The drama follows central character Detective Lungi Mlaba, played by Bonnie Mbuli, who, in the course of a murder investigation, finds her own integrity severely put to the test.
According to Mbuli this is the most exciting project she has worked on to date. “This kind of story-telling is much like activism in a country like ours. Exploring the true identity of women and their place in society is so crucial. Traffic! does it in an adventurous and experimental manner.”
She added that it was thrilling to explore the idea of dedicated and determined cops in a South African context. Despite being a brilliant cop, Mbuli’s character is first and foremost a compassionate human being with her own needs and insecurities, trying to balance the demands of her home environment in the township with her working life in the suburbs.
“When we first conceptualised this show three years ago, we already had Bonnie in mind. The idea was to get a fearless female cop, instead of the stereotypical casting of men in such roles. Bonnie’s strength, professionalism, compassion and grace assured us that she was the one,” enthused Kaye Ann Williams, creative producer and storyliner for Traffic!
About the show, Williams emphasised that Traffic! seeks to give the country permission to be introspective and analyse the manner in which they treat women and children. “We need to start looking after our children. We were also very lucky to get a cast of children that portray the vulnerability of our children in this country so well,” she added.
Monde Twala, Group Head for e.tv channels division said the acquisition of this show is a clear indication of how aggressive e.tv is about the need for local content that speaks to local issues. “The message carried on this show is so close to home, it was hard to ignore. The cast and crew exceeded expectations in portraying the very dark world of trafficking. This will inspire deeper conversations about social issues.”
Also present at the launch was Mbuli’s co-star Bongo Mbutuma who plays Detective Songezo Sibanda. Not new to renowned productions, Mbutuma says landing the role was refreshing because the industry had been deprived of riveting stories for a while.
“You grow on this show as an actor and as an individual. I really hope it is the beginning of a new path for SA television because we need to poke and raise awareness about such matters.”