When the news broke that Showmax was producing their own telenovela inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novel Hlomu the Wife, overjoyed fans of the series immediately took to social media to offer their casting suggestions for the lead roles of Hlomu and Mqhele.
This week, Showmax confirmed which faces have been cast to play certain roles.
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 read the book a couple of years ago and was a fan from the moment I put it down. Fast forward to 2021 when I got sent an audition for the series. I’m really excited to bring to life this incredible piece of writing. Dudu created a compelling work of art and now we get to breathe life into it, put faces to names and show it to the world,” said Bonko in a statement.
Mqhele’s family has also been cast and the Zulu brothers will be played by:
- Kwenzo Ngcobo (Imbewu) as Qhawe
- Sipho Ndlovu (Isibaya, The Queen) as Sambulo
- SA Film and Television Awards (Safta) winner Abdul Khoza (Isibaya, Kings of Jo’Burg) as Nqoba
- Mondli Makhoba (Umkhokha, Generations, Imbewu) as Nkosana
- Safta nominee Thulane Nkululeko Shange (Is’thunzi, iNumber Number) as Mqoqi
- Ishmauel Songo (Rhythm City, Tsotsi) as Mpande
- Swelihle Luthuli (eHostela) as Ntsika
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 their wives.
Although the series is based on the books, Showmax cautioned those who have read the books not to assume they know what’s coming.
“The Showmax series expands on the world created in the novel. For fans of Hlomu the Wife, who know all the scenes and the lines, be prepared for new experiences and surprises on screen,” said Dudu.
The Wife is the eighth South African Showmax Original to be released in 2021 after record breakers like the true-crime phenomenon Devilsdorp and Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha’s reality series Uthando Lodumo, as well as critically acclaimed scripted series like DAM, Skemerdans and Tali’s Baby Diary and ever-popular reality series like Temptation Island South Africa and Life With Kelly Khumalo (season two).
The first three episodes of The Wife will be available from 11 November 2021, with three new episodes added every Thursday.