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GLAM Review: How To Ruin Christmas

Sports cars, a luxurious hotel, beautiful fashion and an impressive cast, make Netflix’s African Dezemba holiday series titled “How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding” .

Netflix went all out for this hilarious festive season special.

I’ve watched the first two episodes of this romantic comedy and I can’t wait for the premier on December 16. Produced by Johannesburg-based company “Burnt Onion Productions” that is run by industry game-changers, Katleho, Tshepo and Rethabile Ramaphakela. From concept to delivery, the production is crisp with smart camera and drone shots.

The script is relatable with lots of laugh-out-loud moments, and the story is told in English with several African languages including isiZulu and Setswana.

Pictures: Supplied

Set against the backdrop of Beauty Sello’s (Thando Thabethe) Christmas wedding, The story begins with the arrival of Beauty’s free spirited older sister Tumi Sello (Busisiwe Lurayi) , who travels from Cape Town to Johannesburg for the wedding.

Tumi is the black sheep of the family who's viewed as the single troublemaker. As expected drama begins to unfold immediately upon her arrival with her male bestie or is it lover?? Mmmmm!!! .

Both Thando and Busisiwe are seasoned actresses and they deliver flawless performances, complete with tears and laughter.

The handsome groom Sbu Twala (Sandile Mahlangu) and his rich and extravagant family are a lot. For this over-the-top wedding they have booked the entire Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg, for a traditional and white wedding. There is also a camera crew to capture this wedding of “national importance” .

An interesting fact is that the production was filmed during level 3 Lockdown and the entire cast and crew spent weeks together at the hotel filming in a bubble.

Back to the story…

There are several storylines taking place all at once which are easy to follow and entertaining. Each revealing bits and pieces of the dysfunctional families, from marriage drama to inappropriate ‘drunkle’, Malome Shadrack, to judgemental aunties, resentful siblings and closely guarded family secrets.

The Sellos take over the hotel's kitchen and there is chaos. Arriving with big pots and ingredients, because the bride’s strict mother does not trust the hired catering service to do a good job... There is even a sheep named “Succulent” which will be slaughtered at the 5-star hotel.

Trouble begins to unfold the night before the traditional wedding with Tumi and her soon to be brother in law get into a sexual entanglement. The families discover Tumi in the morning, naked and floating about in the hotel pool. Around her is a mess of empty wine bottles, clothes and a used condom and the groom’s brother Themba Twala (Motlatsi Mafatshe) is nowhere to be found.

The families get into a heated argument as mama Twala calls off the wedding and Tumi goes on the hunt for the missing Themba to try and save the Christmas day wedding. The drama continues with the bride Beauty revealing a big secret to her sister ...I’ll stop here, so as not to give away too much of the story.

Some of my highlights include the gorgeous wardrobe worn by the bride Beauty, and the bridal party. There are beautiful traditional gowns, the beaded green Isishweshwe dresses are a favourite, as well as the fairytale white gowns. If you are getting married soon, here you will find your inspo.

Pictures: Supplied

The music features several African artists including amapiano, making the soundtrack fresh and festive.

Featured is a cast of heavyweights such as Clementine Mosimane as Dineo Sello, Yonda Thomas as Khaya Manqele, Saint Seseli as Vusi Twala, Charmaine Mtinta as Valencia Twala, industry favourites Rami Chuene portrays Aunt Grace and Trevor Gumbi as Siya Twala. The legendary Nandi Nyembe plays Gogo Twala, with the renowned Desmond Dube portraying Uncle Shadrack and Keketso Semoko as Aunt Moipone. Swankie Mafoko plays Lydia Twala and Lethabo Bereng as cousin Bokang, as well as Dippy Padi as Thando and Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Refiloe. With appearances by industry favourites Kate Normington as Candice Harden and Seputla Sebogodi as Edmund Mokoena.

*Netflixs’ How To Ruin Christmas is set to premiere on December 16 2020. Watch the trailer at

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