“We want people to be proud of the story” say the cast of The Brave Ones 

Netflix’s The Braves Ones will be streaming to over 190 countries from September 16. The show which features a brilliant mix of experienced and young actors was created by director and writer, Akin Omotoso. The six-episode series is set in the three parallel worlds where good and evil battle. There is the living, the unborn and the dead governed by the Tree of Life. The Brave Ones are meant to be the saviors. The Daily Vox team spoke to eight cast members about what it meant to work on the production. 

The mainstream movie and film industry is saturated and even oversaturated at times with Greek, Roman and Western mythology. However, there has been very little focus on African mythology and its diversity especially in a nuanced and non-stereotypical way. 


#TDVFridayRecommends: Netflix’s The Braves Ones are here 

The cast of The Brave Ones believe their show is going to change that. 

Sthandile Nkosi plays the lead role, Ntsiki. She is excited for the world to see an all-African cast and crew bringing an African story to the world. Nkosi said: “I think it’s about time that the world sees what Africans can do. I feel like the world is shifting and watching us. I am excited for us as Africans to take up our power because that is what this story is really about.” 

Nkosi said: “It’s been an honour to be a part of this amazing show that talks about African mythology with folk tales told in a modern sense.” 

Pheelo Kotelo who plays Wele, Ntsiki’s father, said that with The Brave Ones, “Marvel Studios is now in Africa”. 

“It’s about each and everyone of us having supernatural powers and gifts in ourselves. Netflix and The Brave Ones are saying don’t forget about yourselves – you also have supernatural gifts,” Kotelo said. 

Telling a story that is very South African and African was very important to the cast. Tony Kgoroge plays one of the villainous characters, Luthando. He said being apart of the show was an opportunity to “learn through our culture and through what we perceive as spiritual ways to tell a decent story”. 

T. Kgoroge said often spirituality is seen from a Western perspective. In the show, there was focus on how African spirituality is rooted in where you come from. 

The show which traverses many different worlds is grounded in an informal settlement somewhere in Johannesburg. All of the characters switch between vernacular, English and a mixture of both. All of the mythology is rooted in African folklore and spirituality. 

Sthandiwe Kgoroge plays Thandaza, Ntsiki’s mother. Kgoroge said she hopes people will be proud that seeing the show is telling a normal fireside story – one that people would have grown up with. However, it’s now being told on an international platform like Netflix. 

“I think people will be extremely proud to see that our stories are being authentically told by us, acted by us on platforms like this,” S Kgoroge said. 

Nomalanga Nkosi who plays another of the villainous characters, Ayanda said it was deeply affirming to work on the show. She hopes everyone can find something that they can relate to and in that way a lot of conversation can be had on the themes of the show. 

And there is a lot to be spoken about in the show. There is greed, corruption, gender-based violence, violence, cheating, complicated family dynamics and politics. This is all intertwined with magic and the other world. 

T. Kgoroge said corruption and greed are all issues found in all the countries that are trying to play great. With the show, they are highlighting those issues but also make sure there’s a lesson that comes out. “Within our folk stories, there is always a lesson you learn from and there is something you walk away with,” he said. 

Zamani Mbatha who plays Siya said it was about time Africans spoke about things like spirituality and black magic. 

Mbatha said “There’s a lot that the rich do and take from the poor and that’s where I feel like the two worlds meet. It’s not just in the service delivery type of politics but also there’s hidden stuff being done like sacrifices, blood and all of that. It’s such an honour to be a part of a project like this.” 

The authenticity of the setting is something that the cast hopes the audience will understand and will appeal to all. Yule Masiteng who plays Ndyebo said he liked that the producers decided to set the show in the present moment. Masiteng said he thinks this will make it easier for the younger generation to relate to it and get the lessons that they need to get.

“It’s set in a township and you can see it’s a dusty township. You can the riches of the riches and the poorest of the poor. That’s the reality we are living in right now. There are so many lessons to be learnt from the Braves Ones and they can be applicable in so many ways because the setting is there,” said Masiteng. Masiteng also expressed shock that they got to tell their own story to the audiences which could possibly be reaching over 190 countries. 

Another thing the cast were excited about was working with Omotoso. Keke Mphuthi who plays Funeka, Ntsiki’s sister said she grew up watching Omotoso on Generations from a young age on Generations. While she admits she probably shouldn’t have been watching Generations at the age of five, she was so excited to work with him. 

“But knowing that he saw me and said I like you was something,” said Mphuthi. S. Nkosi echoed those words saying it was an extreme honour to work with Omotoso. She said Omotoso was someone that all South Africans are proud of. “The young man who came in as an actor to where he is now – creating work for industry by telling our stories,” S. Nkosi said. 

One of the things that stand out about this project is the chemistry between all the cast members. They all spoke about how great it was to work with each other and how close they all became especially in the downtime they had between shooting scenes. They all said Sthandile Nkosi’s energy just filled up the room and was a delight to work with. That relationships is clear to see on screen with the professionalism and passion which all the cast display.

The show releases September 16 only on Netflix.

Featured image provided by Netflix