Stranger Than Fiction
Drum English|9 July 2020
For actor Mangaliso Ngema and his daughter Khosi Ngema, her role in Blood & Water was like watching their family’s real-life story unfold
Nonkululeko Mazibuko

It’s the kind of thing that would be considered too far-fetched, even for a TV series. A daughter presumed to be dead turns out to be alive many years later. A father is thrilled to discover he has a sixth child – then, in a bizarre twist, he and one of his other daughters are both cast in TV shows involving long-lost children.

For veteran actor Mangaliso Ngema (48) and his daughter Khosi Ngema (20) – the star of Netflix’s smash hit series Blood & Water – this was the stranger-than-fiction situation in which they found themselves.

Mangaliso told DRUM in 2018 he’d learnt his eldest daughter, who he believed had died at birth, was in fact still alive (My child is out there, 15 February 2018), but he has still not been able to trace her.

In Blood & Water, Khosi plays Fikile Bhele, a girl believed to be a child who was abducted from her family at birth.

The actor and his daughter were stunned when they found out the plot details of the Netflix show. “I took her to her call-back on Blood & Water,” Mangaliso tells us, adding that he doesn’t often sit in on Khosi’s auditions.

“Usually I wait in the car, but this time around, I was like, ‘Let me just go in and see who is in charge of this production. I want to see if it’s even a real thing’.”

He was introduced to producer and co-director Nosipho Dumisa, who explained the plot of Blood & Water, which involves a teen girl on a mission to find her long-lost sister who was abducted as a baby, who she believes is Fikile. “When I told Nosipho this storyline was just like my real-life story, she started crying.”

Nosipho was so taken by his story, she invited him to audition to play Fikile’s father, the man accused of abducting her. But Mangaliso had to decline the offer because of his commitments to his SABC2 series Lithapo.

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