South Africa: Movie Review - Magenta Coal: Promising Series Crashlands At Tail End

20 November 2023

In the quest to present an unravelable mystery, the plot twists into a knot so tight it is hard to follow.

Movie Title: Magenta Coal

Release Date: 27 October, 2023

Episodes: Six

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.

Crew: Elvis Chucks (Producer)

There was a time when the business world was seen as dull and dour. As a result, only a few Nigerian or African productions explored themes around business.

However, the liberalisation of information brought about new ways of doing business. With that came a wave of revelations about the kind of dealings in business offices.

From blackmail, a la sex tapes, massive coverups, and strong-arming to outright murder, businesses in Africa and all over the world have stories to tell.

'Magenta Coal' follows the story of the second wife of a powerful mining magnate with ties to a South African royal family.

She has to fight tooth and nail to protect her children and domain when the truth about her children's paternity threatens to destroy her ambitions of succession.


The series opens with a hostile takeover of a magnesium smelting mine by Zeb (Desmond Dube), the patriarch of the Nkosi clan and CEO of Magenta Coal, together with his right-hand man, Muzi (Richard Mofe-Damijo).

Zeb's son and perceived heir, Mangaliso (Senzo Radebe), is outsmarted by his second wife Mathilda (Nambitha Mpumlwana) and her son Sandile (Cedric Fourie) when they steal his business plan for the next phase of business for Magenta Coal.

Angered by the move, Mangaliso blacklists Zeb, walks out of the family and relapses into a life of drugs and booze.

On the one hand, Mkhabela, the previous owner of the magnesium smelting mine, has an axe to grind with Zeb.

On the other hand, Zeb's brother, Hamilton Dhlamini, believes he should be the rightful leader of the family business.

With this growing list of enemies, it came as no surprise that the patriarch was cut down in a hail of bullets, but where or who does suspicion point to?

Following his death and the need to solve the murder mystery, Magenta Coal falls into the leadership of Aluta Nkosi (Ntando Duma), a fresh-out-of-school lady unearthing a trail of underhand dealings, paternity fraud, seduction, betrayal and more.


Not many African productions capture and do justice to the activities in the business world, like 'Magenta Coal'.

'Magenta Coal' boasts an ensemble cast, at least by South African standards.

However, the presence of RMD in the series dwarfs the performance of the other actors, making the Nigerian legend appear out of place almost throughout the series.

In the quest to present an unravelable mystery, the plot twists into a knot so tight it is hard to follow.

For instance, a paternity fraud spanning decades is not out of place, but all the children? Even the child from the now-deceased first wife?

And that is not the only farfetched element in the plot. Kidnapping your daughter and forcing her to sign over an entire company over to you is the height of farfetched.

Again, it is believed that the choice of a Nigerian lead and a Nigerian producer was to attract the Nigerian audience.

However, despite the subtitles, the heavy use of the Xhosa language is a big turn-off for the non-speaking audience.


Magenta Coal makes for an exciting and relaxing watch. Still, the series crashlands at the end of the sixth episode because the elements that make for a conclusive ending, like a cliffhanger or promises of more episodes, are absent.

Putting that aside, the series tells a compelling story. As a result, we would grade it 5/10.

'Magenta Coal' is showing on Netflix

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