Uthando Lodumo; 3/4; Available on Showmax
Say what you will about Bongekile “Babes Wodumo” Simelane (26) and Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo (39), this pair has a firm handle on how to entertain. Their reality television show, a Showmax original called Uthando Lodumo, is another testimony of this.
Starting with Mampintsha’s engagement proposal live on Gagasi FM radio, and his attempts to make amends with Babes Wodumo’s family after he allegedly physically assaulted her. We all got to see this squabble on an Instagram Live session, although they later tried to play it down by claiming it was a publicity stunt.
This show also unpacks how the pair fell in love when Babes was a video vixen in a Big Nuz video and left Mampintsha smitten, although she was very young when they first started dating – a red flag perhaps.
Just this week a slightly hazy-eyed Babes was trending for a rant on Twitter about the trajectory of her romance and the arrival of their first child.
The couple do appear to be devoted to each other and now have decided to capture their journey of marriage and having a child like the Kardashians do, which Mampinthsa jokingly explains in the show. At least it seemed like he was joking.
Veteran broadcasters Thomas Gumede and Lungile Radu executive produced what is really a straight forward reality show. The duo also handled the direction and any scripting or story boarding is moderately hidden although you should always keep in mind that there is one when watching these shows.
The first part or episode shows the letter Mampintsha wrote and sent to Babe’s family in an attempt to make things right. She grew up in a religious household, her father is a bishop. Babes jokes in one of her solo confessionals that she would sometimes rock up to church with a hangover.
Some of their relatives also provide amusing moments such as when the Maphumulos – Mampintsha’s family – take the letter with an apology of his cohabitation with Babes and how her uncle, Knowledge, received it on behalf of the family while making a few jokes to lighten the mood.
Babes breaks the news of her pending marriage to her posse of friends and they all seem happy. But they wonder what this change will mean for their friendship and she assures them in a very rock ‘n roll manner, that she will still be partying hard and coming home at 2am. The last thing she wants is to age rapidly and be stuck at home barefoot and tending to pap all day. She also insists that this marriage is long overdue and she needs an overt distinction between her and Mampintsha’s side chicks … another red flag.
Showmax has opted for a staggered approach to releasing the full season with one episode dropping per week. In total, they have three out.
This is the culmination of a nine-year long entanglement that has given us music for the ages and more recently given rise to a new life after the birth of their first child. We hope the future brings us more music and a less tumultuous time for this adored pair of musos.
It is a little disappointing as we would expect a more artful presentation from Radu and Gumede. Relying on slow drone shots to establish a scene is not really enough these days.
What exactly distinguishes that approach to that of a music video? Fortunately they have captivating subjects and that might be enough for some. When season two rolls around we will expect to see more enterprising footage.
Reality television might be the lowest rung of TV entertainment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be artful.