The 5 most shocking moments in South African dance drama Jiva!
Jiva! follows Ntombi’s journey between balancing her family duties and pursuing her passion for dance by competing in the Jiva Loxion competition. The series stunningly captures the vibrancy surrounding South Africa’s dance culture while presenting authentic narratives and hair-raising moments.
Here are a few of the moments from Season 1 that we will never forget.
The flash round
In the high stakes flash round of the competition, dance crews only have 30 seconds to impress the judges and move froward to regionals. The round starts off well, however, after receiving an enraging SMS, judge DJ Sika becomes less impressed by each crew. Ntombi’s crew, The Trollies, haven’t performed yet, and are starting to panic.
Finally, as The Trollies take centre stage we watch anxiously as their routine starts. Suddenly, in a jaw-dropping moment, Ntozoko breaks away from The Trollies attempting to hug one of the judges, causing her to be removed by security, leaving The Trollies with little hope of winning the round.
Makhekhe’s character plays on the idea of perception vs reality. He is established as a well-liked character and famous on the dance scene, as his group, The Soweto Cat,s have won the Jiva Loxion competition multiple times.
As the show plays out we see that Makhekhe is not the person he appears to be in the public eye and it comes as a shock when one of the other dance crew members confront him about previous prize money not being evenly distributed among the dancers, with Makhekhe taking the biggest cut. The two men argue, and it leaves us wondering who Makhekhe truly is behind his famous facade?
The reason behind Makhekhe’s fame
When Ntombi and her ex Makhekhe/Nathi fight in episode 2, Ntombi shares that she is the reason Makhekhe got his big break. This becomes clear in episode 4 when it’s revealed that years ago, the pair went to a big audition together and Ntombi was the one chosen to tour Johannesburg.
However, moments after Ntombi is told of her victory, she finds out about her father’s passing. Ntombi then asks Makhekhe to inform the audition judges of this on her behalf and to reason with them. In a shameful moment, Makhekhe lies to the judges, saying that Ntombi begged him to take her spot. This was the first step Makhekhe took towards fame, all because of Ntombi.
During a fight between Ntombi and her mother, Thuleleni, Ntombi brings up how Thuleleni has not been committed to physiotherapy that would allow her to walk again. Ntombi tells her mother — still in a wheelchair after many years — that she has not even tried to walk or stand and that “God helps those who help themselves.”
These words stay with Thuleleni that night and cause her to try to walk to reach a glass of water. Unfortunately, Thuleleni missteps, causing her to fall and hit her head on the kitchen counter and leaving her unconscious in an empty house. When Ntombi returns home and finds her mother, she can do nothing but scream for help.
A lot of shocking moments happen in the last episode, from The Trollies winning a spot to Johannesburg, to Samu not being able to compete. However, I felt it wouldn’t be fair to not honour this gesture. Through all the celebration over the regional win, Menzi, standing on a platform above the crowd, stretches out a handmade sign asking Vuyiswa to marry him.
For a moment, we all hold our breath, waiting for Vuyiswa’s response, as we know the couple have a complex relationship. We then get to celebrate with them when she says yes!
The ending of the season leaves us rooting for The Trollies as they board the bus to Johannesburg. However, there is still so much of Ntombi’s story to explore. We can’t wait for Season 2!
Meet the cast of Jiva!
Find out more about the key cast members of Jiva!, including Noxolo Dlamini (Sarafina, The Lion King), Candice Modiselle (The Queen, Generations: The Legacy) , Zazi Kunene (Moya), Stella Dlangalala, Sne Mbatha, Prince Grootboom, Given Stuurman (Invictus, Scandal), Zamani Mbatha (Rhythm City, Isithembiso) and Anga Makubalo (Generations and Isidingo).