Local rom-coms to keep hearts fluttering this Valentine’s Day

Mo Sethumo and Lunga Shabalala in A Soweto Love Story. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Mo Sethumo and Lunga Shabalala in A Soweto Love Story. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Published Feb 12, 2024


If you are planning on staying in this Valentine’s Day, you can make it special by binge-watching these local star-studded offerings.

Netflix is releasing “A Soweto Love Story”, which is produced by Quizzical Pictures and directed by Rolisizwe Nikiwe. Zelipa Zulu and Darrel Bristow-Bovey are the co-writers.

The rom-com is an adaptation of the Nigerian film, A Naija Christmas, which is written by Kemi Adesoye and directed by Kunle Afolayan.

The story centres on Bongekile Ngubeni (Duduzile Ngcobo), who takes matters into her own hands where her three sons' disastrous relationships are concerned.

As such, she gives them a deadline to change their fate. The first son to find a makoti (bride) will inherit the family home.

Incentivised by their mother, the brothers, played by Lunga Shabalala, Sparky Xulu, and Ray Neo Buso, set out to appease their mother and, with their ego also challenged, emerge as the victor.

Dating in a world where ghosting and gold-diggers are rampant can get rather murky very fast. But the hilarious encounters certainly tickle the funny bone.

The supporting cast includes Skhumba Hlope, Sihle Ndaba, Didintle Khunou and Motsoaledi Setumo.

Then there is “Matilda en Matthys” on Showmax on Valentine’s Day. The rom-com marks the directorial debut of Bibi Slippers.

The story centres around an ambitious young writer and a pragmatic tech entrepreneur, who embark on a series of fake dates as research for a novel and their dating app algorithm, respectively.

But what starts as a foolproof plan backfires on the two as they forget to factor in one crucial factor - love.

Bertha le Roux-Wahl and Pietie Beyers in ‘Matilda en Matthys’ on Showmax. Picture: Supplied

This is a great case study of why opposites attract, though, with Bertha le Roux-Wahl, Pietie Beyers and Mojak Lehoko delivering rib-tickling performances.

“Forever Yena” is also showing on Showmax on the day of love.

This is one social media fundis will like. It centres around Penny and Kwanda, a celebrity influencer couple who accidentally live-stream their meltdown before Valentine’s Day.

Thandi Make and Aluve Mjali as Penny and Kwanda in ‘Forever Yena’. Picture: Supplied

With a lucrative deal with a dating app on the line, they have to figure out if they can salvage their relationship and, in so doing, restore their followers' belief in happily ever after and secure their future.

However, they will first need to get over their anger and pride.

The film stars Thandi Make and Aluve Mjali as Penny and Kwanda, respectively. It also features Sikelelwa Vuyeleni, Simphiwe Ngema, Miss SA finalist Luyanda Zuma and Refilwe Modiselle.

Last but not least, there is “Intlawulo”, which streams on February 12.

This debut film by Thandokazi Msumza centres on Bucks, who falls in love with his late best friend’s sister while trying to make amends to her family.

Yoh, talk about complicated.

Khojane Morai and Kealeboga Masango in ‘Intlawulo’. Picture: Supplied

The film stars Khojane Morai, Kealeboga Masango, Momelezi Ntshiba, Phumzile Mlangeni and Thembekile Komani.

These homegrown stories will strike a chord with streamers as they include relatable characters and relationship struggles.