Like normal people, celebrity couples break up, too.
One moment they believe they have found “the one” and they want to tell the world. The next, tabloids are writing about there being trouble in paradise.
Such is the dilemma of many a personality and Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung are no different.
From a giddy courtship, a fairytale wedding – and one of the most spectacular same-sex celebrity weddings in South Africa by far, to a scandalous split (compounded by allegations of gender-based violence), they have gone through it all.
Of course, in such acrimonious circumstances, emotions run high and the trash-talk doesn’t end.
As such, Mhlongo exhaled all his emotions in season 5 of “Living the Dream with Somizi”. And he wasn’t exactly worried about filtering his comments either, which saw him trending on Twitter often.
The public weighed in, with some even coming to Motaung’s defence.
Meanwhile, his social media feeds painted a picture of him living his best life – unperturbed by comments made about him by Mhlongo.
Fast-forward a few episodes in, Showmax announces a tell-all special where Motaung shares his side of the story.
It’s a no-brainer that there would be curiosity around such an interview.
I watched “Mohale: On the Record” when it debuted on Thursday. In an interview with Aldrin Sampear, who is S3’s Unfiltered host as well as the presenter of SAfm’s “Beyond the Headline” drivetime show, he addressed those elephants in the room.
The serene ambience of the chat was very reminiscent of Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. And Motaung’s choice of an all-white outfit, which symbolically signifies peacefulness and purity, didn’t go unnoticed either.
That right there was a statement, in and of itself.
The opening black-and-white frames were of the couple in happier times, including images from their wedding, and it built up to those headlines that left Mzansi shook. Not just that, Mhlongo was relieved of some of his radio and TV commitments shortly afterwards.
In a way, this was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, for the couple.
Sampear gingerly eased into those allegations by first establishing who Motaung is as a person. There was feedback from his parents and his older and younger sisters.
Was this really relevant in a tell-all? I don’t think so. In fact, I found it to be a futile exercise.
What viewers really wanted – to put it bluntly – is all the juicy details of what really went down between the two. Not about when he realised he was gay, what it meant to him to be a head boy in high school and so forth.
Then he started unpacking how the relationship devolved.
Motaung said: “He really wanted me to be a house-husband. When I didn’t allow myself to be in that position a lot of things started being not okay in that relationship.”
Motaung shed light on how he was wooed since meeting Mhlongo at the book signing. However, he claims to have not been a fan – contradicting the comments made by Mhlongo’s daughter and her mother.
He opened up about his interactions with Thami Dish (Mhlongo’s former BFF) and Vusi Nova. And he addressed statements made about him having no interest in sex.
On his show, Mhlongo said: “The sex was dead.”
Bottom line, dirty laundry was aired about Motaung’s infidelity three months into their courtship, Mhlongo’s flirtations with Orlando and the sabotaging of a job opportunity for Motaung with the Fergusons.
When it came to those allegations about Motaung wanting 50% of everything, he rubbished the claim, pulling out receipts by showing the legal paperwork exchanged between the two.
Sampear’s question of whether Mhlongo was firm or controlling was reminiscent of Oprah asking Meghan: “Were you silent or were you silenced?”
Motaung responded: “There’s a thin line. At 22, you are gullible enough to believe anyone who is 24 years older.”
There is no denying the age gap and discrepancies in bank balances played a role in the breakdown of the marriage.
This interview was okay. I wouldn’t say it was mind-blowing as such.
But I do believe that it’s time for the mudslinging to end now. In this he-said-he-said scenario, no one wins.
It’s time they grow up and move on. End of story.
“Mohale: On the Record” is streaming on Showmax.