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when obak­eng and glo­ria (peter moru­ak­gomo and mar­jorie langa) mar­ried in jan­uary, he made his vows to a de­ter­mined, ex­trav­a­gant and gen­er­ous woman, and she said “i do” to a proud, con­ser­va­tive man firmly rooted in his fam­ily. they didn’t get the stamp of ap­proval from the im­por­tant peo­ple in their lives – her daugh­ter gontse (gabisile tsha­bal­ala) re­jected her new daddy and his mom ma’ran­gaka (seipati motswane) re­fused to give them her bless­ing. the new­ly­weds’ hope and joy seemed enough at the time to over­come the ob­jec­tions. but mar­jorie ex­plains that while glo­ria and obak­eng mar­ried know­ing each other “su­per­fi­cially well enough to a cer­tain de­gree”, their lack of true un­der­stand­ing is trip­ping them up now. peter agrees: “they think they un­der­stand each other when they don’t.” this au­gust, glo­ria even thought that obak­eng had a mis­tress when in fact he was sneak­ing off to see his mom. and what is love with­out trust?

where is the love?

on wed­nes­day 19 novem­ber, glo­ria pulls out all the stops to throw obak­eng a bash for his birth­day and she has an­zani (fulu mu­gov­hani) take provoca­tive pho­tos of her on thurs­day 20 novem­ber to give to hubby obak­eng. mean­while, obak­eng’s con­sumed by the cou­ple’s shaky fi­nan­cial po­si­tion and his wife’s ex­trav­a­gance. but his re­ac­tion to glo­ria’s gift on mon­day 24 novem­ber rings warn­ing bells – his com­ments and be­hav­iour don’t just show ex­as­per­a­tion at what she’s done, but a de­ter­mi­na­tion to con­trol her. “he feels bad that other peo­ple see what he be­lieves should be for his eyes only. he gets so ag­gra­vated about it and if he can take a step back, he’ll re­alise that it was just a photo that his wife thought he was go­ing to like,” says peter. in­stead of tak­ing a step back though, obak­eng is tak­ing his first step down a dan­ger­ous road.

the stranger i mar­ried

abuse doesn’t just show up in glo­ria and obak­eng’s story one day with a sud­den slap. some scan­dal! fans saw warn­ing signs as far back as april when glo­ria wanted to splash out on fancy good­ies for the house. one tweeted: “glo­ria when are you go­ing to change? don’t push him, please”. but it’s go­ing to be as hard for some of us to see how they get there as it is for the cou­ple them­selves, be­cause the soap’s pro­duc­ers are keep­ing the story quite sub­tle at first. peter ex­plains, “we had a story brief­ing as this isn’t a cut-anddry abuse story. it in­volves the dif­fer­ent lev­els and types of abuse – emo­tional, psy­cho­log­i­cal and in­evitably, phys­i­cal.”

sadly, the cou­ple are in vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tions that will mask the true na­ture of the change in their re­la­tion­ship. “for obak­eng to be liv­ing in glo­ria’s house is hu­mil­i­at­ing, be­cause it looks like he can’t pro­vide for his wife,” says peter. mar­jorie adds that, “glo­ria sees his posses­sive na­ture as a man that re­ally loves her and won’t leave her, un­like her ex, who was ab­sent and left her for another woman”. can they wake up be­fore this slow poi­son eats the heart out of their mar­riage?

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