Impilo: The Scam – when opportunity meets desperation
The Mzansi Magic drama series, now on Showmax, centres around a greedy opportunist who manipulates his naive and desperate son into scamming the community through a pyramid scheme called Impilo.
Mnqobi: a young man with a plan
One of the first characters we meet on Impilo: The Scam is Mnqobi (played by newcomer Sipho Mdingo), an intelligent high school student born into poverty.
Raised in a single-parent home, together with his younger brother who is gravely ill, Mnqobi is forced to become the man of the house after a series of misfortunes sends the family spiralling deeper into poverty.
In his efforts to help his mom put food on the table and to keep the lights on, Mnqobi hustles up a few jobs here and there to make a quick buck.
But Mnqobi realises that all his family’s financial problems could be erased when he learns about his mother’s dark secret. Mnqobi’s mother, Nokulunga (Sthandiwe Kgoroge), told Mnqobi that his father, Khulubuse (Desmond Dube), passed away when he was just a boy.
The story turns out to be a lie when Mnqobi’s father suddenly appears at their doorstep with bags full of groceries and money for his kids.
Secrets that divide
The truth about his father causes a rift between Mnqobi and his mother. Mnqobi feels that Khulubuse’s presence in their life could mark the end of their financial struggles. Little does he know that his mother is trying to protect him from a man who has a lot of skeletons in his closet.
What you see is not what you get when it comes to Khulubuse. He portrays himself as a successful businessman, but in reality, he is nothing but a con artist in debt who is being hunted by the old friend he betrayed, Pacino (Nay Maps).
On his role alongside TV greats like Desmond Dube, Nay Maps says, “It feels so good to be in a project with Desmond. It is such a great feeling to be part of a project with someone that I grew up watching. The same applies to Sthandiwe, it is such an honour working with people I grew up admiring.”
Behind the scenes
Impilo: The Scam is produced by A Tribe Called Story, which was started by three filmmakers, Aluta Qupa, Mbalizethu Zulu and Thembalethu Mfebe, who met as interns in M-Net’s Magic in Motion Academy in 2015.