The third season of South African telenovela The Wife has premiered and has set a new four-day viewing record on SVoD service Showmax.
This breaks the record previously held by the multi-award-winning Showmax original telenovela’s second season.
The Wife follows two star-crossed lovers, a Tswana doctor and Zulu taxi driver. When one goes missing, the Zulu brothers face the heat.
The new season stars Gaisang K Noge with other cast members including SAFTA winner Wiseman Mncube, Lungelo Mpangase and Sipho Ndlovu.
“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,” Mpangase said.
Regarding her own personality versus that of her character in the soap, she added: “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 she’s very strong and I love how brave she is. She’s a trigger-happy type of person.”
SVoD service Showmax UK has lined up four African originals to debut this month.
They comprise season three of South African telenovela The Wife (November 10), Nigerian drama series Flawsome (November 10), the third instalment of South African comedy series Tali’s Joburg Diary (November 18) and S1 of South African murder mystery Donkerbos (November 29).
The Wife follows two star-crossed lovers, Tswana doctor Naledi Montsho and Zulu taxi driver Qhawe. When Naledi goes missing, the Zulu brothers face the heat.
The cast includes Wiseman Mncube, Sello Motloung (Blood Psalms), Stoan Seate, Mo Setumo (The Queen) and 2022 SAFTA nominee Mathews Rantsoma (Scandal!).
“With Naledi missing and the Zulu brothers’ crimes now front-page news, the third and final season of The Wife is going to be explosive. The Zulu brothers may have finally met their match in Naledi’s family,” said head writer Busisiwe Ntintili.
Flawsome follows the lives of four friends, played by Bisola Aiyeola (Sugar Rush), Ini Dima-Okojie (Blood Sisters), Sharon Ooja (Òlòtūré) and Enado Odigie (Unmarried), as they navigate their personal and professional lives while bound by the flawed yet unbreakable ties they share.
The 13-part series was created and directed by Tola Odunsi and also stars Gabriel Afolayan, John Dumelo, Baaj Adebule, Iretiola Doyle, Toyin Abraham, Chris Attoh, Ali Nuhu, Joselyn Dumas and Shine Rosman.
Meanwhile, in the new season of Tali’s Joburg Diary, Tali moves back to the city determined to get Jayden into premium preschool Little Angels in Hyde Park and reclaim her crown.
In Donkerbos, the bodies of six children are found in the forest while Limpopo, an ostracised detective, must wrestle with her dark past, her family and a distrustful community to catch the killer before another child is taken.
The series was created by Nico Scheepers (Nerens, Noord Kaap) and produced by Nagvlug (Skemerdans, Barakat) and its cast switches between the use of English, Afrikaans and Venda.
Its cast includes Thoko Ntshinga (The River), Fleur du Cap winners Sanda Shandu (Skemerdans) and Nicole Holm (Fynskrif), and Silwerskerm winners Stian Bam (Racheltjie de Beer) and Jacques Bessenger (Fynskrif, Warrior).
African streamer Showmax is making its first telenovela, romantic comedy series and scripted West African original as part of a new slate of eight shows and films.
Showmax’s first telenovela, The Wife, is based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love, all of which tell the story of a Zulu crime family through the eyes of the criminals’ wives.
Each book will be adapted into 40 episodes of the 120-episode season, with South African prodco Stained Glass producing.
Romcom series Troukoors follows Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself. The show has been created by Louis Pretorius and Albert Snyman, the creators of Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde.
Ghana Jollof is Showmax’s first West African comedy. It features two Nigerians who move to Ghana and clash with their new environment. The series will be filmed across Lagos and Accra, with comedian Basketmouth exec producing.
As well as these shows, Showmax is also making its first epic fantasy series. A coproduction with French pay TV firm Canal+, Blood Psalms tells the story of the ascent to power of a teenage princess whose world is threatened by the gods. South Africa’s Yellowbone Entertainment is producing.
Also on the slate is a second season of Black Tax, a sitcom about a single mother who has just managed to make ends meet when her parents demand she take care of them, too. Tyler Perry’s BET Africa is behind the show.
Meanwhile, Showmax will host the first part of a film trilogy in 2022. Glasshouse is a post-apocalyptic movie from Kelsey Egan and Cape Town’s Local Motion Pictures in which one family does what it can to survive in a world where humans are affected by airborne dementia known as The Shred.
Elsewhere on the slate is family thriller Desert Rose, made by Quizzical Pictures. The show sees family reunion turn into a manhunt as the Greyling siblings scramble to settle their estranged father’s debt before it’s too late. Rohan Dickson, known for Showmax series Reyka, is the showrunner.
There’s also horror series Pulse, in which an international group of young game creators discover survival is not just a game when an electromagnetic pulse bomb turns their secure office high-rise into a battlefield. The series is the result of an international collaboration between global production and finance company Media Musketeers, UK-based ForLan Films and South Africa’s Red Mirror.
Finally, Afrikaans docuseries Seks sees couples and single people openly discuss their sex lives with a clinical psychologist. Sex workers, adult-shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies, and others all feature. The six-parter is being produced by media personality Rian van Heerden through South Africa’s Provoco.