Blood and Water is a South African Netflix special. This web series stars South African actors Ama Qamata, Khosi Ngema, and Gail Mabalane. The premise of the story is that Puleng Khumalo, played by Ama Qamata, moves to Parkhurst High as her past continues to haunt her. Her sister, Phumelele, was kidnapped as part of a human trafficking scheme. Her father is now being accused of playing a role in this scheme. The case seems hopeless until she meets Fikile Bhele, played by Khosi Ngema.

This new introduction springboards an obsession that seems to grow. Puleng believes that Fikile is her sister and she will do anything to find out the truth. Puleng is selfish in her friendship with Wade, seeming only to use him. The series consist of six, long episodes, so it creates the feeling of watching a movie instead of a series. As the episodes are quite lengthy, they are slightly overwhelming and difficult to manage. This coming of age web series shows the South African high school culture not only in the prestigious Parkhurst High, but also in Puleng’s old school which her friend Zama still attends.

This show is a step in the right direction for South African web series and it encourages the production of more local web series. South African music is used in the show, starring some well-known favourites such as Nasty C, Lastee, and Crowned Yung. The show is political in nature as it deals with human trafficking and fake adoption as one of the biggest problems in South Africa. Wendy, played by Natasha Thahane , brings other African political events to light by insisting on learning more about African history in class, much to the rest of the students’ dismay. The series is diverse in terms of racial and queer representation. The finale left room for the possibility of future seasons of the show. If you are looking for South African talent to watch, then Blood and Water might be a perfect fit.

Image: Cletus Mulaudi

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