A glimpse into local love stories to watch this Valentine’s Day

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

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

Published Feb 12, 2024


To mark Valentine’s Day, Showmax spotlights local love stories where viewers can immerse themselves and enjoy the special day, which will be celebrated around the world.

With the channel offering Valentine’s Day a uniquely local feel this year with three brand-new South African love stories, Forever Yena is one of the original programmes interesting to watch.

Forever Yena

Forever Yena. Picture: Supplied.

Just a few days before Valentine’s Day, Penny and Kwanda, the social media “it” couple in leading in the series, unintentionally live stream their breakup.

Whether they can retrieve the “perfect umjolo” in time to preserve their relationship, the faith in love of their admirers, and a profitable marketing partnership with a dating app is a big question.

In addition to Sikelelwa Vuyeleni (Adulting, 1802 Love Defies Time), Simphiwe Ngema (The Queen, Rockville), Miss SA finalist Luyanda Zuma, and multi-award winner Refilwe Modiselle (White Gold), Thandi Make (Gomora, The Queen) and Aluve Mjali (How to Manifest A Man) co-star as Penny and Kwanda.

Directed by Charlie Sampson (Uzobuya), a MultiChoice Talent Factory alum, the Showmax Original rom-com is produced by MECA and Warchild.


Intlawulo. Picture: Supplied.

Intlawulo, the first film from SAFTA winner Thandokazi Msumza (DiepCity, The Wife), centres around Bucks, who, while attempting to make up with her family, falls in love with the sister of his deceased best friend.

Alongside Momelezi Ntshiba (Silent Witness, An Act of Defiance) as the deceased boy’s father, a preacher who extends an invitation to Bucks to join his church's choir, are Khojane Morai (Umbuso, Abumkhulu) and Kealeboga Masango (Rhythm City). The cast also includes SAFTA candidate Thembekile Komani (Knuckle City, Blood Psalms) and Phumzile Mlangeni (Lingashoni, Skeem Saam). The Milton Empire produces Intlawulo (Mzali Wam).

Matilda en Matthys

Matilda en Matthys. Picture: Supplied.

An aspirational young writer and an extremely logical tech entrepreneur go on a number of fictitious dates in Matilda en Matthys as research for their respective novels and dating app algorithms. However, love is stronger than intellect.

Emma van Heyn (Twintig Tone In ‘n Hangkas, Troukoors) and Adrian Steyn (Die Onderonsie, Wyfie) play the title roles in Matilda en Matthys, opposing such characters as Pietie Beyers (Die Onderonsie), Bertha le Roux-Wahl (7de Laan), and comic Mojak Lehoko.

Writer-director Bibi Slippers (a published poet and SAFTA-nominated screenwriter for Hotel) makes her feature film debut with the romantic comedy. Via Film Factory, the legendary Danie Bester is producing.