Adding to her international acclaim of SXSW debut feature Nommer 27Nosipho Dumisa paints a picture of Parkhust College, a prestigious inner-city school for Cape Town’s elite scholars and academic overachievers.

BLOOD & WATER is directed by one of South Africa’s most notable black female directors, award-winning Nosipho Dumisa (Cheval Noir jury prize for Best Director, Fantasia International Film Festival)

Director Nosipho Dumisa with lead actress Ama Qamata // Pic by Tegan Smith Photography

This series stars some of our amazing fresh talent in the likes of the two newcomers as female leads Ama Qamata(My Perfect Family, Rhythm City, Gomora) who stars as Puleng, an intelligent, proactive and impulsive teen who engineers her transfer to the school to investigate the 17-year- old cold case of her older sister, who was abducted-at-birth. In the search Puleng meets beautiful, alluring Fikile “Fiks” Bhele from nearby private school, played by Khosi Ngema starring in her debut role. Joining the female leads is Thabang Molaba (The Queen, Diamond City) playing Karabo ‘KB’ Molapo, resident bad boy and high school heart throb who is struggling to live up to his father’s high expectations. In her on-going search Puleng finds an ally and assistant investigator in Wade, played by Dillon Windvogel (Arendsvlei), while also having to handle the opinionated Wendy Dlamini, who at times is a bit too ‘woke’, played by Natasha Thahane (Skeem Saam, The Queen, Lockdown).

Thabang Molaba as KB & Ama Qamata as Puleng // Pic by Lindsey Appolis

Completing the diverse cast are formidable actors Gail Mabalane (The Road, The Wild), Sello Maake KaNcube (The Herd, The River, Scandal, Generations), Arno Greef (Binnelanders), Ryle De Morny (Top Billing), Getmore Sithole (Scandal), Xolile Tshabalala (High Rollers), Sandi Schultz (Binnelanders), Monique Rockman (Nommer 37) and Cindy Mahlangu (The Herd, The Queen).

Gail Mabalane plays Puleng’s mother: Thandeka

The fact that this series has black actresses as leads and a predominantly black cast is already an impressive win for representation. From the very few minutes of viewing there’s already a lot to appreciate. From the setting, the music, the accents and language very much feels South African. It relishes the opportunity to indulge this interesting twist with a smart whodunit mystery that encourages you to continue watching to find out what happened. With just the right number of episodes this 6-part drama quickly proves addictive enough that it gets hard to stop watching and when you get to the end you can’t help but want more. 

In her debut, Khosi Ngema proves to be a perfect choice considering the fact that the story centers heavily on her character. It’s hard to believe that this is her first TV role as she delivers a stellar performance.

The first episode opens with a 17th birthday of Puleng’s long-lost sister, which her grieving mother (portrayed by Gail Mabalane) celebrates every year. Puleng (portrayed by Ama Qamata) ends up fighting with her mom & decides to go to a party that leads to her meeting Fikile (portrayed by Khosi Ngema) which she swears is her long-lost sister. 

From here on we get everything we’ve grown to love and appreciate about teen-series set in high school: steamy scenes, cuts to Parkhust College which is set in University of Cape Town, beautiful students in cute school uniforms and students just getting into trouble, the juicy drama brought about by Wendy (portrayed by Natasha Thahane) and just an overall refreshing content to the already growing teen-content that Netflix has.

Natasha Thahane plays Wendy // Pic by Jonathan Ferreira

This is a step in the right direction for African content as Netflix seems to be channeling more shows with dark-skinned talent. 

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