Never in his wildest dreams did producer and Actor Mandla Ngcongwane imagine that when he named his hugely successful drama Lockdown, it would one day come to this. 

South Africa is currently under lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, and as part of television viewing, Lockdown season 5 will be aired on Mzansi Magic on Monday 6 April at 20:00.

As a tonic for the strain of the lockdown, viewers of Africa’s best storyteller will see new episodes that first premiered on the Showmax streaming platform earlier in the year.

The drama was an instant hit with viewers in the past four seasons while it flighted on Mzansi Magic and now it makes a triumphant return to DStv channel 161 where it earned several awards – including the SAFTAs Best TV Drama; Best Actress in a Lead Role in a TV drama for Dawn Thandeka King for her role as MaZet; and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a TV drama for Lorcia Khumalo (Cooper) for her role as Tyson.

Lockdown is set in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility.

It is a story of survival behind the walls and bars of a prison ruled by the iron fisted and corrupt Governor Deborah Banda, played by veteran actress Pamela Nomvete.

Other stars are Linda Sebezo, Zola Nombona, Lauren Jenae, Patricia Boyer and Nomsa Buthelezi.

“I’m dumbstruck by the turn of events,” Mandla states. “I see the hashtag trending, the memes and the jokes. South Africans are comedic by nature, but everyone is scared about what’s next. There is a lot of fear, but life goes on. I take it one day at a time.”

With many more eyes at home and glued to their small screens, Mandla says viewers will get to see how much work they put in the fifth season of the drama.

“The beauty is the art of storytelling and filmmaking. How we shoot the scenes, the look, the camera work, and the authenticity. There are cliffhangers in every episode to leave you shocked, crying and entertained. We have been happy to retain our lead Pamela Nomvete, whom is in a vulnerable position in this season.” – Mandla

“She is pregnant and some man must take the fall, and so her devious scheming and planning will unfold. Also, one of our big leads falls in love. A love story is what has been lacking on Lockdown so watch out for that very interesting relationship.”

Mandla points out that the secret to the success of Lockdown is how different its world is to real life. “You don’t see life in prison every day. It’s a lockdown, and the irony is that Mzansi is in a lockdown. The status quo changes, the feelings are unsure and people are confined to a certain space which is like their prison. So every Monday when viewers watch Lockdown it will be like they are in prison. This situation is unlike any other.”

For riveting television, do not miss Lockdown on Mzansi Magic, Channel 161 from 6 April at 20h00.