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television: 1990s

With the X-Files and Law and Order Mokae appeared in the biggest television around.


Parker Kane   

Parker Kane

Steve Perry directing an average detective story. 1990.  It was a television pilot.  He went on to be a "follow-up" director (Speed 2, Lethal Weapon 3,4, Die Hard 2).  Parker Kane is ultra-hip. An ex-cop he is now a private detective. A friend of his is killed by a hit squad and he seeks out the killers. Actually he doesn't seem too grieved by the death and coasts through the film seemingly without any problems or difficulties in life.  Mokae is the likeable cafe owner, one of Kane's friends.

Zakes Mokae Parker Kane   Zakes Mokae in Parker Kane



Dream on logo

Dream On

The two-part episode Taking of Pablum 1-2-3 (5.1, 5.2) 1990.  "A brother and sister screenwriting duo kidnap Little Richard and Martin from the Richard Stone UN Memorial Service, but the police assume Martin is the one responsible for the crime".  Info from

Brian Benben stars and Mokae briefly plays a UN Dignitary.  Stephen Engel was the writer and the director was Ron Wolotzky.   John Landis is one of the executive producers.

Zakes Mokae Dream On



The Valiant Little Tailor

Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child

The cartoon series Happily Ever After brings multiculturalism to traditional fairy tales.  Mokae does the voiceover of Mr. Babooska in The Valiant Little Tailor from 1995.  Bruce W. Smith directs, the writer is Daryl G. Nickens and the cast also includes James Earl Jones.

Mokae's character Mr. Babooska bullies the little tailor.

Zakes Mokae voiceover Mr. Babooska

But the tailor escapes and his journeys include him outwitting a giant.  Eventually he comes across a king (James Earl Jones) and his princess and after further adventures marries the princess and lives happily ever after.


X-files logo

The X Files

The episode Teliko (4.3) from 1993.  Black men are going missing believed kidnapped. Then one turns up dead with his skin turned white.  Mokae is the ambassador of Burkina Faso who tells Mulder the African myth of the Teliko, a possible lost tribe who evolved into other creatures.

Mokae and Mulder



Percy and Thunder  

Percy & Thunder

Directed by Ivan Dixon and written by Art Washington, 1993.  A boxing saga with Courtney Vance as the young boxer and James Earl Jones as the trainer involved in the struggles outside the ring.  The film lacks the realism of say Rocky, with the gym full of people who clearly could not stand a round inside the ring.  Mokae has a role as Pee Wee, owner of the local gym.  The acting of everyone is as poor as the direction.  The photography is particularly bad, with lack of focus in some shots- the director of photography is Hector Figueroa.

Zakes Mokae in Percy & Thunder   Zakes Mokae in Percy & Thunder



Darkest Hollywood

In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid


A documentary about cinema in South Africa, directed by Peter Davis and Daniel Riesenfeld. 1993.  Interviews with Mokae about Cry Freedom, A Dry White Summer and living under apartheid. Others interviewed include Athol Fugard, John Kani, Andre Brink (novelist of A Dry White Season) and Nelson Mandela.  The film also heavily criticises Attenborough's Cry Freedom, with the white character dominating the film, contrasted with Euzhan Palcy´s Cry Freedom.



Rise and Walk  

Rise and Walk: the Dennis Byrd Story

Directed by Michael Dinner, 1994. An American football star becomes paralysed. He then has to undergo treatment to regain the use of his legs. A predicable story.  Mokae has a minor role as the assistant of the therapeutist.

Zakes Mokae in Rise and Walk Zakes Mokae in Rise and Walk



Law and Order logo

Law & Order

The episode Wager (4.18) in 1994.  Directed by Ed Sherin with Mokae playing a lawyer in a story about gambling and baseball, but Mokae is not on form and he does not convince.  The credits for the episode include two co-producers, two producers, one "produced by", one supervising producer and two co-executive producers.

Zakes Mokae Law and Order



Gensyn med Johannesburg

An Afrikaans documentary revisiting Mokae's first film A World of Strangers- also called Dilemma.  I haven't seen the documentary, so any info is welcome.

Zakes Mokae



Waterworld game cover

Waterworld (computer game)

Following his role in the film with Kevin Costner, Mokae provides voiceovers for the game based on the film. 1997.   This game is so boring I have still to get beyond the first stage, so have still to meet Mokae.

Mokae in Waterworld game



Oz logo


Mokae appears in two episodes, Animal Farm and Escape from Oz (2.7 and 2.8), in this series about Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary. Directed by Mary Harron and Jean de Segonzac in 1998.  In Animal Farm he is introduced, but his story plays out in Escape from Oz. He is the faith healer/witch doctor Kipkemei Jara, convicted for criminally negligent homicide.

Zakes Mokae in Oz

Oz with Zakes Mokae

He tries to convert prisoner Adebisi. Initially he is rejected but gradually Jara´s power, shown through flashbacks to voodoo ceremonies, wins over Adebisi.  This threatens the established criminal order, and Jara is stabbed to death. The result is that Adebisi starts to hear the Yoruba drums in his head and strips and dances a tribal dance. He is seen as mad.



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