What’s the cost of chasing your dreams? Is it leaving behind your family, your friends, and your securities? Maybe, the pursuit of dreams is a path of abandonment. Are we ready to pay the price of being nothing if it doesn’t end well? Dreams don’t put food on the table, but will we ever be happy with our stomach filled and dreams unfulfilled? Protagonist Ntombi asks these inquisitive questions from herself and society. 5 part series, Jiva! Season 1 is an exploration of her uncertainties.
Created by Busisiwe Ntintili and Bakang Sebatjane for Netflix, Jiva! is a South-African Dance Drama Television Series. It is a spectacle of Heart-thumping dance moves and never-seen-before street dance charisma in the heartland of South Africa.
‘Jiva!’ Season 1: Summary
The thrill begins with the arrival of the fifth annual Jiva Loxion Street Dance Competition. Three crews will be selected to go to the Joburg (Johannesburg) Bootcamp for the national dance competition. A radio announcer, DJ Happygal, reminds the Umlazi dance enthusiasts that it was one day left for the registration.
At the end of the announcement, a 20-something Ntombi finishes her household chores. Ntombi is a talented dancer and aspires to take part in the competition to showcase her talent. But? This is where the stories begin.
Ntombi’s father, Jaba Xaba, shot himself a few years ago. Due to the tragedy, Ntombi left her dancing aspirations and started working in a fish museum as a tour guide. Ntombi has a mother and a younger brother to support, and without her odd job, there won’t be any food on the table. Ntombi sacrifices her dreams for her family’s well-being. The dance competition brings new hope, a new chance but only Ntombi’s decision will decide her future.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Jiva!’ Season 1: Ending Explained
Some years ago, Ntombi was shortlisted for a tour in Joburg. Due to her father’s sudden demise, she asked her ex-boyfriend, Makhekhe “Nathi,” to talk to the judges and buy her some time to bury her father. But a selfish Makhekhe communicated to the judges that Ntombi won’t be able to attend the tour, and Makhekhe could take her place on tour. Makhekhe betrayed Ntombi and went to Joburg alone. Later, Makhekhe created a dance group, The Soweto Cats. The group became a four-time champion at the Jiva Loxion Street Dance Competition.
After attaining fame and success, Makhekhe never looked back at Ntombi. He was living the life that Ntombi dreamt of. Ntombi taught him to dance, and he broke his promise. She resented him and wanted to win the competition to prove her worth.
Ntombi enrolled in the dance competition and created an all-girls dance group, The Trollies. Her school friends, and her best friend, Vuyiswa, joined her pursuit to win the competition and a million Rand check. However, when her mother discovered about the participation, she saw another failure in the house.
Ntombi’s father, Jaba Xaba, was a saxophonist. Like all the other artists of the world, he also had a dream. Jaba believed, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” But Ntombi’s mother had a different opinion. She remarked, “Dreams don’t put food on the table.” Ntombi was swinging between these two ideologies when in the end, she finally made a decision.
Ntombi, with her girl gang, The Trollies, participated in the competition and won platinum shoes. Along with two other teams, The Trollies got a chance to participate in the nationals. They were all called to Joburg Bootcamp. Jiva! Season 2 will follow Ntombi’s running for the finale with the new competition and adventure waiting for her and her friends at Joburg.
Before leaving Umlazi, she left a note for her mother and bid goodbye to her new romance, Bheki. In her diary, Ntombi wrote her bucket list to enter the competition and win it, 1m RN, Quit job, Move out and “Fetch my life.” Jiva! Season 1 ending was her leap to grasp her dance dream.
“When you have one life to live, you make sure you dedicate it to your dreams. Because Dreams are important.”
Jiva! is a 2021 South-African Dance Drama Television Series Created by Busisiwe Ntintili and Bakang Sebatjane for Netflix.