Come Monday night, South Africa will get to watch local actors Nokuthula Ledwaba, Nandi Nyembe and Mbulelo Grootboom in the remake of the 1970s American mini-series Roots.
— e.tv South Africa (@etv) November 2, 2017
The original, which first aired in 1977, remains one of the most-watched dramas in US television history. The story centres on Kunta Kinte (played by Malachi Kirby in the remake), a character widely recognised in American culture as the "slave who fought back".
Ledwaba plays Kunta's mother, Binta, a character who features prominently from the first episode and throughout the series. Ledwaba stars alongside American actors Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne and Anika Rose.
The story is set in Gambia, and all of the "Gambian scenes" were filmed in KwaZulu-Natal. Nyembe and Mbulelo are among the South African actors that make cameo appearances in the series.
Nyembe told Destiny Connect that she first watched the 1970s original while she was still in primary school in the 1990s.
"My mom brought a version from the UK, and we watched it together as a family," she said. "My mom was an activist, so it was a history lesson every time."
The former Rhythm City star said shooting for the show began two weeks after her mother's passing, and she felt unprepared.
"I remember thinking that I'd lost so much weight. How was I going to pull this off? I looked like a child. But I had to just dive in. I trusted the process of grief and mourning," she said.
The series will air over four weeks and starts on November 6 at 8.30pm on e.tv.Suggest a correction