‘Dream: The Lebo Mathosa Story’ doesn’t live up to expectations

The hype around "Dream: The Lebo Mathosa Story" has been insane. 

More so, with KB Motsilanyane replacing Kelly Khumalo as the adult Lebo Mathosa. 

Let’s not forget about the drama around Bahumi Madisakwane cast as the younger version of the legendary singer. 

Of course, dad Somizi Mhlongo, who was also a very close friend of Lebo in real-life, was having none of it and rose to his daughter’s defence. 

But let’s not get bogged down by the petty drama.

What everyone wants to know is: Does "Dream: The Lebo Mathosa Story" live up to expectations? It doesn’t. Perhaps, minds will change as the series rolls out. I’m not feeling optimistic at this stage.

In episode one, there are two story arcs that run parallel to one another. 

One is of Lebo making the huge decision to pursue a solo career after finding fame with kwaito group, Boom Shaka. She is owing R10 000 in rent and is on the brink of being evicted. Things get worse when she learns that the record label short-changed her on the royalties and took credit for the songs she wrote. 

Her feisty spirit and tenacity in the face of numerous hardships are palpable in every frame. 

In her state of despair, she yells, “I’m Lebo Mathosa, I’m worth more than that.”

It’s quite poignant when you think about it. Even at one of her lowest points, she never loses sight of the goal and or her worth. 

To the public and some of her friends, she puts on a brave face and smiles, even on her birthday. But behind closed doors, she crumbles.

Meanwhile, the media are already circling like piranhas wanting the first bite of confirmation to break the news of her going solo. 

In the other story arc, which is about her mother, although it isn’t obvious from the outset, is disconcerting as there is very little context to it. All viewers see is a woman who leaves the hospital she was a patient at and goes to the city in search of something while her husband frantically tries to locate her. 

There was a scene where she was auditioning as a dancer and questions around her sexuality come to the fore during her interaction with the female instructor. In another scene, the discord within Boom Shaka and substance abuse issues by one of its members are flagged as mitigating factors for Lebo wanting to branch out. 

While the story explores the frustrations of Lebo in her rise to fame, from legal tussles with her record label and conflicted loyalty to Boom Shaka, the narrative jumps from one scenario to another giving it a very disjointed feel. 

KB Motsilanyane is truly phenomenal in her soulful role and she is the best reason to watch the show. She channels Lebo so magnificently through her body language, mannerisms, provocative dressing and sheer star power. 

Mmarona Motshegoa is also compelling to watch as Lebo’s no-nonsense manager. 

Nyaniso Dzedze, Jet Novuka, Moneoa, Amstel and Khabonina Qubeka are the other actors in the series. 

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