Rented Family

Muzi (Gabriel Mini) is a self-made, township rich entrepreneur who has his fingers in many pies. He owns taxis, a shisa nyama and the biggest house on his street, which he is constantly extending in order to rent out more rooms.

His half-brother Zach (Trevor Gumbi), who happens to be a washed up and perpetually broke former soap star, with nowhere to go and a teenage daughter Zanele (Samke Makhoba) to raise, has moved into the house much to Muzi’s displeasure. Zanele has been brought up ‘Model C’ in the suburbs and now has to adjust to life in the township.

Muzi has a wayward son of his own to raise, Mzwa (Nkanyiso Shezi), a ghetto cheese boy who is far from a chip off the old block, being lazy and not sharing his father’s hustler spirit.

This situation is made even more complicated by a third parent in the mix, Lwazi (Swankie Mafoko) – a single mother bringing up a pre-adolescent child, Gates (Siyabonga Mabuza), who most people in the neighbourhood consider to be trouble, but who she sees as an angel.

Lwazi is ambitious, confident, hard grinding but unfocused, often torn between being the dedicated mother and her latest get rich scheme.

The Big House is a revolving door for classic township characters who come and go for a whole host of reasons. Leading the pack is Muzi’s mother, Sis Dina (Linda Sebezo), an ex-beauty queen who lives on her past glories.

Together they all form a far from ordinary family. Filled with outcasts who at first can’t stand each other, they soon (even though they would never ever admit it) come to depend and care for one another.

This is family, redefined.

The series stars Trevor Gumbi as Zach, Gabriel Mini as Muzi, Samke Makhoba as Zanele, Linda Sebezo as Sis Dina, Nkanyiso Shezi as Mzwa, Swankie Mafoko as Lwazi, Siyabonga Mabuza as Gates and Thobani Mbhele as CJ.

Rented Family is produced by Ochre Moving Pictures, with executive producer Stan Joseph and series producer Robbie Thorpe. Writers on the series include Salah Sabiti, Julian Koboekae and Onthatile Matshidiso. The title music is by Eric MaEra Mmusi and the first episode was directed by Sanele Zulu.