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Showmax reveals the full cast of Widows Unveiled

Widows Unveiled is a 10-part Showmax Original that follows the lives of five women who were married to public figures who passed away. The reality series documents the journey of each woman from pain to triumph as they navigate the drama and scandal that followed the death of their husbands.

Widows Unveiled is produced by Passionlane Productions, the brains behind Mzansi Magic’s SAFTA-nominated hit show Uthando Nes'thembu.

The cast includes PR specialist and marketing professional Lerato Sengadi, the widow of Motswako legend HHP; entrepreneur, award-winning philanthropist, executive producer of Nkalakatha: The Life of Mandoza and stroke survivor Mpho Tshabalala, the widow of musician Mandoza; broadcaster and philanthropist Sikelelwa Ngubane, the widow of actor Menzi Ngubane; businesswoman Fundiswa Molefe, the widow of businessman John Molefe; and businesswoman Lerato Maphatsoe, the widow of former Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe.

Asked why they decided to be part of the show, the cast revealed that they wanted to share their stories as an encouragement to other women in similar positions.

While we patiently wait for the season to start, Maphatsoe has assured viewers that they can expect a lot of discomfort and honesty from each lady’s storyline. “Viewers can expect things that are not comfortable to speak about, especially as a Black society. Viewers can expect that we are authentic, we are telling our truth, and nothing is scripted, but everything is from our realities.” But Lerato wants to also make it clear that she can’t control how viewers receive the show. “I’m telling my story. It is your responsibility how you receive it.”

"So much happened in my marriage, even before my husband passed away,” says Molefe. “My marriage was an uphill battle and it still is, so the decision to embark on this journey stems from all that I bottled inside. If I talk about my life, there is probably another woman out there who is dying inside because of a similar experience and I hope my story will show them that they're not alone in this."

"I decided to do this because I realised that widowhood is treated like a colossal taboo,” says Sengadi. “No one wants to talk about it, but it's a day-to-day reality for millions of people. Throughout my journey as a young widow, I realised that Black widows, specifically, have it harder. It's a generational curse and pattern. Women can’t speak openly about these experiences; they can’t speak about the pain and the journey to rediscovering yourself after loss. The fact that you have to wear all black when your husband dies is just a ‘scarlet letter’ to let people know that you're now a widow, so everyone must feel pity for you and avoid you like the plague. Society has made it very difficult to be a widow…when you show up for each other you are ridiculed and it’s called ‘trauma bonding’, instead of seeing it as a support system! In that moment of loss you want someone who understands what you’re going through and who will help validate your emotions and feelings. I want to show my reality and let people know that it's not easy, it is nothing to be ashamed of, and you're not alone," says Sengadi.

"As widows, we go through various journeys and one of the most difficult ones is the journey of loss - not only the loss of your husband but also the loss of everything you have built,” says Tshabalala. “So my decision to be a part of this show is not only to tell my story and how I dealt with my losses but to also show how I handled things differently because my peace comes first and if anything costs me my peace, I move away. Rebuilding is difficult but through faith and hope it can be done."

"Honestly, at first it took time for me to agree to do this show,“ says Ngubane. “But I had some time to sit and think of all that I went through since my husband's passing and the things that I have endured since his passing. I know that I am not the only woman who is dealing with the trials and tribulations that come with being a widow. My husband was a public figure, so why can't I tell my story publicly? I also want to show other people that it is not only your average Joe that goes through this - we are many. Let me share and tell my story as best as I can."

Executive producer Tsholofelo Semenya echoes the cast’s sentiments and strongly believes that it is time their story be told.

"The cast of Widows Unveiled have spent many decades alongside some of the most successful and high-profile men, who have been celebrated and even revered,” says Semenya. “Now it is their time to have their story told, stories that often mirror those of women we all know. The experience of widowhood transcends class, it transcends race, it transcends social status - yet it’s something we so rarely see on our screens. Every day a new widow joins the club and it’s about time we anchored these women and their families on their journey towards rebuilding their lives.”

Stream Widows Unveiled on Showmax from 12 February 2024, with new episodes every week.

Watch the trailer here

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