Movie Title: Magenta Charcoal
Release date: October 27, 2023
Cast: Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ntando Duma, Senzo Radebe, Busi Lurayi, Vusi Kunene, Khanya Mkangisa, Connie Chiume, Desmond Dube, Cedric Fourie, Hamilton Dhlamini, Nambitha Mpumlwana and Jack Devnarain.
Team: Elvis Chucks (Producer)
There was a time when the business world was considered boring and harsh. As a result, only a few Nigerian or African productions explored business-related themes.
However, the liberalization of information brought with it new ways of doing business. With this came a wave of revelations about the type of dealings in the business offices.
From blackmail, sex tapes, massive cover-ups and heavy-handedness to outright murder, companies in Africa and around the world have stories to tell.
‘Magenta Coal’ follows the story of the second wife of a powerful mining magnate linked to a South African royal family.
He must fight tooth and nail to protect his children and his domain when the truth about his children’s paternity threatens to destroy his succession ambitions.
The series begins with a hostile takeover of a magnesium smelter mine by Zeb (Desmond Dube), the patriarch of the Nkosi clan and CEO of Magenta Coal, along with his right-hand man, Muzi (Richard Mofe-Damijo).
Zeb’s son and supposed heir, Mangaliso (Senzo Radebe), is outwitted by his second wife Mathilda (Nambitha Mpumlwana) and son Sandile (Cedric Fourie) when his business plan for the next phase of the Magenta Coal business is stolen.
Angered by the move, Mangaliso blacklists Zeb, abandons the family, and relapses into a life of drugs and alcohol.
On the one hand, Mkhabela, the previous owner of the magnesium smelting mine, has a special interest in Zeb.
On the other hand, Zeb’s brother, Hamilton Dhlamini, believes that he should be the rightful leader of the family business.
With this growing list of enemies, it was no surprise that the patriarch was murdered under a hail of bullets, but where or who do the suspicions point?
Following his death and the need to solve the murder mystery, Magenta Coal falls under the leadership of Aluta Nkosi (Ntando Duma), a fresh-out-of-school lady who uncovers a trail of underhanded dealings, paternity fraud, seduction, betrayal and further. .
Few African productions capture and do justice to the activities of the corporate world, like ‘Magenta Coal’.
‘Magenta Coal’ features an ensemble cast, at least by South African standards.
However, RMD’s presence in the series overshadows the other actors’ performances, making the Nigerian legend seem out of place for almost the entire series.
In the quest to present a mystery that cannot be unraveled, the plot becomes such a tight knot that it is difficult to follow.
For example, a paternity fraud spanning decades isn’t out of the question, but all the children? Even the son of the now deceased first wife?
And that’s not the only crazy element of the plot. Kidnapping her daughter and forcing her to hand over an entire company to him is the height of absurdity.
Once again, it is believed that the choice of a Nigerian lead and producer was to appeal to the Nigerian audience.
However, despite the subtitles, the heavy use of the Xhosa language is very discouraging to the non-speaking audience.
Magenta Coal makes for an exciting and relaxing watch. Still, the series crashes at the end of the sixth episode because the elements that make for a conclusive ending, such as a cliffhanger or promises of more episodes, are absent.
That aside, the series tells a compelling story. As a result, we would give it a rating of 5/10.
‘Magenta Coal’ premieres on Netflix