Mbalenhle Mavimbela lands coveted role in The Wife

The Wife lead stars Mbalenhle Mavimbela and Bonko Khoza with author Dudu Busani-Dube.
The Wife lead stars Mbalenhle Mavimbela and Bonko Khoza with author Dudu Busani-Dube.

Newcomer Mbalenhle Mavimbela has landed the coveted lead role in new telenovela, The Wife, that's inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novel, Hlomu the Wife.

Sowetan can exclusively reveal that Mavimbela, who has appeared in Skeem Saam, will portray the role of Hlomu – a journalist who falls in love with taxi driver Mqhele and finds herself embroiled in his secrets.

Bonko Khoza has been cast as Mqhele. He previously starred in Necktie Youth, Professionals and Roots.

“When I found out Hlomu the Wife was being turned into a series I jumped at the chance to audition,” said Mavimbela.

“Funnily enough, a while back I did a TikTok 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.

“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 wife will premiere on Showmax on November 11 and it’s produced by Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube and Pepsi Pokane’s Stained Glass TV, also responsible for Uzalo, eHostela and Ifalakhe.


The streaming service has ordered the soap opera for three seasons, each consisting of 40 episodes, and inspired by Busani-Dube’s books Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love.

The books depict the story of eight brothers from a crime family, but narrated through the lens of the wives they marry.

Kwenzo Ngcobo, Sipho Ndlovu, Abdul Khoza, Mondli Makhoba, Thulane Shange, Linda Majola, Bongani Gumede, Dumisani Dlamini, Siyabonga Shibe and Zikhona Sodlaka complete the star-studded cast.

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

Ncube-Zuma added: “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. 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.”