“Jiva! »Does all the right things to intensify the appeal of the dance genre.
Over the past weekend I decided to take a break to watch anything.
You see, while it’s a happy experience for the most part, for me, as a reviewer, it’s often work for me. Do not mistake yourself. I’m not complaining at all. But sometimes I just need to switch off.
As such, I didn’t catch “Jiva!” like most streamers did over the weekend.
But, after some colleagues discussed the five-part series at our meeting on Monday, I was intrigued.
Of course, they made a few valid points about the need for creatives to ensure that places allow the public to suspend their beliefs.
Overall, they were impressed. And, honestly, me too.
I hung from the first frame. This series is an atmosphere, contagious to that.
And Busisiwe Ntintili (“4Play: Sex Tips for Girls” and “Happiness is a Four Letter Word”), who wears the cap of writer, director and executive producer, deserves a lot of praise for a top-notch script.
It is engaging, powerful and therefore in tune with the socio-economic realities of our country. I love the way she took artistic liberties by interweaving political issues that make the headlines into the narrative.
She also ensures that her storytelling is in tune with the culture and aspirations of young people.
The series follows the journey of Ntombi (Noxolo Dlamini), a gifted street dancer from Umlazi. Her life and dreams were turned upside down when her father committed suicide.
At the time, she was about to land her big break – an opportunity to tour as a dancer.
But that fell apart when his uncle Bra Zo (Tony Kgoroge) arrived and gave him the devastating news that changed his life. Since then, she has been the breadwinner, taking care of her wheelchair-bound mother and teenage brother Samu (Given Stuurman).
She is stuck in a dead end job at uShaka Marine World and longs to change her monotonous routine.
And this fire in her belly never ceases to attract her to her first love, in more than one way. And Bra Zo also defends his dreams.
The fifth Jiva Loxion street dance competition is back in town, as is Ntombi’s now famous ex, Bheki (Zamani Mbatha).
Things between the two of them ended badly, especially when he took her dancing niche, which she had to give up, and in doing so became a reality TV star.
Aside from that he broke his promise, she is upset that he stole her life.
Fortunately, her sassy and protective ride or death, Vuyiswa (Candice Modiselle), takes her away from the past and pushes her to focus on the future by participating in the competition.
She eventually gives in and enrolls in The Trollies. Then, she goes on a recruiting mission and disembarks Zinhle (Sne Mbatha), Lady E (Stella Dlangalala) and Nolwazi (Zazi Kunene).
Although they have their party of five, there are internal feuds within the group.
But there is no dispute about the wealth of talent among them.
These guys are hot, passionate, and are taking those pop street dance moves right up to an art form. And they’re dripping with booty.
There are several layers in the storytelling and Ntintili handles it like the maven that she is.
We have the romantic aspect with Samu chasing her high school crush, now in her sister’s dance troupe.
Meanwhile, Ntombi, who has been too distracted by life to realize that she has a secret admirer, is fighting several battles, one of the most difficult of which is trying to convince her mother to support her dreams.
Although Vuyiswa is life goals with her designer wardrobe and lavish apartment, she has her own struggles with a controlling sugar daddy.
On the other hand, DJ Sika (Anga Makubalo) puts out a fire that could destroy everything he has built with the help of Jiva Loxion.
As much as I was delighted with the stellar cast and brilliant script, the fashion, music and dance choreography of the series is a wonderful ode to African culture and talent.
Watch “Jiva!” fills you with unmistakable pride.
The performances are authentic and engaging. The drama is offset by brilliant dance choreography and dances.
Don’t even get me started on the perfect choice of beats and the homage to icons like Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa and more.
This series makes all the right moves and intensifies the appeal of the dance genre. He has heart, soul and a contagious atmosphere!
“Jiva! »Is currently streaming on Netflix.