IS GLORIA’S MARRIAGE IN RUINS?
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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?