About the Show
Ashes to Ashes is a South African telenovela developed by Genna Lewis and set against the backdrop of a family-owned funeral business in Tembisa which – despite being established and seemingly solid – faces forces that threaten to derail it from outside and within.
In Mzansi, funerals homes mean big business. From designer caskets, limos and fancy cars, to the over-catering, slaughtering of cows and high fashion.
Namane Funerals is a highly prosperous funeral home owned by a husband and wife, who inherited the business and created a funeral empire that the father runs with his two sons.
The head of the family, Selo Namane, is charismatic, charming, street smart and a family man, but has incredibly challenging addictions that may ruin the future that the family has worked so hard for.
In addition, there are destructive personalities in the family that threaten to derail the legacy that has been meticulously penned for the family.
So far, death has been good to the Namane family. But their luck is about to run out with the arrival of an estranged family member and a dark secret.
The series was developed by Genna Lewis. The pilot was directed by Gert van Niekerk. Other directors include Leli Maki Esq. and Kalumbu Kapisa.
The head writer is Rosa Keet, with storyliners Ruth Mo Moatlhodi, Chisanga Kabinga and Lerato Khanye. The music is by Alan Lazar.
The creative producer is Genna Lewis, the series producer is Frank Perold and the executive producers are Clive Morris, Sipho Gogotya and Ntokozo Mbuli for Clive Morris Productions. The executive producer for e.tv is Tshegofatso Monaisa.
Selogilwe “Selo” Namane (50)
Played by Patrick Shai
The Patriarch of the family, Selo is charismatic, charming, street smart and a family man. Coming from very poor beginnings, he is a township guy with a signature look, but his vice in life is his addictions.
Mandlakazi Namane (48)
Played by Nambitha Mpumlwana
The matriarch of the family, a perfectionist who is connected to her faith and culture. She puts family above everything and would do almost anything to protect them. Mandlakazi has done some very dark deeds in the name of family, but is not immune to guilt – she carries her sins with her.
Tsietsi Namane (28)
Played by Nyaniso Dzedze
The eldest son of the Namane’s and happens to be their favourite son. He holds a clumsily obtained B.com degree, he is good-looking, charming and is pegged as the heir and head of the family (and the family business) when his parents pass. However, he hides a potentially disturbing side to himself.
Monwabisi Namane (26)
Played by Chumani Pan
Plays second fiddle to his brother Tsietsi and is also the romantic lead with a Masters in Psychology turned grief counsellor for the funeral home. He has largely rejected his cultural heritage in favour of Western psychological and philosophical beliefs. This makes him slightly condescending and patronising towards the devout clientele.
Played by Zenande Mfenyana
The main female protagonist. A pretty woman with incredible inner strength and independent spirit. She is intuitive and often says what she is thinking before thinking.
Played by Maggie Benedict
The striking funeral planner for Namane Funeral home holds a BA in marketing. She is a perfectionist, an over-achiever and a lover with overzealous plans.
Played by Craig Urbani
Mickey is not the sort of a man you’d like to meet in a dark alley. He is an ex-cop and gun for hire with good connection and the ability to manipulate. He works as the head of security for Namane funerals; and other things.
Played by Mandla Gaduka
He mans the front desk and ensures the daily running of the office. He flirts with the female and boosts the males’ egos, all for self-gain. He is also an aspiring actor who never gets a call back.
The series began by airing Mondays to Thursdays at 20h00. From 11 May, 2015 it became weekdays at 20h00 with the addition of Friday episodes.