From the very beginning of The River, Itumeleng Mokoena and Lindiwe Dikana’s relationship was marred by lies, betrayal and lots of drama. Even when mother and daughter attempted to put their differences aside and reconcile, their pasts were a constant reminder of who they really are. In the end, it was the very past they had tried so hard to cover up and run away from that ended up being the downfall of their relationship.
Tumi is now gone and Lindiwe is left reeling from the reckless decision she took to shoot the helicopter Tumi was travelling in, in order to silence her daughter and keep her reputation intact. Here's a look at Tumi and Lindiwe's rollercoaster relationship:
Abandoned by The River
One of the most unfortunate things that happened to Tumi was never really having a stable family. At the beginning of season 1 of The River, we learnt that Tumi was never a Mokoena by blood. Lindiwe had Tumi when she was only a teenager, and because she wanted a better life for her daughter, Lindiwe left Tumi by the side of The River.
The Mokoenas took baby Tumi in and raised her as their own. However, after Thato died, the dynamic at the Mokoena’s changed. To Malefu, Tumi was a constant reminder that she wasn’t her biological child, and even though Malefu loved Tumi, Tumi too could sense that Malefu never really loved her the same way she loved Cobra and Dimpho.
The revelation about Tumi’s true identity came when the Mokoena’s found out that Tumi had turned her back against the Refilwe community. Enraged by Tumi’s betrayal, Malefu told Tumi she wasn’t a Mokoena, gave her the second half of the pendant Lindiwe had left baby Tumi with and told Tumi to leave her house at once.
Season one of The River was also when Tumi found out that Lindiwe killed Thato. Tumi set out to avenge her father’s death, while Lindiwe made sure that Tumi and the truth about Thato’s death would be buried forever. Lies, murder and betrayal pushed this mother and daughter duo further apart.
Tumi kills Mbali
The lies and betrayal between Tumi and Lindiwe reached a new level in season two, and this time Mbali paid the price. After the theft of her prized diamond, Lindiwe was on the hunt for the people who had stolen from her. Lindani was caught in the middle and almost lost his life at the hands of Madlabantu. In a moment of celebration, Lindiwe unwittingly revealed that she’d been responsible for Lindani’s near-death experience, and true to her blood, Tumi set out to destroy Lindiwe once and for all.
But little did Tumi know that her desire for revenge would end up killing Mbali. Instead of getting rid of Lindiwe, Tumi took out an innocent life – a crime she carried with her throughout season three of The River. Again, the mother and daughter caused more damage than good to each other.
Watch the video below and relive the heart-wrenching moment when Tumi killed Mbali. Or better yet, subscribe to Showmax for as little as R49 per month and catch up on all the episodes of The River.
Lindiwe kills Tumi
At the beginning of season three, we watched as Lindiwe fell into a deep depression after losing Mbali. Zweli and her family tried their best to help her overcome her grief but to no success. After it seemed like there was no end to Lindiwe's grief, a miracle finally came in the form of Tumi as her first daughter slowly eased the pain of Mbali's death. It was during this time that we saw Lindiwe and Tumi’s relationship take a turn for the better. Although their relationship was not perfect, Tumi and Lindiwe became closer than they had ever been before.
But Mbali’s death hovered over both of them. Tumi being unable to keep her secret to herself ended up exposing herself to a man she should have never trusted. Mohumi came into the picture and broke apart everything Lindiwe and Tumi had built.
The secrets that had brought Lindiwe and Tumi together, turned out to be the very ones that tore them apart. Although Mbali’s death was the tip of the iceberg, it was Lindiwe’s history of crimes and Mohumi's interference that was the last straw for Tumi. She could no longer live with herself knowing Lindiwe's list of lies.
Left with little choice, Lindiwe shot the helicopter Tumi was travelling in, causing her daughter’s death and ultimately, losing the one person who had given her a reason to live.