Netflix’s much-awaited South African street dance series Jiva premiered yesterday, consolidating on the slew of South African content on the streamer. Starring Noxolo Dlamini in a lead role, the series follows her character Ntombi navigating economic anxieties due to her low-middle income background in Durban and works in an aquatic theme park to make ends meet for her family. When she decides to enter a dance competition called Jiva Loxion which dangles a winning prize of 1million rand, she sees it as an opportunity to change her circumstances.
Movies based on dance competitions have been with us for a long time, but what Jiva particularly does well is to explore the dance culture in South Africa intersecting with the huge wave of house music (gqom, amapiano etc) as a cultural export. Showrunner Busisiwe Ntintili has made a show that not only showwcases South Africa to the world, but also evangelizes a pan-African unity through dance.
YNaija’s Bernard Dayo interviewed some key members of the series – Candice Modiselle, Stella Dlangalala, Sne Mbatha, and of course, Noxolo Dlamini – wherein they shared insight into playing their characters and what fans should expect.
Interview with Stella Dlangalala and Sne Mbatha here.
Interview with Noxolo Dlamini and Candice Modiselle here.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.