After writing about weddings on South African dramas recently following the unusual ‘wedding love triangle’ on SABC1’s "Uzalo," perhaps the logical thing to do this week is to focus on polygamy on our screens.
I have written about this controversial subject before but if the storylines on three shows – "Uzalo," "The Throne" and "Muvhango" – are anything to go by, then this October polygamy is the flavour of the month. All three drama series are exploring this contentious issue from different perspectives.
"Uzalo" recently beat its previous record when it exceeded ten million viewers after the airing of the notorious love triangle wedding scenes last month.
This was after the scorned woman, MaNgcobo (Thandeka Dawn King), stormed the marriage ceremony of her love rival, MaMlambo (Gugu Gumede) and her estranged husband and feared gangster, Nkunzi (Masoja Msiza). At gunpoint, she forced the priest to include her in the proceedings.
Subsequently, the creators of the popular SABC1 series have decided that the trio would share the same roof, which has brought endless squabbles between the two women. Only time will tell how this hostile, uncomfortable environment will get resolved. MaMlambo is a diviner and healer, a calling which has contributed to the discomfort for the other woman, especially when MaMlambo receives visitors who have come to consult.
It all started when Njomane (Msiza) and MaMlambo started a love affair behind MaNgcobo’s back. But it was the threat of violence at gunpoint that led to this evidently unholy alliance.
In the case of "Muvhango" (weekdays at 21:00 on SABC2) old-age Venda tradition is the main reason why Mulalo (Sydney Ramakuela) has taken a second wife, Tumi (Caroline Netshitungulu), much to the displeasure of his beautiful and ambitious wife, Teboho (Liteboho Molise). The former mayor of Thate, Mulalo has managed, through the courts, to depose his king, Chief Azwindini (Gabriel Temudzani). But he didn’t reckon with the consequences of royal tradition in his new role.
While revelling in their newfound glory as the kingdom’s first citizens, the glamorous couple that loves the high life learn to their shock that according to royal custom, the husband should take the second wife, a woman of noble birth who is expected to bear the chief an heir.
At first, Teboho has pretended as if she was fine with the new state of affairs while in actual fact inside she was fuming with jealousy and anger. The thought of her husband sleeping with another woman under their roof is too much to bear and only time will tell how this unfortunate situation resolves itself.
In the case of "The Throne," (Mon-Thu, 19:00 on Mzansi Magic) the consequences of a forbidden love spin out of control when pretender to the throne, Moseki (Mlangeni Nawa)’s loveless marriage to Matshediso (Doctor Khasu Nkatlo) is tested to the limit.
As a royal, his family has rejected his true love, Grace (Tumi Maretele) on the grounds that she is a commoner. Instead, they have made it possible for him to be in an arranged marriage with someone he doesn’t love.
But as they say, love will always find a way. A beautiful woman in her forties, Grace has Moseki and because of this, she has never moved on with her life. There are definitely interesting times ahead for the three productions on this topical theme.