During four hit seasons, viewers have watched many incredible characters enter and leave Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility, but only a few have remained.
These are the women of Lockdown who have successfully kept viewers on the edge of their seats for four seasons running. And they’re about to do even more damage in the upcoming fifth season.
Zandile Mkhwanazi aka MaZet (Dawn Thandeka King)
MaZet was born on 9 December 1975 and incarcerated on 27 April 2016. She is serving a nine-year sentence for murdering her uncle.
MaZet is a strong and passionate woman who is highly respected by her fellow inmates. MaZet does not pose a threat to anyone and she is fair and respectful, but if backed up against the wall, she will retaliate.
From the outside, she comes across as a hardcore inmate, but deep inside, she has a gentle heart and has a soft spot for the vulnerable.
MaZet understands prison life and strategically calculates every decision she makes. She knows the rules and tends to play fair, but sometimes playing fair in prison can get you killed – so at times MaZet has to play dirty to survive.
MaZet is portrayed by award-winning actress Dawn Thandeka King, who won the Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role in a TV drama for Lockdown in 2019.
Megan King aka Tyson (Lorcia Cooper)
Tyson was born on 11 August 1979 and arrested on 8 February 2016. She is serving a 15-year sentence for murder and armed robbery.
Coined as the school-yard bully in prison, Tyson has made life a living hell for some inmates, especially the new ones, whom she refers to as fresh meat.
MaZet is her long-term nemesis, and, like oil and water, the two don’t mix. It seems like they’re always close to killing each other.
Tyson’s hardcore attitude stems from a life of hardship. She lost her younger brother to an illness and was raped in prison by a male prisoner during their shared cleaning duties.
The traumatic incident fuelled Tyson’s fire, and she was out for blood and revenge. She not only killed her rapist but also murdered the rapist’s child when she was out on parole – a horrific scene that had the whole of Mzansi shocked at her taking an innocent life.
Actress Lorcia Cooper-Khumalo plays the role of Tyson in the story. In April 2019 Lorcia won the Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama category for her role in Lockdown at the Golden Horn Awards.
Nomonde Jali aka Monde (Zola Nombona)
Monde is determined to prove her innocence – and she’s managing to keep herself alive, for now.
Monde was born on 21 April 1990 and incarcerated on 19 July 2016 for possession of drugs. She’s currently serving a five-year sentence.
The irony of Monde’s situation is that she does not belong in prison. She was framed by her boyfriend, who planted drugs in her bag on the way to the airport. Totally unsuspecting, Monde walked into the airport – and the rest is history.
Life is nothing but hell for Monde, who has tried to escape numerous times. She’s still determined to prove her innocence – and she’s managing to keep herself alive, for now.
Actress Zola Nombona portrays Monde in Lockdown. The actress boasts several award nominations, including a SAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role in a TV Drama for Lockdown in 2019.
Maki Magwaza aka Maki (Linda Sebezo)
Maki was born on 13 October 1960 and was transferred to Thabazimbi from another prison on 4 August 2016. She’s serving a 25-year sentence for murder and fraud.
Maki is an outrageous person who is passionate about exacting revenge on her enemies. Although she doesn’t get along with most of the inmates, she knows how to play the prison game very well.
Maki not only makes alliances with her fellow inmates but with the security guards as well to ensure that she gets what she wants.
Actress Linda Sebezo portrays the character of Maki. During her long career, she has won numerous awards, including three consecutive SAFTAs. She’s a well-known face from shows such as Gauteng Maboneng, Generations and Rhythm City.
Nosipho Mlambo aka Slenda (Nomsa Buthelezi)
Slenda may seem harmless but don’t be fooled – she is quite unpredictable.
Slenda was born on 6 October 1976. She was sent to prison on her 40th birthday in 2016 for murdering her rapist. She’s serving a nine-year sentence.
Slenda is close to MaZet, and although she’s a bit crazy, she makes for a loyal friend.
She has an imaginary baby that she carries with her at all times. Slenda may seem harmless but don’t be fooled – she is quite unpredictable.
Nomsa Buthelezi plays the role of Slenda. When she’s not roughing it in prison, she glams it up to be one of the most popular presenters of Mzansi Magic’s Our Perfect Wedding. At the 2019 SAFTAs Nomsa walked away with a Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Comedy for Abo Mzala 3.
Vicky Willard (Lauren Jenae)
Vicky was born on 16 September 1989 and arrested for drugs and prostitution on 19 July 2016. She is serving six years for the crimes she committed.
Just like Monde, Vicky has had a hard time at Thabazimbi Correctional Facility. Her face is half-burned because of a violent altercation with another inmate.
Actress Lauren Jenae plays the role of Vicky. She has also appeared on shows such as Isibaya and Rhythm City.
Sue Le Roux (Patricia Boyer)
Patricia Boyer is a versatile and experienced actress with over 20 years’ experience.
Sue was born on 9 November 1975 and arrested on 1 April 2017 for murder. She is serving 15 years in prison for her crime.
Patricia Boyer is a versatile and experienced actress with over 20 years’ experience. She has worked both locally and abroad throughout her career.
Apart from Lockdown, Patricia has also appeared on several other local drama series such as Sokhulu and Partners, The Lab, Home Affairs, Intersexions and Jacob’s Cross.
Deborah Banda (Pamela Nomvete)
We can’t wait to see if Deborah gets what she deserves this season.
Prison Governor Deborah Banda is just as corrupt and dangerous as the inmates she rules over. Deborah has a horrifically dark secret: she is a paedophile who yearns for boy children. We can’t wait to see if she gets what she deserves this season.
Ethiopian-born Pamela Nomvete has an acting career that spans 30 years. In 2005, Pamela received the Best Actress award at the Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival for her role in the film A Zulu Love Letter.
She’s also received praise for playing the evil governor: in 2019, she was nominated for a SAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama Series for Lockdown.
And there’s one new face in the mix…
Every season of Lockdown introduces a new star. This time it’s Sophie Lichaba, aka Sophie Ndaba, who became a household name in South Africa during her two-decade-long starring role as the feisty receptionist Queen Moroka in the SABC1 soapie Generations. You’ll need to wait til the first episode to see who’s she playing…