FIRST GLIMPSE OF HLOMU IN SHOWMAX ORIGINAL THE WIFE

When Showmax announced they were making a telenovela inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novel Hlomu the Wife, overjoyed fans immediately took to social media to offer their casting suggestions for the lead roles of Hlomu and Mqhele.

The teaser gives fans their first glimpse of the actors who landed the coveted roles. Rising star Mbalenhle Mavimbela (Skeem Saam, Isipho) will play Hlomu, the journalist who falls in love with a taxi driver, not realising that when you marry a man, you marry his secrets. Mqhele will be played by Bonko Khoza, who burst onto the acting scene as Jabz in the multi-award-winning film Necktie Youth and has since appeared in the likes of Professionals and the Emmy-nominated Roots.

“I got to spend some time with Mbali and Bonko on set and they are great – new, fresh faces,” says Dudu. “They’ve already developed a chemistry and should do justice to the characters.”

Dudu Busani Dube with Mbalienhle Mavimbela as Hlomu and Bonko Khoza as Mqhele in The Wife

“Mbalenhle and Bonko are fairly fresh faces in the industry; there isn’t any one role or character that audiences can instinctively affix to them,” says showrunner Gugu Ncube-Zuma. “As a result, they will truly embody and be known intrinsically as Hlomu and Mqhele. What solidified this decision was their undeniable chemistry: it was just electric.”

“When I found out Hlomu the Wife was being turned into a series, I jumped at the chance to audition,” says Mbalenhle. “Funnily enough, a while back I did a Tik Tok pretending to be Hlomu the Wife and that I had ‘made it’, not knowing that I would end up playing the character. It was even trending.”

She’s delighted her casting is finally public. “It feels like I’ve been keeping a secret from my fans and followers for months, and I couldn’t even post a hint. I’ve been watching fans ‘casting’ from the sidelines on Twitter and Facebook but haven’t been able to say anything.”

The cast also includes Kwenzo Ngcobo (Imbewu); Sipho Ndlovu (Isibaya, The Queen); SAFTA winner Abdul Khoza (Isibaya, Kings of Joburg); Mondli Makhoba (Isithembiso, Generations, Imbewu) and SAFTA nominee Thulane Shange (Is’thunzi, Ifalakhe) as the Zulu brothers; TikTok star Linda Majola; and SAFTA nominees Bongani Gumede (Isibaya, Zone 14, Yizo Yizo), Dumisani Dlamini (Usindiso, Yizo Yizo), Siyabonga Shibe (Gazlam, Ashes to Ashes, Rockville) and Zikhona Sodlaka (Blood Psalms, DiepCity).

The Wife is being produced by Stained Glass, who’ve created SAFTA-winning shows like eHostela and Ifalakhe as well as Uzalo, South Africa’s most-watched soap opera.

Showmax has commissioned three seasons of 40 episodes each, inspired by Dudu’s books Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute, and Naledi His Love respectively. The books follow the lives of the eight Zulu brothers, a formidable crime family, through the eyes of the wives they marry.

Binge the first three episodes of The Wife from 11 November 2021, with three new episodes added every Thursday.

About author

ACTOR SPACES | Hungani Ndlovu maboneng

OPINION SPACES | HUNGANI NDLOVU

@HUNGANINDLOVU | The Importance of Collaborations The Importance of Collaborations within the Entertainment Industry. Let’s first define the word ‘collaboration’ so that we’re all on ...