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Strength of Women in Performance – Lockdown

07 July 2020
Dawn Thandeka King reflects on the powerful legacy of five seasons of Lockdown, a first in South Africa, which began on Mzansi Magic.
Dawn Thandeka King Article BB 1600 x 640

To call Lockdown one of Mzansi Magic's hit drama series would be an understatement.The women’s prison drama was a first for South Africa and aired its first episode in January of 2017. With a stellar all-female cast it has been sending ripples through the television space ever since.

Fast-forward four years and five seasons later and the show boasts seven South African Film and Television Awards including the Golden Horn for best TV Drama in 2019 and received no less than 11 nominations in 2020.

Included in the list of awards is a Golden Horn for Best Actress in a lead role in a TV Drama, scooped up by Dawn Thandeka King in 2019 for her role as MaZet.

Lockdown began with viewers being thrown into MaZet’s world on what was meant to be her last night in prison. The character was framed for a murder and has been fighting tooth and nail for her daughter and her survival ever since.

Not only is MaZet a firm favourite with Lockdown fans but viewers are still heavily invested in the character even after she managed to come back from the dead twice!

King says believing in every moment experienced by her character is what has made her performances believable in an ever-changing entertainment industry.

“Every scene was like a movie and that's what I truly enjoyed about being on the show,” she says.

Lockdown co-stars have also gone on to be nominated for SAFTAs including Zola Nombona and Pamela Nomvete with Lorcia Cooper winning the award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV drama in 2019.

King says the sisterhood among the cast members has seen them through some of the most difficult moments on set.

“Being a part of a production like Lockdown has been nothing but amazing, I've worked with the most talented team in the country and it has truly been a humbling experience,” she says.

ForLockdown fans, the show is about more than just entertainment but an eye into the hidden world of female inmates in the country. The cast is celebrated among Mzansi Magic fans because they tell each inmates story with real emotion and a respect for the importance of the story and its significance.

“A production like Lockdown showcases the talent of women in our country, the concept of an all woman cast was beautiful, it showcased the strength of woman in performance,” says King.

“A channel like Mzansi Magic is important because it gives a platform and opportunities to unearth new talent both in front of and behind the scenes.”

King also hails Mzansi Magic for offering her endless opportunities for her to showcase her talent in a variety of productions.

Her future plans are to continue to use a powerful story like Lockdown to empower women.

“I would like to utilize the influential platform offered to me by being on a show like Lockdown to empower women, by encouraging them to always thrive to be the best at whatever they do.” says King.

Watch all five seasons of Lockdown on Showmax.