Ntobeko
Ntobeko "Ntosh" Madlingozi, Bianca Le Grange, Lucky Legodi and Vicky Kente in The Mayor. (Image: DStv Mzansi Magictv Mzansi Magic)

Johannesburg is more than just a backdrop for The Mayor, a new satirical comedy series about a flamboyant, bombastic mayor of a fictional Joburg who is trying to secure a third term in office while contending with a demanding, polygamous family.

The 13-part series from director Kagiso Lediga and Diprente Films is currently shooting at locations around Johannesburg, with the first 24-minute episode set to air on DStv's Mzansi Magic channel 161 at 19:00 on Friday, 20 November.

Lucky Legodi plays the part of OJ Mabunda, the mayor who simultaneously manages (or tries to manage!) a growing family, his own extravagant lifestyle, and Africa's largest metropolis.

With the help of long-time confidant and spokesperson Mercia, and newly appointed, fish-out-of-water chief of staff Martin, OJ has to ensure that he makes it to a third term despite opposition from the likes of city manager Lucinda Le Roux.

'I've always loved political satire'

Director Kagiso Lediga
Director Kagiso Lediga on the set of The Mayor.

For Lediga, The Mayor was inspired by his love of political satire. "I've always loved political satire. There are several people in this country, including our President, that are polygamist, and I have always wondered how it works.

"So that's how I came up with this comedy about a mayor that has to juggle his children and his wives and still has to manage Africa's largest metro. How does one balance everything as a politician? So it makes for a funny story."

Lediga was speaking during a break in shooting at the Gauteng Film Commission's (GFC's) head office in downtown Joburg. "The GFC has been helping extensively throughout the production, especially with securing different locations," he said.

Joburg 'showcased heavily throughout'

"Some of the locations we've secured for the production include the Joburg Zoo, the GFC's main offices, a very beautiful house that used to be a French consulate on Jan Smuts Avenue, and of course the Joburg inner city.

"The whole series is about a Johannesburg mayor, so the City of Johannesburg is featured and showcased heavily throughout."

When asked about plans for a second season of The Mayor, Lediga said it was too soon to tell. "We will see the audience respond to the first season, and based on that we will decide whether or not to create a season two."

He added that viewers could expect awesome performances from an "exciting, professional and very cool" cast which includes Lucky Legodi (OJ Mabunda), Vicky Kente (his first wife), Bianca Le Grange (his second wife), Fiona Ramsay (the city manager), Ntobeko "Ntosh" Madlingozi (Boy-Boy), Thuli Thabethe (Mercia) and Rea Rangaka (Martin Shai).

"I think it is a great show and a dramatic comedy which has been a very exciting journey for us to create. I feel great, but it has been tiring. It has been an awesome four weeks of shooting."

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission