series of unfortunate events - including the death of Patrick and the subsequent incarceration of his sons - now finds the family hiding out in Soweto as fugitives.
Originally set in a mining community in Careltonville, Gold Diggers now finds itself split between Muldersdrift and Soweto. As such, the focus of the telenovela has slightly shifted from a mining-heavy storyline as Isidingo has done over the years.
The show’s producer, Johnny Barbazano, states that this was a deliberate move as they are trying to grow their audience.
“Towards the end of season one, almost all our characters had their hands bloodied or soiled by crime in one way or another and there was no way that their world could have remained in the same place so they had to go on the run,” explained Barbazano.
He added that they do not wish to alienate the show’s original audience as it was mainly watched by those living in mining communities. He is however, confident in the fact that they will stay on seeing as the story is about the Gumede family and the audience loves them enough to follow them wherever they go.
We were then introduced to each of the cast members from the Gumede family, including Zuluboy (Big Boy), Zimkitha Nyoko (Owethu), Tina Jaxa (May) and Clementine Mosimane (Ruth), and they shared a few tidbits about what is in store for each of their characters this season.
Even though the show’s head writer, Loyiso Maqoma, and Barbazano summed season two up as a season about criminals trying to find retribution in another place so they can go back home, they also remind us that there is a heavy emphasis on family and the protection of family.Barbazano and Maqoma also shared that although the main focus has somewhat shifted, gold digging remains a central theme in the show, including the literal introduction of gold digging through one of the shows new faces, Dimpho played by Phindile Zwane.
There will also be metaphorical gold digging through characters looking for nuggets in their jobs, relationships, and other opportunities.
In addition to the usual bombshell of having a dead character revived and having the family secret held in the balance by a scorned ex lover, we’ll get to see each character tested and having to discover who they really are - namely, the baby of the family (Owethu) who sits high atop her moral high horse. Or so we think...
Look out for the behind the scenes video coming soon.
Gold Diggers airs on eTV, every weeknight at 8:30pm.