The Wife has been a hot topic since it’s debut and it broke all records because of it’s intriguing storyline. The Showmax series is said to be an adaptation from the book by Dudu Busani, and people were excited to see the characters play out in real life. But, all that fell flat when the series took a completely different turn with it’s storyline.
This week’s episodes consisted of something viewers have not seen with local TV productions – and that is fire s*x scenes. Season 2 of The Wife focuses on Nkosana and Zandile, played by Mondli Makhoba and Khanyi Mbau, and their love story.
When it first started out, we saw the chemistry between Zandile and Nkosana and the way he talks to her which is very warm and loving. Just how Khanyi Mbau envisioned.
The love is still there but viewers are still unimpressed with the storyline, seeing how Khanyi’s former prison buddies are looking to shake things up.
Khanyi Mbau doesn’t hide her delight when asked about her new role in hit Showmax Original telenovela The Wife.
She says it’s the biggest role of her acting career and a role that she is “super thrilled” about.
“I am over the moon,” Mbau told the Saturday Star this week. “This is the resurrection of my acting career and the neatest challenge I have been given in a very long time.”
The 36-year-old joins the record-breaking telenovela in season two and plays the lead role of Zandile The Resolute, the wife of Nkosana, the leader of the Zulu brothers’ crime family.
Eagle-eyed fans of the hit show, which has topped Twitter every Thursday since its launch, got their first glimpse of Mbau this week as season two kicked off on Showmax, with Mbau and Mondli Makhoba stepping into the lead roles.
While excited and thrilled, Mbau admits that the role can be quite daunting.
“The greatest challenge for an actress is being a part of a story that everyone knows. That brings a lot of expectations that you need to live up to. There’s a cult around this show, so there’s a lot of pressure. And before being part of the cast, I am a fan, so I really don’t want to drop the ball. For me to depict this character is really something that can either make me or break me, to be quite honest with you, but I love the thrill.”
The Wife opened to rave reviews in November 2021, breaking both Uthando Lodumo’s first day and Devilsdorp’s four-day Showmax viewing records in the process.
Produced by Stained Glass, season one of The Wife also became the most watched launch on Showmax ever.
The show trended at the top of Twitter every Thursday during its run for 13 consecutive weeks.
The Wife is inspired by the best-selling books by Dudu Busani-Dube, which tell the story of the eight Zulu brothers, a formidable crime family, through the eyes of the wives they marry.
Season one was inspired by Hlomu The Wife, while season two was inspired by Zandile The Resolute.
Speaking about securing her lead role, Mbau says she was delighted to receive a call to test out for the role.
“It was literally a phone call to get onto tape just to see if I fit the character and the description of what was given, and when I got the call I was very excited. I was overseas at the time. For me, the excitement was playing a new role and being given a new opportunity to try and venture into a new space.
“But when I told my family they knew about the Hlomu series and I was shocked to find out that it was something that actually lived a life of its own. I did my own research when I got onto social media. It shocked me to then find out it is actually a cult.
“I think that’s when the shortest horror story started for me because as an actress, it’s easy to find or to be given a synopsis and then create your own DNA for a character. But when a character has its own life and its own charisma, it is difficult to then get into that. Let alone, it’s a country favourite. It’s a cult popular story, and that’s what made it difficult for me.”
But she decided not to read the book, to find her own nuances, to listen to what people say, “like how you’d listen to someone else when they describe a human being. That’s how I then got to the process of putting her together.”
She regards it as the most complex role she’s ever played too.
“You know, out of all characters that I’ve ever played, this is the most complex one because understanding Zandile is very difficult. I am still in the process of trying to find who she is. She’s very cold, detached and very delusional to reality. But she has one thing about her that I like, she loves deeply. Which is something that she has in common with her husband , but she is very, very difficult to crack because she’s not an open book.
“South Africa is going to enjoy the intimacy, their love story, the interaction, because they serve couple goals from the get-go even in prison. Through that glass, you could feel their love.”
She believes season two has come out at the perfect time, during the month of love.
“I’m happy that the story actually comes out in February, which is the month of love. So I think shout out to The Wife for actually timing that nicely. For the viewer one thing they’ll truly enjoy is their language.
You need to understand that Nkosana is very poetic, how he uses his words, and it constructs how he relays love to her and how she then also uses her eyes and her hands, and how she lets him in.
“That I think is for the books. I think it’s never been done on South African TV and how Nkosana also makes the Zulu language so romantic. He makes it sound like French.
“So I think that is what I’m also looking forward to, as Khanyi to watch them give that to me.”