On August 15, 2022, Showmax revealed that Bonko Khoza, who portrayed Mqhele Zulu on The Wife, would not be appearing in Season 3 of the well-liked serial and that a new actor will fill the position.
The Wife’s production company, Stained Glass, has now officially announced that Wiseman Mncube will replace Bonko and play the new Mqhele in Season 3. After performing the character of Mqhele in Seasons 1 and 2, Bonko left the Showmax original. Fans of the show expressed their sadness on social media.
In a statement on his exit, Bonko said, “Having had the privilege to play Mqhele Zulu for two seasons, I realize I’ve taken the character as far as I can … I’m part of finding the perfect replacement and will be watching from the sidelines to support and offer advice where needed.”
Wiseman is well-known for his work as Jama in eHostela, which won him the Golden Horn for Best Actor in a TV Drama at the 2020 SAFTAs. He also performs the role of Sibonelo in the SABC 1 drama Uzalo, and he will soon be seen in the epic Shaka iLembe.
In a statement released by Showmax, Wiseman – who also happens to be a fan of both the show and book – says, “What actor wouldn’t want to be part of The Wife?”. Mqhele is a very interesting role and I’m in my element: there’s a lot to chew on and play off, from the love story to the anger to the care. Bonko carried the role with so much respect and power. I’m not here to replace Bonko but to start my own journey as Mqhele and take things from where he left off and run with it in my own way.”
Although some fans appear to be just as eager to have Wiseman replace the multi-award nominee as those who were first devastated by the news of his departure.
— Showmax South Africa (@ShowmaxOnline) August 22, 2022
😭💃💃it should have been him from the start😭🔥🙌I'm soo happy pic.twitter.com/1gargRZkkX
— Mandisa (@mandisa_shuku) August 22, 2022
Funani omunye ay lona
— Smangele (@Sma_dzadza) August 22, 2022
Speaking about his new part, Mncube revealed that he enjoys both the play itself and the book “Naledi His Love,” from which the plot was adapted. He added that he will take on the post in his “personal style” rather than merely replacing Khoza.
“What actor wouldn’t want to be part of ‘The Wife’? Mqhele is a very interesting role, and I’m in my element: there’s a lot to chew on and play off, from the love story to the anger to the care.Bonko carried the role with so much respect and power. I’m not here to replace Bonko, but to start my own journey as Mqhele and take things from where he left off and run with it in my own way,” said Mncube.
“The Wife” producer Kamogelo Aphane said: “Wiseman is a versatile performer with multiple accolades; Mqhele and his madness are in safe hands.
“Wiseman’s work ethic and command of Zulu will take Mqhele to new heights this season.”
“The Wife” season three is set to air in November with actress Gaisang Keaikitse Noge in the lead role as doctor Naledi Montsho, who is in love with Qhawe Zulu, played by Kwenzokuhle Ngcobo.