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The Wife’s Mondli Makhoba opens up about his on-screen chemistry with Khanyi Mbau

Season 2 of The Wife is in full swing and fans are already reeling from the plot twists and rising tensions. Inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestseller, Zandile The Resolute, Season 2 sees fan favourite Mondli Makhoba, who plays Nkosana, finally reunited with the love of his life and wife Zandile, played by Khanyi Mbau, after breaking her out of jail at the end of Season 1.

So far, we’ve seen Zandile return home from prison, take on a new identity, and deal with the shifted power dynamics between herself, her husband, and her children - who now consider Hlomu their mom.

We also got to see a passionate love scene between the pair, proving that despite their 10-year separation, there is still immense chemistry between them.

About her on-screen romance with Makhoba, Khanyi is full of praise for the actor. “It's the voice, man. Have you heard that guy’s voice? ” she said, adding, “Nkosana makes the Zulu language so romantic; he makes it sound like French.”

Viewers have been similarly impressed, praising the sensuality and captivating nature of Nkosana with Zandile.

While Season 1 saw South Africa fall in love with Bonko Khoza as Mqhele, before he broke their hearts with his mistreatment of Hlomu, given the reaction to Nkosana in Season 2, it won’t be surprising if fans name Mondli South Africa’s replacement national husband soon.

To find out more, we caught up with the Makhoba to find out more about what we can expect in Season 2 and the relationship between Nkosana and Zandile.

What has it been like working with Khanyi?

Working with Khanyi has been great. She's very gifted and she just pulls you into that world where you are supposed to be. It’s magic. I cannot wait for our audience to see more of that because, yoh, it's great.

What’s changing in Season 2?

Having Zandile back brings out another layer for Nkosana, where we see him soft, where we see him loving. That side of Nkosana that we didn't see in the first season.

It also makes us understand why he had to work so hard with his brothers all these years. Why the heists? Why everything else they were doing to save money? Zandile is the reason why.

The challenge now is how Zandile fits in. Over the years, as he was working on getting her out, he was subconsciously creating a system that works for him, with the hope that Zandile will fit in. So now the question is: Will she fit in? Will she feel loved? Will he have time for her? Will she feel that she's got his attention? So let us wait and see.

The family is in a lot of trouble with regards to his brothers, so we also still have him as the glue of the family, trying to make everyone gel and stay focused.

Tell us more about the dynamic with the kids, Hlomu and Zandile? What does Nkosana feel would be the best possible outcome?

Obviously the kids love Hlomu. She's been there, helping them through everything, all the chaos that they have as a family.

But Nkosana wants his family together. He wants to see Zandile and their kids play. He wants to see them gel as a family. So he wishes and hopes that they love their biological mother more, that they have that bond that mothers and kids need to have.

How different is Mondli to Nkosana?

There are similarities: Nkosana is the eldest at home; Mondli is as well. He's very protective of his family, which Mondli is too. So those similarities have helped a lot, and make it easier to play Nkosana.

But Nkosana carries a lot of anger that Mondli doesn't. Each and every day I have to come back and get out of character and leave Nkosana on the set, otherwise you’ll hear bad stories.

Yeah, he's complicated…

How did you prepare for Nkosana in Season 1?

It's very hard when you start at the very beginning, when you're still trying to find the backstory of the character, but once you've done that, it becomes part of you.

So when I get on set, as I take off Mondli's clothes and put on Nkosana's clothes, that's the transformation. I start thinking like Nkosana. It starts there.

I'm a spiritual person. I know with these characters that we play, we are given to play. So I go to a zone where I talk to Nkosana and ask him to play. So I feel like I’ve met him.

Tell us a bit about the chemistry with other actors.

The chemistry between the brothers, it’s amazing. We have that brotherly chemistry going on, which makes it easier for us when we are in front of the camera.

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