DJ TSIETSI (29) – Protagonist – Sharpeville
WANT: To win the Kwaal and save the staSon
NEED: To stop trying to do it all alone and unite with others, including his estranged dad 0THE VOICE OF THE VAALKARABO)
FLAW: Too independent
Tsietsi literally grew up at 016FM, as the sta7on was started by his mother, Mama Jane. She has met his journalist father there, when Mosoeu worked as the first news compiler and news reader. Idealis7c and overly independent, Tsie7 started working at the sta7on as soon as he finished university. He’s been an overworked and underpaid producer for years, but recently has been given his own evening show. Tsietsi is a connoisseur of world music. He was heavily involved in poetry and rap movements growing up, with influences like Hympha7c Thabs, Black Thought, Talib Kweli and others. He seldom has 7me for a social life, but when he does, he hangs out at places like Uhuru. Most of his interac7ons outside the sta7on are with people in his neighbourhood, when he stops to get breakfast from amagwinya mama, or lunch at the tuckshop. Tsietsi is poli7cally woke and loves history. Occasionally he delivers powerful and highly intellectual monologues on air. He dresses like a shabby Afro-Intellectual and drives a ba+ered old jalopy. However, he drops his scruffy Afrointellectual look and “dappers up” when he starts campaigning for the Kwaal.
A late bloomer, he flirts awkwardly and struggles to hold down casual conversa7ons with women despite his seemingly bo+omless intellect. Tsietsi oien has shades on, even at night. Some people around the sta7on call him Ray Charles.
DJ WHISKEY (32) – ShapeshiXer – Sebokeng
WANT: To win the Kwaal to promote his career
NEED: To be more selfless
FLAW: Selfish, prepared to be unethical to win
Whisky is a loud, larger-than-life bombas7c character with a lot of star quality. He prides himself on being outrageous. In fact, he’s oien downright rude, but usually gets away with it. Being controversial on-air as a talk DJ is what makes him popular. If being a shock jock hadn’t already been invented, he’d own the patent. He’s a gregarious character who knows just about everyone who’s anyone in Sebokeng and doesn’t pay for his drinks at the clubs he frequents – Midcorner, Vader’s Place, Club La Prioque and Boss Beats. Boss Beats is our antagonist, Pius’s Club, where Whisky oien performs as a music DJ. He does this in exchange for a souped-up car with his name and Pius’s branding on the side. He exudes confidence in everything he does and sees himself as a Vaal celebrity. He’s obsessed with other celebri7es, seeking to be in their presence and up on everything they do. He is fully part of the local Matariana culture and he dresses the Setariana way. He can dance all the local dance crazes, although not as well as his younger brother TK. He calls everyone ‘swaer’. He’s a playboy who gets into an affair with Latoya whilst also making a play for Karabo. Anything to get them on his side. He is highly compe77ve and hates being second best more than anything.PIUS KHUMALO (46)
WANT: More money and more power through his criminal syndicate
NEED: To be more selfless
FLAW: NarcissisSc, selfish and dangerousHalf-Zulu, half-Sotho, Pius is former bodybuilder turned entrepreneur. He owns garages, a scrapyard, a gym and a club. He is 016FM’s biggest adver7ser but they don’t know that his businesses are a front for illegal ac7vi7es. He dabbles in car theis as well as steroids and recrea7onal drugs. However, his most lucra7ve enterprise is as the leader of a ring that heists trucks full of consumer goods as well as metals and copper. He has teams who heist trucks and teams who go out and steal copper cables. Some of the popular Milanos (the guys who wear garish Italian clothes and buy the most expensive alcohol in clubs) work for him. As 016Fm faces its shutdown, Pius is under surveillance by the police. They’ve already raided some of his businesses and he needs a place to hide cash and copper. He also needs a different way to communicate with his network across the Vaal that cannot be intercepted by the police. He sees an opportunity with the 016FM situa7on and agrees to financially support the sta7on un7l the Kwaal. He plants Queen inside the sta7on to launder money and to facilitate adver7sing live-reads that send coded messages to his criminal network across the Vaal. Queen is infatuated with Pius and will do anything for him. Pius strings her along, using her to help his illegal opera7ons. However, he’s not really interested in a rela7onship with her. He flees the country when the syndicate is finally exposed, leaving Queen to face jail 7me alone.
WANT: Money, Status, To Belong
NEED: INTEGRITY, SELFLESSNESS
FLAW: SELFISH, ARROGANT, INSECURE, LOVES MATERIAL REWARDS
Xhosa-speaking Queen is a qualified CA who lost her accredita7on when she commi+ed fraud at her previous job. She is a slay queen obsessed with fashion, selfies, money, power and danger. She is thrilled to be working with Pius, believing that he will marry her and they will fabulously rule his empire together. Queen loves money and flashy luxury goods. She also wants somewhere to belong, as her mother is deceased and she never knew her father. Aier she was fired from her previous job in Jo’burg, she landed in the Vaal. The Mantariana gang took her in, and she’s been doing their dirty work since. She is placed into 016FM by Pius as the Marke7ng & Finance Manager. Her main job is to find ways to launder money through the sta7on, and to facilitate the live adver7sing reads, with coded messages, to the syndicate. That said, she loves being in close proximity to the DJ’s and any musicians or other celebs who walk through the door. Queen is always promo7ng herself with selfies, even on her way to jail when the syndicate’s schemes are exposed.
WANT: To be an on-air DJ
NEED: To be more asserSve for herself
FLAW: Waits for permission/approval
Karabo, along with Tsietsi, is part of the backbone of 016FM. She works as the news compiler, newsreader, recep7onist and all-round dogs body. She’s a bubbly op7mist who comes from an authen7c, loving family. Karabo’s family are loyal 016FM listeners and we oien see them when we cut to Listeners. Karabo has the security and confidence of someone who comes from a suppor7ve and loving family, but she’s also polite and doesn’t push herself forward enough. Hence, her talent as a DJ goes unno7ced, because she’s more useful to everyone doing everything else for them. Karabo is warm and sunny, one of those happy, bubbly and nice people who can irritate those less sunny, especially when they have hangovers or are having a bad day. Queen and Latoya and others can’t understand why she doesn’t drink, doesn’t sleep around, etc. Despite that, people feel protec7ve of her. The truth is that she has a crush on Tsietsi, who unsurprisingly has no clue that this young lady is into him. She looks up to LaToya as a mentor but finds Queen annoying and she’s suspicious of her.
WANT: Her own TV Show
Drop-dead gorgeous, dynamite host of the breakfast show. When LaToya presents, she’s clearly a star des7ned for bigger things. Although she’s loyal to 016FM, and works her ass off to save it by calling in famous DJ buddies, she’s secretly in nego7a7ons to have her own show on TV. She’s a naughty seductress who loves to flirt with her listeners and her guests on the show. She’s also extremely percep7ve and understanding, drawing out confidences people never expected to confess when they called in. However, she’s also known to have a short fuse (especially when hung-over or short of sleep) and some7mes lashes out at her colleagues and listeners live on air. She has a segment on her show called #BuaFela where literally no topic is off limits. Listeners call in and talk to her about whatever is on their minds. LaToya loves being on the breakfast show but absolutely hates waking up early. She genuinely falls for Whiskey, despite her flirty nature and his womanising ways. However, LaToya is a woman with a plan. Aier saving the sta7on with the Kwaal, she will move on, even if it means leaving her heart behind.
DJ KEITH (26)
WANT: LA DOLCE VITA (THE SWEET) LIFE
Keith has the morning showing aier LaToya’s Breakfast on 016FM. He plays lots of chilled, sensual music and smokes weed during his show. Keith is a good-looking local who prides himself on being far more evolved, refined and Zen than anyone else. He embraces the designer Italian fashion but he goes for the muted, elegant, gentlemanly look. He’s into medita7on, wind-chimes and yoga at the banks of the Vaal. Although women are incredibly a+racted to the soi-spoken sensualist, he iden7fies as omnisexual. He has a stalker fan who is obsessed with him. He owns at pet hamster/rat called Gucci, who wears a 7ny diamond/Gucci collar and lives in a cage dubbed the Palazzo. The Palazzo is accessorized with designer items. When Gucci is let out of Palazzo by the Stalker, Keith finds him nibbling on the new red couch that Queen brought in to decorate the open plan office. When Keith picks Gucci up, reprimanding him for ea7ng inferior quality material, he sees the couch is stuffed with Dollars! He then finds himself in a life-threatening situa7on when he’s kidnapped. But does the syndicate have him, or is it the Stalker?
MOSOEU (PROF MOZ), (55)
WANT: To reunite with his son
FLAW: Obsessive at whatever he does
Prof Moz is a lonely former journalist who is now a Professor at Vaal Varsity. He divorced Tsietsi’s mother, Mama Jane, when Tsietsi was a teenager. He lei the country and took a job as a freelance war correspondent. Tsietsi felt abandoned and has never forgiven his father. Although they speak and are polite, their rela7onship is strained. Things got worse when Mama Jane started losing her facul7es due to a brain tumour. She started asking for Mosoeu, but Prof Moz refused to visit, even when she was taken to hospital and pronounced pallia7ve. Mosoeu sees the Kwaal of the Vaal as an opportunity to mend his rela7onship
with his son. He obsessively starts campaigning for #TeamTsietsi. He works his socks off to help his son secure the top job at 016FM. However, he messes up in the beginning and makes Tsietsi look foolish. He is finally able to be of real help when Tsietsi struggles with an amorous female adver7ser, Charity. He also helps with inves7ga7ons when Tsietsi realises the sta7on has been infiltrated by criminals. Mosoeu s7ll maintains good rela7onships with the local police. Finally, Tsietsi realises how genuine his father is. He also realises the divorce was never his father’s fault, and his leaving the country was Mosoeu’s way of dealing with the heartbreak. Tsietsi and Mosoeu reunite at the end and start on a clean slate.
TOKOLOHO aka TK (19)
WANT: For his brother to win the Kwaal and to acknowledge him as indispensable NEED: To find his own idenSty and ‘thing’
FLAW: Hero-worships Whisky to his own detriment TK is Whisky’s good-looking, mul7-talented li+le brother who becomes a TikTok sensa7on through his campaign to promote #TeamWhisky. Dancing, rapping, comedy, slam poetry – you name it, he can do it. He’s a first-year student at Vaal Varsity. He goes head to head in opposi7on to Prof Moz at varsity, determined to recruit everyone over to support #TeamWhiskey. Fully in tune with the 016’s pop culture, has as much charm and star quality as his older brother, only in a much soier and more charming way. When Whisky ignores him and focuses on his affair (and social media publicity campaign) with LaToya, he accepts the invita7on to join Pius’s criminal opera7on.
CHARITY MANZINI (52)
WANT: Romance and excitement
NEED: To be herself
FLAW: Midlife crisis, lonely
Charity is a beau7ful, wealthy local businesswoman. Her father founded a retail chain in the Vaal (think Mike Maponya), and she inherited the stores and his legacy of philanthropy and community service. She’s humiliated when Whisky calls her and tries to seduce her with a sex call, not realising he has lei his mic open and is live on-air. Furious, she withdraws all her adver7sing from 016FM, which is the final nail in the ailing sta7on’s coffin. Tsietsi goes to her and convinces her to con7nue her adver7sing support, promising that he and he alone with deal with her. He also promises that she can write her own radio ads and voice them – but realises she is absolutely terrible! He’s in a real quandary when she embarrassingly tries to seduce him. He brings in his father to help write her radio spots and the two become roman7cally involved, she pretends the cougar moment with Tsietsi never happened