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REVIEW: Friend or Foe? The Character’s of Netflix’s Blood & Water

By Kehinde Adejumo | April 10, 2023

Back in May 2020, the Netflix show “Blood & Water” released its first season. “Blood & Water” is set in Cape Town, South Africa, following a sixteen year old Puleng. After transferring to the elite Parkhurst College, she begins to believe that the school’s swimming star Fikile is her long-lost sister who was abducted at birth. Puleng wants to uncover the truth.

I will be ranking the main characters of the show based on if they would be a good friend, or a foe to look out for.

1. Puleng

Puleng is definitely friend material. She never judges her friends' actions, is a little rebellious but always for a good reason, and stands up for what she believes in. Puleng never gives up; she is the definition of a fighter. It’s refreshing for a main character to understand the clear difference between right and wrong. On top of that, she would be the perfect person to come to about advice for braid styles. In every episode, her hair is done.

2. Fikile (aka Phume Khumalo)

Fikile is a foe. She’s an “it girl” with academic honors, a successful swimming career, and a job as an influencer. Fikile is someone who might be admired in school, but not someone who would be the greatest friend. She focuses on her own problems too much, although there is a reason to feel bad for her. She is put in a game of tug-of-war that she can’t win, and does not make the best decisions for herself.

3. KB (aka Karabo)

“Foe” doesn’t even begin to describe KB. He is very attractive and rich, but is a womanizer who two-times Fikile and Tahira. Not to mention, he’s a bad rapper. KB also likes to instigate fights but rarely wins them, and instead relies on passive-aggressive remarks.

4. Wade

Wade is a friend for life. No question about it. He’s a precious, innocent soul, and is the classic nice guy who is slightly awkward and unserious. Though he does cheat on Tahira throughout the series, he recognizes that he was wrong.

5. Wendy

Wendy is the biggest foe to ever exist. She is extremely jealous of Fikile, and connives to destroy both her and Puleng’s reputations. When she loses her spot at the school’s newspaper, she throws a hissy fit. She pretends to be an activist in the classroom, and though she makes valid points she comes across as a hypocrite who speaks over people as if she is not privileged. Wendy also proves that her activism does not extend to feminism, as she slut-shames Fikile.

6. Chris

Chris is everyone’s foe. Though he is a good-looking, rich, talented swimmer, he is a complete menace and playboy. He never studies or pays attention in class, which might explain why he is repeating his junior year. I will say, he is a loyal friend to Fikile, Reece, and KB, and really does care about the people in his life.

7. Zama

Zama might be the greatest friend you could ever have. She is a queen with comedy to pack it up, and her hair is next level stylish. Zama always protects Puleng, and is the type of friend everyone would want to have in their corner.

8. Reece

Reece is a foe. She acts as though she is “too cool” for anything, although as a watcher we do feel sympathy for her because of her home situation. Even with her difficult life, she is still an unlikeable character. The most positive thing about Reece is her loyalty to Chris, KB, and Fikile. She doesn’t resent them for their lavish lifestyles even though she can’t necessarily relate to them.

9. Tahira

Tahira is a friend, of course. She has been through a lot, previously being head girl and demoted due to a scandalous video of her drinking at a school-sponsored bar. Despite all that Tahira has gone through, she keeps her head held high. She’s very humble and cares about her education. She’s a good friend to Wendy and always tries to bring out the best in her. Tahira is definitely the voice of reason.

10. Lunga

Sweet, sweet Lunga is a friend. He brings logic to the show that is desperately needed, but is hilarious and confident, and a family-oriented guy.

The best part of “Blood & Water” is the cast of characters. All of the roles are important, with their own backstory which helps watchers to understand them. Beyond that, they feel like real people who we might encounter in our daily lives, even if the plot of the show is highly dramatic. My favorite part of the show is that it is led by a talented black ensemble cast. The show’s main characters are South African for the most part, which is rare to see on television. The love for this show has not gone unnoticed. Within the show’s run so far, Blood and Water has won numerous awards including Best Achievement in Sound Design, Best TV Drama and Best Achievement in Cinematography. Blood and Water continues to set the standard in terms of black excellence, fashion and cinematography. I hope future shows take notes from Blood and Water on how to do a teen drama the right way.


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