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By Citizen Reporter


Get to know Xoli from #TheWifeShowmax

Actress Lungelo Mpangase has joined the cast of #TheWifeShowmax as Xoli, Sambulo's gun-wielding, sexually free lover.

After trending at the top spot on Twitter with #TheWifeShowmax when it launched last Thursday, The Wife season three has set a new four-day viewing record on Showmax, breaking the record previously held by the multi-award-winning Showmax Original telenovela’s second season. 

According to Showmax, early reviews for the third and final season are “glowing.”

This season has already introduced a number of new faces, including South African Film and Television Award winner Wiseman Mncube as Mqhele, taking over the iconic ‘National Husband’ role for which Bonko Khoza won the 2022 Best Actor Safta. 

This #TheWifeShowmax’s lead couple, Qhawe (DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice winner Kwenzo Ngcobo) and Naledi (Gaisang K Noge), have also received plenty of praise, as has Lungelo Mpangase, who joins this season as Sambulo’s sharp-shooting new lover, Xoli. 

Xoli The Wife Showmax
Xoli (Lungelo Mpangase) on The Wife Showmax | Picture: Supplied

Last week, we looked at how Mqhele (as played by Wiseman), Xoli and Qhawe stole the show and today we get to know Lungelo, the actress behind the role of Xoli, 

You’ll recognise Lungelo as Khethiwe on eHostela, Poppy on Lingashoni, and Ntokozo in Mzali Wam, but you’ve never seen her like this. 

What attracted you to The Wife and made you say, ‘Okay, I’m definitely hopping on to this’?

I mean who wouldn’t hop on to The Wife? The books were amazing; I read some of them when I was in high school. I love the writing style, the story and its characters. So I couldn’t miss it. It’s one of those projects you don’t wanna miss. You want to be part of The Wife.

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In my acting journey, I was hoping for something that would challenge me. Something that would take me out of my comfort zone because I was tired of playing the timid little girl from rural KZN.Then I read the bio of Xoli and thought, ‘Oh, God heard my prayer. This is the challenge I needed in my career.’ 

Tell us about the day you found out you were going to be cast on #TheWifeShowmax. Where were you, what were you doing and who was the first person you told?

I was having a lovely day at my house painting, sipping on some wine and listening to some music. My agent called me and said, ‘Listen, you got the role.’ I jumped up and screamed because I was so excited. I didn’t tell anyone at first as I wanted the news to first sink in and make sure I got a contract and all that. And then of course the first person I told was my mom.

Xoli is a crazy, sexy and wild character. What do you have in common with your character? Are there any big differences? 

Oh yes, huge differences! 

I’m such a soft girl. If there’s a fight, I will just cry or go home. I don’t want to be part of it. Yet Xoli gets excited if there’s drama. She’s very strong and I love how brave she is. She’s a trigger-happy type of person. She will go shoot before everybody says, ‘Let’s go shoot.’ 

She’s also sexually free. I’m from a very strict family where when we talk about sex we have to be respectful. Xoli doesn’t. She will do it right here, right now. That’s how freaky she is!

What’s it like working with Sipho Ndlovu as your lover, Sambulo? 

I’ve known Sipho for quite some time, because we’re both from KZN. Then I saw Sambulo, who’s completely different from Sipho, on the show. It was so great to see someone so dedicated to their character. I told myself: if he can transform into this person who’s completely different from him, then so can I. That kept me on my toes and inspired me to bring out my own character.

Xoli and Sambulo
Xoli (Lungelo Mpangase) and Sambulo (Sipho Ndolvu) on The Wife Showmax | Picture: Supplied

What can men learn from a character like Sambulo?

I think they can learn that it’s okay to be vulnerable as a man. It’s okay to show your feelings, to spoil your person and to be down for a person you love. And also respect your family.

Would Lungelo date a man like Sambulo?

No! Not at all! Someone who goes out and I’m not sure if he’s gonna come back? No, I can’t. This family, I wouldn’t date anyone. Too much drama. [laughing]

Xoli and Sambulo
Xoli (Lungelo Mpangase) and Sambulo (Sipho Ndolvu) on The Wife Showmax | Picture: Supplied

What’s working with the Zulu brothers like? 

Working alongside the Zulu brothers has been amazing. They are very quick and you kinda have to adapt to it as well. They bring that masculinity. I’ve never worked with a lot of men so closely and I can feel it.

What’s the most valuable thing Xoli has taught you?

That you need to use your brain. Xoli is very smart; she can spot things without being shown. She’s very calculating and streetwise. Sometimes as people we get emotional and we let our emotions control us. That’s not a good way to go about things. Feelings come and go but it’s important to use your brain. As much as people usually say: “follow your heart”, that usually gets you into trouble.

Tell us one thing you did for the first time on the shoot?

Oh, wow. There are so many first times. I shot a gun for the first time. I shot two different guns, a sniper gun and a handgun. I’ve been doing a lot of stunts, like climbing on walls. Getting bruised and still having to get up and go to work. It’s been such exciting stuff. 

READ NEXT: Bonko Khoza shows love to the new Mqhele and Qhawe

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho

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