Youth month is a significant month in South African history, where the youth of 1976 marched the streets protesting the Afrikaans language being used as the medium of instruction at schools during the Apartheid regime.
In 2021, a different celebration takes place for the Maphumulo family as Gqom singer and songwriter Bongekile “Babes Wodumo” Simelane, 26, and her husband Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo, 38,celebrate the birth of their newborn child.
The couple recently tied the knot in an exclusive intimate celebration with family and friends and announced released a trailer to their Showmax reality show, Uthando Lodumo, which follows Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha.
Babes burst onto the gqom scene with Wololo, featuring Mampintsha and Distruction Boyz, which racked up over 11m views on YouTube alone, and was nominated as Record of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards and the South African Music Awards, among other places. As Babes says in the trailer, “We were madly in love. We then made hit song after hit song. And we made a lot of money as a result.”
But their relationship hasn’t always been a fairytale, with an incident of gender-based violence trending on social media in 2019. The trailer suggests Mampintsha is still dealing with the aftermath of that controversy, as his initial letter to Babes’ family is rejected; we see him apologising to Babes’ parents; and we see Babes worrying about whether her family will turn Mampintsha’s family away at the gate.
Uthando Lodumo is being produced and directed by South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Thomas Gumede and SAFTA nominee Lungile Radu through their production company, Parental Advisory. “No one will be able to predict everything that happens in this show,” says Thomas. “We know it’s going to start a lot of conversations.”
All three episodes of the Showmax Original will be available to binge on 30 June 2021.