ACTOR Hungani Ndlovu, who plays the naughty and troublesome Romeo on e.tv’s Scandal!, has opened up about being in an abusive relationship and finding love in the arms of his co-star Stephanie Sandows who plays the role of Ingrid. Hungani spent three years in Los Angeles, in the United States, studying and trying to land some work opportunities. Then towards the end of July 2015, he decided to come back home to try make it in the South African industry.
The years he spent in Los Angeles are the times he endured abuse in his relationship. “I got into an abusive relationship when I was still in the United States. My girlfriend at that time would get physical with me. We were together for one year and six months. The last six months together were so abusive,” says Hungani. “We would have a minor argument and she would start hitting me. I would ask her to stop and because of the way I was raised, I refused to hit a woman. But as time went on I got tired and retaliated.”
NO MORE CAMPAIGN
Despite the abusive relationship they had, the two continued to stay together. Hungani says it is easier when you are outside the relationship to say someone should dump their abusive partner, but he points out that he saw for himself the excuses abused partners make. “I was blinded by love. It’s a lot easier to say one should leave the other person when you are outside the relationship. When you are in that relationship you come up with a lot of excuses and the abuse becomes a norm,” he explains. He says things ended when both their work permits expired and they had to go their separate ways. That is the time he came back to South Africa. He then decided to start the No More Campaign which stands against gender-based abuse. He also invited his fellow actors such as Scandal!’s Mapaseka Koetle, Jerry Mofokeng, Hlomla Dandala and Kgomotso Christopher to be part of the campaign. “I started the campaign because people make a lot of excuses. But no more abuse, whether it’s women or men, girls or boys,” explains Hungani.
HEAD OVER HEELS
Despite what he has been through in his previous relationship, Hungani is now happy with Stephanie. The two met on set when Hungani went for auditions in December 2015, then three months later he decided to tell her how he feels about her. “When I got the role, I remember during lunch I sat on her table. We got comfortable with each other and three months later I told her how I feel.”