Johannesburg - The author behind Showmax’s first original telenovela says she’s excited for her much-loved novels to come to the small screen following calls from her adoring fans.
Last week, it was announced that African streaming service Showmax was set to release its first telenovela, The Wife, based on novelist Dudu Busani-Dube’s best-selling and popular novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi his Love from her Hlomu series.
Centred around the lives of eight Zulu brothers, a formidable crime family, from Greytown, KZN, the series tells African love stories through the eyes of the wives who the brothers marry.
Busani-Dube told The Star on Sunday that an on-screen adaptation of the Hlomu series had been in talks for a while, almost two years ago, until an agreement was reached late last year with production company Stained Glass. Stained Glass is the production company behind Safta-winning shows such as eHostela and South Africa’s most-watched soap opera Uzalo.
“They were able to structure it in a way that was good for Showmax and what they wanted,” she said.
The self-published author and journalist said there was a part of her that knew that her novels would eventually be adapted because her strong readership and fans of the novel series were asking for an adaptation from broadcasting company MultiChoice and popular DStv channel Mzansi Magic.
Busani-Dube said the industry knew there was interest in the Hlomu series to come to the small screen.
“When they finally said it was happening and the paperwork was signed, I was very happy,” she said.
The 120-episode season is expected to be split evenly between the three novels. The first 40 episodes focuses on Hlomu, a journalist who falls in love with a taxi driver Mqhele, not knowing that he is behind the cash-in transit heist she’s investigating.
As a self-published novelist, Busani-Dube said she had a close relationship with the fans of her work as she does her own marketing and social media management to engage with her fans closely. She added that her readers have also developed a close relationship with her literature and view it as theirs.
“This is why now everybody is a casting director and they are all suggesting who should play who and they want the show to be exactly like the books but that’s impossible,” Busani-Dube said.