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Everyone on The River better watch out – there’s a new mafioso family in town, and they are not here to play nice. They are the Hlophes – wealthy, excellent and very, very dangerous.

They are headed by the traditional patriarch Bukhosi (played by Bheki Mkhwane), who is as quick with his brain as he is with his gun. With a military past that comes in handy for his work as a heist king, he’s brash, outspoken and charming. He’s made of steel – so he’s not the one to cross.

He brings with him his younger second wife, Nomafu (played by Brenda Mhlongo). Beneath her shiny and well-groomed exterior is a tough woman who has clawed her way out of poverty. She’s a terrible stepmother but she knows how to clean money – and she’s set to become Lindiwe Dikana’s biggest rival yet.

Then there are the Hlophe sons – Mlilo (played by Vuyo Biyela) and Nkanyiso (played by Unathi Mkhize). The product of Bukhosi’s first marriage, they have a strained relationship with their father, but he wants them to take over the family business.

Mlilo is nothing like his father – yet he’s everything like this father. Nkanyiso, on the other hand, is the more ambitious second born son who wants to wear the crown. Will the boys put their rivalry aside long enough for their family to continue thriving?

And finally, there’s the apple of everyone’s eye: the young daughter Khwezi (played by Tina Dlathu, real-life sister to Sindi Dlathu, who plays Lindiwe). Smart, beautiful, virtuous yet naïve, she joins the family business for the time being after they buy into Khanyisa Diamonds. But what happens when she finds herself in the middle of a situation that will rock both the Hlophe and Dikana families to the core?

Tune into season 5 of The River, weeknights on 1 Magic (DStv channel 103) at 20:00.


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