80s or 90s teenage tv series on a ship going to South Africa

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I can’t remember the name of a short tv series from the 80s or the 90s. There was this young boy, who wanted to become a sailor so he ran away from home, where he lived with him mom, and hid on ship. He was hiding until the ship was far enough so they couldn’t take him back. He ended up befriending the captain, who was a really nice guy and a guy named M’bopa who was an African slave. The captain was giving the kid tasks so he could earn his keep and was teaching him to be a sailor. In the meantime an evil guy with a big scar on his face was trying to take over the ship, but the kid helped prevent that, so they became enemies. Then there was a big storm and a shipwreck, but they somehow managed to end up in South Africa, where they were going to trade with the Zulu to get ivory. After countless of adventures and battles with the evil guy (who almost killed him), he grew up and returned home to his mom.
When I was a kid they were playing it on TV all the time and I almost knew every line, but time passed and I don’t remember the name so I could find it again. I’ve been looking for it for more than 10 years now in 3 languages. Please help, it’s driving me crazy 🙁

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OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG YES YES YES YES!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! It’s been driving me insane for years!

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