Reality television fans will be spoilt for choice as Showmax has announced “Widows Unveiled”, which delves into the lives of five remarkable women, married to prominent public figures who have since passed away.
The 10-part series documents the journey of each woman, from pain to triumph, as they navigate the drama and scandal that followed the death of their husbands.
The cast includes PR specialist and marketing professional Lerato Sengadi, the widow of rapper HHP; entrepreneur and award-winning philanthropist Mpho Tshabalala, the widow of musician Mandoza; broadcaster and philanthropist Sikelelwa Ngubane, the widow of actor Menzi Ngubane; businesswoman Fundiswa Molefe, the widow of businessman John Molefe; and, last but not least, businesswoman Lerato Maphatsoe, the widow of former defence minister Kebby Maphatsoe.
Maphatsoe said: “Viewers can expect things that are not comfortable to speak about, especially in a black society. Viewers can expect that we are authentic, we are telling our truth, and nothing is scripted, but everything is from our realities.
“I’m telling my story. It is your responsibility how you receive it.”
Molefe said her marriage was an uphill battle and it still is, so the decision to embark on this journey stems from all that she bottled inside.
“If I talk about my life, there is probably another woman out there who is dying inside because of a similar experience and I hope my story will show them that they are not alone in this.”
Sengadi said she decided to join the show because she realised that widowhood is treated like a colossal taboo.
She said: “No one wants to talk about it, but it's a day-to-day reality for millions of people. Throughout my journey as a young widow, I realised that black widows, specifically, have it harder. It's a generational curse and pattern.
“Women cannot speak openly about these experiences; they cannot speak about the pain and the journey to rediscovering yourself after loss.
“The fact that you have to wear all black when your husband dies is just a ‘scarlet letter’ to let people know that you're now a widow, so everyone must feel pity for you and avoid you like the plague.
“Society has made it very difficult to be a widow, when you show up for each other you are ridiculed and it’s called ‘trauma bonding’, instead of seeing it as a support system.”
Tshabalala said: “As widows, we go through various journeys and one of the most difficult ones is the journey of loss - not only the loss of your husband but also the loss of everything you have built.
“So my decision to be a part of this show is not only to tell my story and how I dealt with my losses but to also show how I handled things differently because my peace comes first and if anything costs me my peace, I move away.
“Rebuilding is difficult but through faith and hope it can be done,” she said.
Ngubane on the other hand said it took time for her to agree to do this show.
Soon after the trailer dropped, reality TV fans took to social media to express how happy they were for the new show and that they could not wait.
@kgabo_shilabjwe wrote: “Okay, I will be watching.”
@lurvDayimani wrote: “My judging cap is ready.” While @ZandyNice commented: “Let’s go!”
∎ “Widows Unveiled” premiers on Showmax on February 12.