Devale Ellis and Crystal Renee Hayslett are the stars in Tyler Perry’s Zatima, the new BET+ series that follows popular Sistas characters Zac (Ellis) and Fatima (Hayslett) as they navigate the ups and downs of their relationship.
In Sistas, viewers saw Fatima working as an assistant at a law company when she met Zac, an ex-convict trying to rebuild his life. As they grew closer, Zac and Fatima decided to take their budding romance to the next level.
In Tyler Perry’s Zatima, audiences will be introduced to where the couple’s relationship stands now that they’ve decided to make it official and start a new life together. Speaking exclusively with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Ellis and Hayslett shared the common themes and takeaways from the new spinoff.
I LIKE TO SAY THAT THE THEME OF ZATIMA IS LOVE, LIFE, LAUGHTER AND LESSONS,” HAYSLETTE SAID.
“As Zac and Fatima navigate life and love together, we’re also bringing the audience on this ride with us to grow and learn valuable lessons that we all go through. And because life is hard enough, we find a way to laugh through a lot of the growing pains of love.”
Ellis’ explained how Zac and Fatima share a real-life depiction of the struggles many new couples face when learning how to navigate life together.
“I would have to say communication, grace, friendship and change,” are the central theme, Ellis said. “In season 1 we get the chance to watch two people who are madly in love with each other try to infuse this new found love into their already complicated life with longtime friends and family.”
Fans of Sistas are familiar with the start of Zac and Fatima’s love story. But Zatima gives audiences an inside look into Fatima’s upbringing and how it impacted her decisions in life.
“ON ZATIMA YOU GET TO SEE THE BACKSTORY OF ZAC AND FATIMA,” HAYSLETT SAID.
“You get an inside look as to why Fatima makes a lot of the choices she makes and it all starts to make sense as to why she is the way she is. You also get to meet Fatima’s family & girlfriends which adds another dynamic that you don’t get to see on Sistas,” she continued.
With Zac being a former convict, Zatima gives fans an update on how he’s progressing in his life and career after his firsthand experience with America’s criminal justice system.
“In Zatima, thankfully Zac has ascended beyond his issues dealing with recidivism,” Ellis explained. “We finally get a chance to see Zac live freely in this new space of financial security.”
When it comes to why Zatima is important and what the stars of the new series hope viewers will take away, there’s one key component the actors centered on when filming.
“WE MADE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO PORTRAY LOVE IN A WAY THAT GIVES THE AUDIENCE HOPE,” HAYSLETT SAID.
“Leaving every week with something that makes them hold on to their significant other a little tighter.”
For those who are single and just enjoy good content, Zatima has something for you too.
“For our singles, like myself, you’ll feel a little more hope that you’ll find your “perfect” fit one day — if that’s even what you want,” Hayslett said. “Ultimately we just want to bring some light into everyone’s homes.
Catch Tyler Perry’s Zatima on BET+.