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Why Mzansi needs to get off their high horse about those steamy sexy scenes from 'The Wife'

Mondli Makhoba as Nkosana with Khanyi Mbau as his wife Zandile in the Showmax telenovela, ’The Wife’. Picture: Supplied

Mondli Makhoba as Nkosana with Khanyi Mbau as his wife Zandile in the Showmax telenovela, ’The Wife’. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 21, 2022


So the Film and Publication Board is currently reviewing that steamy sex scene between Zandile (Khanyi Mbau) and Nkosana (Mondli Makhoba) on “The Wife” after the so-called outrage from the public.

I’m going to pause for an eye-roll moment. Are you guys being serious?

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Now, of course, I did my due diligence and checked out the comments on Twitter. Yes, it was definitely a talking point on the day of and for days long after.

Viewers were understandably surprised by the boldness of the telenovela. It’s unheard of on SA television.

Of course, a few of them had memes for days.

Others clearly magnified those scenes, frame by frame, for a closer inspection and offered blow-by-blow take. People got time to waste.

Everyone weighed in on the sex scene between the husband and wife characters.

But there were some people who didn’t co-sign on the myopic stance.

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The much talked about sex scene on “The Wife”. Picture: Supplied

One Twitter user, @CR7goat70, wrote: “We wanna see more from our mzansi soapies and telenovenas (sic) when it comes to sex scenes. The wife has led by example, BCCSA must stop interfering.”

Now before getting all self-righteous on me, I would just like to find out why everyone is so hot and bothered by the sex scene. There was no full-frontal nudity. There were no private parts exposed - not as far as I could tell, anyway.

It was risqué (not that anyone is disputing that), but the telenovela did carry an age restriction. Also, how is that any different to the eroticism of other shows on television.

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And this is why I feel compelled to call Mzansi out on the double standards.

I’m sure most of the guys that had an issue with the scene belonged to the same WhatsApp group that was devastated when dropped their late-night adult movies.

The much talked about sex scene on “The Wife”. Picture: Supplied

But let’s take the conversation further.

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I’m going to start with Shonda Rhimes’s “Bridgerton”, as the second season is days away from dropping on Netflix.

Where was all this fury when Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the Duke of Hastings), gave in to their carnal pleasures in the first season?

That spoon-licking scene is still deeply etched in minds even though Page is no longer in the second season - something that hasn’t gone down well with fans.

And I’m pretty confident the new instalment won’t disappoint on that front either.

In season two of “Euphoria”, there was full-frontal nudity, plenty of intense bonking scenes and yet complete silence from streamers.

No one uttered a single word of disapproval.

In the cult fantasy drama “Game of Thrones”, the lovemaking was aplenty. And it was with several of the characters. It was expected that the trysts would be graphic and heated. After all, that was the animalistic tone of the show.

While we are at it, let’s talk about “Sex/Life”, where bored suburban housewife Billie (Sarah Shahi) started journalling her steamy sexual encounters with her ex, yearning to revisit those moments once again.

The much talked about sex scene on “The Wife”. Picture: Supplied

When the show started streaming, everyone was talking about it. It was relatable on some level. The protagonist gained a following. And so many viewers applauded the realisation that Shahi ended up hooking up with her sexy Aussie co-star Adam Demos in real life.

Again, absolutely no chatter about any inappropriateness about any of the scenes.

The list of shows that also play in the same sensual space includes “P-Valley, “Normal People”, “Sense 8”, “The L Word: Generation Q”, and “Insecure”, to mention a few.

The point that I’m getting at is that there is plenty of sex on TV, and it hasn’t seemed to have ruffled feathers as much as “The Wife” has.

There could be several reasons for this. It could be a love-to-hate Mbau mindset that clouds everyone's judgement.

It could also be that it is something unprecedented on homegrown shows, especially a telenovela.

But change has come. So either get on board or switch off your TV and/or devices.

Intimate sex scenes are here to stay. So much so that Hollywood now has a proliferation of intimacy coaches on set.

Actors are expected to sell a story. And much is asked of them.

That Mbau and Makhoba bared their heart and soul in the name of their craft should be applauded. They sold those scenes.

To get into the psyche for that, especially with an audience (translated: crew), isn’t easy.

And it’s some “Insecure” writer, actress and producer Issa Rae is very mindful off as well.

In an interview with Coveteur, she admitted: “I prepare just as I would for real sex. It might be TMI, but I just want to make sure that I’m presentable in all areas.

“I want to make sure that I smell great, and I also want to make that if my partner doesn’t smell great, that I smell good enough for the both of us."

While the FPB will be relaying their findings in due course, perhaps Mzansi should use the time to take stock of why they would so easily throw shade at a local show and actors while, at the same time, have no qualms about deriving much pleasure from international TV series that offer the same, if not more salacious takes.

It’s really time to get off those high horses!

“The Wife” 2 is currently streaming on Showmax.

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