Social media was abuzz last week Thursday, 11 November 2021 when telenovela, The Wife was finally released on streaming service Showmax.
The much-anticipated production is based on the Hlomu series novels written by Durban University of Technology (DUT) Journalism alumnae, Dudu Busani-Dube.
Since the announcement that the streaming giant had commissioned three seasons of 40 episodes each, inspired by the books: Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love respectively, fans of the books have been anxiously awaiting the screen adaptation.
The books tell the story of the eight bug-eyed, tall dark and handsome Zulu brothers from a powerful crime-riddled family, through the eyes of the wives they marry.
Recently, delivering the keynote address at the 2nd annual DUT Faculty of Arts and Design Entrepreneurship Week, Busani-Dube said viewers should not expect the screen adaptation to be exactly like the book, noting that the Showmax series expands on the creativity of the novel.
“Whatever is there is there, we can’t change anything now. It’s very difficult to adapt a book into a film, especially a fictional book where I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do with the characters. I can make them fly in the book and it will be normal for people to imagine that. Then when it moves to film, there are things that you cannot do… there are things that just cannot be done. So, the telenovela is inspired by the Hlomu series,” she said.
However, Busani-Dube emphasized even though there will be twists and additions to the story, the telenovela will capture the essence of the story people fell in love with from the books.
The Wife also features some of the Drama and Productions Studies graduates in leading roles such as Kwenzo Ngcobo who plays the role of Qhawe. DUT Tourism Management Alumnae, Mbali Mavimbela plays one of the main roles, Hlomu.
Born and raised in KwaMashu township, north of Durban, Busani-Dube, started self-publishing her books in 2014. She has since written and published four bestselling novels making her a successful black female author praised for telling stories that are relatable to the African audience.
She studied journalism at the then ML Sultan and has worked as a journalist for various publications in the country. In 2018, she was recognized by the eThekwini municipality among the top 18 young achievers in the province.
During her address, she spoke about the importance of understanding intellectual property for artists and creatives.
“The fact that you have a gift that is different from a lot of people… that you can create things and the understanding of the value of that and what it can do for you. You need to understand what intellectual property is. Artists and creators, rarely ever consult an intellectual property attorney or ask questions or some of them don’t even know that those exist. So, you need to have that information. The research and the knowledge and protecting what you have created, there are ways to protect what you do,” she said.
Pictured: Dudu Busani-Dube (centre) with the Zulu brothers from Showmax’s The Wife. Front (L/R) Mqhele (Bonko Khoza) and Nqoba (Abdul Khoza). Back left to right: Nkosana (Mondli Makhoba), Qhawe (Kwenzo Ngcobo) and Sambulo (Sipho Ndlovu). Photo supplied by SHOWMAX