Kaunda Selisho

By Kaunda Selisho

Journalist


‘Smoke & Mirrors’: Zinhle Mabena returns to TV alongside Zolisa Xaluva

Now that 'Imbewu' is coming to an end, the 9pm slot on e.tv has opened up to introduce a new world in a show titled 'Smoke & Mirrors'.


Since leaving her role on Isibaya (which ended in 2021) and leaving her marriage, actress Zinhle Mabena has quietly been minding her own business. She will, however, be thrust back into the spotlight from 17 April onwards as she takes on a new role in the e.tv drama, Smoke & Mirrors which takes over the 9pm slot on the channel, replacing Imbewu.

Produced by The Final Chapter Productions, the sizzling new late-night drama promises to “bring the heat” when it premieres on Monday, 17 April. 

Virginia from Smoke & Mirrors etv
Zinhle Mabena plays Virginia on e.tv’s new 9pm drama, Smoke & Mirrors | Picture: Supplied / e.tv

What is ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ about? 

Smoke & Mirrors is set in the landscape of a small mining town called Emnyameni, home to a host of residents who will rock your boat.

“Here, we come to learn that the story lives up to its name; nothing and no one is truly as they seem.” 

ALSO READ: ‘Generations: The Legacy’ – Tragedy in the Moroka family brings Karabo and Tau home

“We’ve cooked up a story that is gripping at its core but yet has multiple facets that resonate with the viewer. A lot of research went into putting the show together and in the end, we are happy to say we have a good product to show and tell,” said Loyiso Maqoma, creator, writer and producer for Smoke & Mirrors.

“e.tv focuses on introducing untold stories to the South African audience and promises entertainment like no other. The introduction of Smoke and Mirrors opens a world that hasn’t been explored before, the combination of this story and cast will simply blow our audience’s minds away,” commented Helga Palmer, Head of Local Programming at e.tv.

Meet the cast 

Thandiswa Mseleku from Smoke & Mirrors etv
Ayanda Bandla plays Thandiswa Mseleku on e.tv’s new 9pm drama, Smoke & Mirrors | Picture: Supplied / e.tv

At the heart of the story of the show is Thandiswa Mseleku (Ayanda Bandla), a hairdresser by day and an escort by night who is on a mission to rid the town of Emnyameni of three evil men – Caesar, Jaxon and Mthetho. 

On the show, the trio of morally corrupt men who run Emnyameni are also known as “The Unholy Trinity”. 

Caesar from Smoke & Mirrors etv
Zolisa Xaluva plays Caesar on e.tv’s new 9pm drama, Smoke & Mirrors | Picture: Supplied / e.tv

Caesar – played by beloved South African actor Zolisa Xaluva – is the leader of the pack. He is described as the alpha and a cut-throat businessman, who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He is married to Virginia, played by Zinhle Mabena.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Nikiwe on e.tv: Meet the cast 

We then meet Jaxon with an ‘X’ (yes an ‘X) He’s played by Meshack Mavuso-Magabane. He’s the show’s flashy mayor who tends to live way beyond his means. 

Finally, we’re introduced to Mthetho played by Kabomo Vilakazi. He’s the town’s police commissioner. Mthetho lives a double life that will one day catch up with him.

Smoke & Mirrors producers hail Khayalethu Xaba, who plays the character of Mpendulo Mseleku, Thandiswa’s son as “an exciting new talent”. The character is described as a street-smart kid in his teens. 

Scandal! actress and radio host Lusanda Mbane will be playing the role of Martha – a former sex worker and a two-star hotel owner in Emnyameni. 

The town’s lovely couple are Nthabiseng (Angela Sithole) and Sakhile (Siya Raymond) but there is also a classic two-faced priest named Mandla played by Herald Khumalo.

Leeroy from Smoke & Mirrors etv
JT Medupe plays Leeroy on ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ | Picture: Supplied / e.tv

Leeroy played by JT Medupe is a hairstylist who is also the lover to a rich, powerful man in the town. 

“But amongst all these characters, there’s one matriarch in town whom everyone respects – Nomvea played by Charmaine Mtinta, she’s a powerful sangoma who no one can mess with.”

Nomeva from Smoke & Mirrors etv
Charmaine Mtinta plays Nomeva on Smoke & Mirrors | Picture: Supplied / e.tv

READ NEXT: The Masked Singer SA: Somizi and Sithelo to judge, Anele Mdoda to produce

Read more on these topics

e.tv TV shows what to watch