How they filmed it
Thembeka’s been blackmailed by two sets of people, she hiding the fact that Quinton has a child with someone else and she’s just gone to extremes to stop one blackmailer for good, but the show must go on. She keeps wedding planner Ferdinand (Denver Vraagom) running until Dintle ruins it all. Again. Before her big day, Thembeka sneered at Dintle, “You won’t be at the wedding, you’re just the help.” But look who’s scuttling down the aisle on Wednesday 27 May, laughing and waving. It’s the new Mrs Nyathi! Dintle is monster-in-law Layla’s wedding gift to Thembeka. “After Layla realised that I am Mrs Nyathi, she’s like, ‘Come to the wedding! Be my plus one.’ So that’s why she gives Dintle the money to do her hair and buy a dress,” Mapaseka reveals. Natasha adds that “It is a last-minute thing. I go to Cole’s dressed like this (in her ballgown), Dintle is waitressing and I give her money. My character is playing shocked because she can’t let people know that
she engineered it”.
FUN FACT Many of the guests had their shoes off under the tables.
By day 2 of the shoot, there were a lot of tender toes and
Thembeka’s death glare doesn’t work, Dintle lives on and Thembeka and Quinton go on with the ceremony. “For the longest time, she tries to keep her composure but everything just turns the dial up a bit on the stove. So she’s cooking. Too much joy, too much anger. Eventually for the body to stabilise, it has to cut off. When Thembeka’s standing at the altar, that’s the first glitch in her head,” says Masasa. And instead of the normal vows, Thembeka hears the reverend ask a horrific question, one that stings her guilty conscience. As for Quinton, he’s not even thinking of the fact that he sexed up a stripper at his bachelor party. “He allows feelings to take over. He’s beaming and genuinely, genuinely in love with her and doesn’t even notice her being weird and nervous,” Brighton explains. Thembeka may finally be the (other) new Mrs Nyathi but there’s more trouble heading her way…
Turbine Hall in Newtown, Joburg is a heritage site, which presented some challenges to Scandal!’s art department. “You’re not allowed to drill or nail, not even double-sided tape, so we had to use stands and poles,” says props mistress Lindi Badenhorst. But it was a brilliant location because of what the bride does. “We had to get a venue with lots of stairs and options where she could run. And it’s so big that there’s enough space for the technical crew and we could set up different venues within the same building,” Lindi adds.
She reveals that “this wedding cake is a masterpiece of lace and polystyrene. We did it in a day-and-a-half. We had one or two flops – it’s been a year since we last made a wedding cake, so we couldn’t remember how to do the fondant”. Only the top layer is real red velvet cake (echoing the gold and scarlet of Thembeka’s outfits). “They need to cut the top layer of the cake, so we have three cakes on standby.”
Lindi’s big worry for the day was that the flowers were going to die before they wrapped the shoot as they’re all fresh (no plastic fakes!). The art department kept the tables clear and made sure that they didn’t have flowers blocking guests’ faces by suspending the arrangements from the ceiling.
Scandal!’s head of wardrobe Corlene Furstenberg reveals, “In the colour palate of the audience, you will see a lot of soft peachy beige tones because once the bride walks in, I really want people to be, like ‘Wow!’. That’s why Dintle’s also popping out in big turquoise bling-bling.”
The actors are drinking sparkling apple juice but the champagne bottles are real. Thanks to a sponsor, the art team didn’t have to create fake labels.
THE PLACE SETTINGS
“We wanted to bring warmth into the building because everything is so grey, so we went for the gold and it reflects the colour of her dress,” says Lindi. “The chairs are see-through so that nothing gets hidden behind a solid chair.”
Thembeka’s menus and programmes featured a distinctly non-bridal font. “Because she’s so stark and powerful and not really a girly- girl, we used quite a powerful font. We wanted something hard and we thought the graphic would work with the venue,” says Lindi.
“We normally buy rings that we can have two of because if it’s a permanent prop on an actor, it always goes missing,” says Corlene. “It was just a simple ring that we bought at a simple jeweller that looks like a million bucks.”
Thembeka’s troubles aren’t over once she says those vows, because Quinton’s foster father Boyzie (Peter Mashigo) is going to show up again, roaring drunk as always, at the reception. Says Brighton, “Him arriving at the wedding initially is a shock – this one day that was going well (in his mind) is being ruined by this drunk and he has his elders there so it’s quite embarrassing, but he takes control of the situation”. Unrepentant, Boyzie later tries to hit on Layla. Wait ’til you see
how she reacts! Corlene reveals that “we wanted it to look like Thembeka spoke to the designer and said, ‘Give them a colour that’s going to blend into the wall’.”
Nurse Audrey (Kholeka Dakada) is wearing the “before” version of the dress but Gloria’s fancied hers up a bit. “Gloria was like, ‘I can’t look like her, I’m the queen and she’s the first princess.’ So she
added her own stuff,” reveals Marjorie. Nurse Audrey’s just happy to be there. “She’s wearing, according to her, the most glamorous golden
dress,” says Kholeka. “For Quinton, this whole day is less dramatic,” says
Corlene. “I tried to play with the colour palate in the sense of mother and groom are both in grey to have that subliminal messaging of my camp-your camp.” Brighton adds, “It’s very cheesy. It’s very old school… it’s not shiny and that’s a good thing.” Thembeka’s grandmother Makhulu (Frances Ndlazilwana) is the jewel in the bride’s crown. “She’s so adorable. And she’s the actual granny of Scelo (Mbulelo Ndlazilwana),” says Masasa.
“I love the stole [shawl] that they made and everyone says that I look like Elsa from Frozen,” laughs Natasha. Corlene adds that “Layla has
a glamorous Grace Kelly look.” In real life, Dintle’s dress was hilariously horrible
– and literally loud, as all the shell decorations clicked and rustled. Corlene explains, “In the story, Dintle is our cheap-thrills girl. We went for a blue
mermaid dress with shells and things beaded onto it. And also the idea that she really had half
an hour to grab a dress from the bling store.” Mapaseka’s impressed, adding that “I know Dintle very well. If she went to a shop and there were
other options, she would choose this dress”.
Ndu (Andile Sithole) knocks it out the park with his best man’s speech and the moment of interaction between him and Nyathi elder Bab’Nyathi (Jabu Makhubu) sent shivers down Marjorie (Gloria) and Brighton’s (Quinton) spines. “It’s not scripted but he nailed it and in Bab’Nyathi’s eyes I just saw pride,” says
Marjorie. Brighton adds, “Ndu does a traditional Zulu poem. Bab’Nyathi is taken by the spirit of the poem and he starts dancing and it’s really cool. That was spontaneous.” PS: As Ndu, Andile’s wearing his own headdress. “I’m a very traditional man. I respect my culture and to represent it is beautiful
and makes me proud.”
For Corlene, the going away outfit was about Thembeka feeling exposed, as if a layer of skin had been peeled back, leaving her vulnerable. Masasa adds that “this top is buckram, which is that stuff they make hats with and they’ve covered it with this interesting material that looks like blood and veins. I love this, not as much as I love the wedding
dress, but it’s right up there”.
Scandal!’s head of wardrobe Corlene Furstenberg started working on the wedding with her team at the beginning of the year. Thembeka’s dress is their “crème de la crème showstopper”, but all that magnificence didn’t come cheap. “It was about R75 000 and we got a fantastic deal on fabrics – almost 50% off. It’s an imported fabric and there’s only 10 metres of it in the country,” Corlene explains. “The dress carries about 3 000 hand-sewn beads. For the train, we used about 10 metres of ostrich feathers, handdyed to match. My team has been working on this dress for about three months.” Their labour of love is very much adored by the bride. Masasa reveals, “If you’re looking at me from the front when I’m holding the flowers, you can’t see whether it’s see-through or not. The truth is relative depending on which perspective you’re looking from.” It’s perfect for Thembeka. And yes, she’s wearing it in front of her granny and the head of the Nyathi clan. “I do realise that it’s going to be pretty controversial. I showed my mom a photo of it and she was like, ‘You’re naked!’” laughs Masasa.