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    First-look at Mpho Sebeng’s final work: 016FM

    Showmax has just released the first trailer for 016FM, starring SAFTA nominee Mpho Sebeng (Saints & Sinners, Ring of Lies, Savage Beauty) as DJ Whiskey in his final role before his untimely passing in May 2024.

    To save their much-loved community radio station in the Vaal from closing, two polar opposite DJs prepare to compete in a kwaal, a radical battle on-air. They know it will be a fight to reclaim the hearts of listeners and advertisers, but don’t realise they will also have to oust a dangerous, shadowy syndicate that has infiltrated the station. 

    Joseph Sedibo  (Rhythm City, Empini) co-stars as DJ Tsietsi in the Showmax Original drama series, which premieres on 26 June 2024, with new episodes every Wednesday. 

    016FM’sstar-studded cast also includes four-time SAFTA winner Nthati Moshesh (Saints & Sinners, Isono), SAFTA winner Sophie Ndaba (Lockdown), Sello Motloung (The Wife), Katlego Mabote (Outlaws), Mapula Mafole (Rhythm City), Noni Mafani (1802: Love Defies Time), Mapaseka Koetle (Lenyalo Ha Se Papadi) and Mbasa Msongelo (Isithunzi, Saints & Sinners, Z’bondiwe, Rhythm City).

    In his final interview, Mpho shared with Zibuyile Dladla what 016FM meant to him. 

    Why did you want to be a part of 016FM?

    In addition to my character, DJ Whiskey, and most importantly the storyline, what piqued my interest about 016FM is that it’s a story that is about the Vaal. I feel like there haven’t been many stories that have shed a light on this particular part of the country. For me, the Vaal is such a melting pot of culture, fashion and language, which was something I was very drawn to while doing my research about the area.

    What research did you do for this role?

    There is a big pop-cultural movement in the Vaal that is highly influenced by Italian high fashion. DJ Whiskey is an Italiana as well, so I immersed myself in understanding this movement in order to have a better understanding of the character. So I had to take the time to hang around with the locals, especially the people who started the culture of ama-Italiana and izikhothane. 

    I also watched a lot of videos and skits online. I would purposefully look for skits made by people from the Vaal going about their day. 

    I’d also link up with friends from Sebokeng and Sharpeville [which form part of the six townships in the Vaal] and that helped with fleshing out this character. 

    The research gave me a deep appreciation and respect for the area. This place has so much history and so much to offer. I feel like a show like 016FM shows the great potential that is within the people of the Vaal.

    How would you describe DJ Whiskey?

    He is someone that likes the limelight and wants to be number one. It’s all he knows. He wants to be the alpha of every room that he steps in.

    He’s also a lone wolf that has to fend for everyone. 

    Sometimes when you read characters on paper, it’s difficult to humanise them, so I tried by all means to show that, although DJ Whiskey comes across as an intolerable human, there are underlying reasons for why he is like that. 

    Why do you feel 016FM is a must-watch show for South Africans?

    My stance as an actor is that the majority of the time it isn’t necessarily characters that I’m drawn to but mostly the story – the storyline has to stick. I want to always be on a set where the story that we tell has a strong resonating message that everyone can connect with and a story which people can somehow find healing from. So I implore people to watch 016FM because it’s not just entertainment but a story about community and holding each other accountable.

    Watch Trailer below:

    Main Image: Showmax

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