It’s official – talented actor Wiseman Mncube will take up the role of Mqhele in Season 3 of the popular Showmax Original telenovela The Wife.
Stained Glass, the production company behind the telenovela, confirmed the news in a statement on Monday (22 August).
Wiseman Mncube as Mqhele
Wiseman is best known as Jama in eHostela, a performance that earned him the Best Actor in a TV Drama Golden Horn at the 2020 SAFTAs. He also played Sibonelo in Uzalo and will star in the upcoming epic Shaka iLembe.
As Mqhele, Wiseman replaces Bonko Khoza, who became a household name during The Wife’s run, hailed as “the national husband” by fans and nominated for DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice and SAFTA Awards for the role.
“What actor wouldn’t want to be part of The Wife?” asks Wiseman, who’s a fan of both the book and the show. “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.
“uBonko 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.”
“Wiseman is a versatile performer with multiple accolades; Mqhele and his madness are in safe hands,” says series producer Kamogelo Aphane. “Wiseman’s work ethic and command of Zulu will take Mqhele to new heights this season.”
Reaction to the news has been mostly positive on social media so far. “Wiseman was phenomenal on eHostela. I think he’s a good replacement for Mqhele,” Twitter user @missLaLucia wrote.
“Great choice; his talent was being wasted there at Uzalo. The Jama role on eHostela is where we really got to see his talent. I’m ready to watch him as Mqhele,” added Mandisa Malevu.
Naturally, Wiseman is likely to encounter comparisons with Bonko – and some fans had advice for him. “We live in South Africa; I feel sorry for him. Even if he [aces] the role people will still be crying for the previous guy… he needs to be strong,” tweeted @wise30152072.
However, some viewers expressed doubts. “He doesn’t give me that ugly and aggressive look Bonko has. He can act no doubt but…. I don’t don’t see him pulling those aggressive and angry Stunts Bonko does,” a viewer tweeted.
Whatever the case, Wiseman is a great actor in his own right and viewers will most likely appreciate his unique portrayal of Mqhele.