A bromance for the ages - Luthando BU Mthembu on the hit Showmax drama, Adulting

The cast of Adulting. Supplied image.

The cast of Adulting. Supplied image.

Published May 13, 2023


Johannesburg - The ladies love them, and the guys can relate to them, but for Luthando Mthembu, Showmax’s hit local series Adulting is about the “ultimate bromance” and “unconditional support”.

“Despite everything, these guys have each other's backs, which is beautiful to see amongst a group of men,” Luthando, who plays the role of Vuyani on the show, told The Saturday Star this week.

“I think that everyone can relate to this camaraderie because we all have a sense of belonging and this desire for people to be there for us, regardless of our lack of wisdom or bad choices.”

Adulting’s eighth and final episode dropped this week, with the show again at number 1 on the Showmax charts.

The 18SN drama centres around four varsity friends – Mthembu, affectionately known as BU, Bonga, played by Thembinkosi Mthembu, Eric, played by Nhlanhla Kunene and Mpho, played by Thabiso Rammusi.

The cast of Adulting. Supplied image.

And it is their strong bond that has held them together even as their journeys in life have taken them in very different directions. The group confront infidelity, criminality, relationship dynamics and their careers as they attempt to find love and success in Johannesburg and often just have each other to lean on.

“They might not all agree with each other’s life choices, but they provide unconditional support for each other,” Mthembu explained.

Adulting is the first Showmax Original from Tshedza Pictures, the production company behind the International Emmy-nominated telenovela The River and the SAFTA Best TV Drama winner The Republic. Tshedza Pictures’ co-founders Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon have won five Best Scriptwriting SAFTA awards in the last four years.

It is also the first of two Showmax Originals from Tshedza this year.

The KwaZulu-Natal-born star, who shot to the spotlight as a contestant in the third season of “Big Brother Mzansi,” added that Adulting offers viewers something unique.

Luthando Mthembu as Vuyani in Adulting. Supplied image.

“Adulting is relatable, and it steers away from gimmicks and from the stereotypes of attractive males to deliver a show with an amazing storyline which is conveyed by incredibly talented actors.”

On Adulting, Mthembu portrays Vuyani, a toy boy reliant on his sugar mamma, Beth, played by SAFTA nominee Winnie Ntshaba.

“Up close, Vuyani is a toxic character who needs to make better choices in his life,” he believes.

“He often takes the easier route to success, and he has so much room for growth. He definitely has delusions of grandeur and doesn’t want to be an average Joe.”

Mthembu’s love interest in Adulting, Beth, played by Winnie Ntshaba. Supplied image.

But Mthembu also believes that his character offers comedic relief to his friendship group, a common feature in most “bromance” relationships.

“He is a breath of fresh air, and people can relate to him because he is funny and the joker of the friendship group, even during the challenging times that they all experience.”

And while the role of Vuyani is multi-layered, Mthembu admits that he was pleased that he was chosen to portray a character that has such depth.

“My appearance, with the tattoos, the six-pack and the hairstyles, often leads to roles of a toy boy, but playing Vuyani forced me to peel off many layers of myself and allowed me to showcase different sides to my craft.”

Luthando Mthembu as Vuyani in Adulting. Supplied image.

As Adulting season one comes to an end, Mthembu admits that it is a “bittersweet moment.”

“Everything has to come to an end,” he said.

And while news of season two is unconfirmed, the local star believes that the show ended with room for sufficient growth for all of Adulting’s characters.

“Everyone on the show pulled their own weight, and Adulting proved to be more about substance than hype, which struck a chord with viewers.”

The Saturday Star