Showmax’s first-ever original telenovela ‘The Wife’, was released on the streaming platform in November 2021 and since then, fans cannot get enough of Hlomu and the gangster Zulu brothers.
The series is inspired by the best-selling novel, ‘Hlomu The Wife’ by Dudu Busani-Dube.
It follows the story of a journalist, Hlomu, who falls in love with a taxi driver Mqhele. Soon she realises that he is not just a taxi driver but owns a taxi empire alongside his brothers. Mqhele and his brothers employ criminal methods to maintain their status in the industry, and she is forced to turn a blind eye.
While this story is set in South Africa, The Wife has amassed fans worldwide since its release. An increasing number of Nigerians happen to be a big part of the fandom. For a story set miles away on the other end of the continent, how come Nigerians have become obsessed with the story of the Zulu gang and the women in their lives?
It’s pretty simple, besides the excellent acting, especially the lead characters whose love story will give you all kinds of feels. And we mean all kinds, you will feel Hlomu’s pain, dilemma, as well as her loyalty.
The series does a beautiful job of exploring black love in a way many can relate to. It proves that despite certain differences, African women share similar experiences when it comes to love and marriage.
Many Nigerian women can see themselves in ‘The Wife’ characters. Many women have gone into marriage for the sake of love, only to face a rude awakening when they realise how much of their husband’s cross they’ll have to bear. In Hlomu’s case, his secrets too, and that’s not exactly an easy thing to do as a journalist married to a crime lord.
‘The Wife’ serves a lot of wish fulfillment for some fans watching when it comes to their fantasies of power and control, even love. Many cannot help but imagine themselves as confident and badass as the Zulu brothers on the show.
The storyline is not one Nigerians get to witness so often on the screens. A love story packed with enough action, suspense and unpredictable plot twists to keep you longing for the next episode. It also manages to skip all the typical tropes that plague series of the same genre.
Nigerians are more than happy to live vicariously through the characters, whether Hlomu herself who is clever and loyal or Mqhele who brings the danger, charm and edginess the show needs.
It is not all love, sweet one-liners and action in ‘The Wife’; some fans have noted how the show appears to romanticise abusive relationships; others argue that it simply holds a mirror into the real lives and experiences of most African women.
That being said, ‘The Wife’ is as entertaining as it is gritty, and we can see why Nigerians would be obsessed.
You can watch this exclusively on Showmax.