The past & the pas­tor

Prodi­gal hus­band Melusi Mdlet­she gets a shock home­com­ing.

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Uzalo Mon-Wed SABC2 (*191) 20:30

Imag­ine that a room in your house catches fire but you qui­etly shut the door and walk far, far away. Over a year later, would you ex­pect to find your house still there? Pas­tor Mdlet­she (Glen Ga­bela) might. On Wed­nes­day 1 March, he’s back stand­ing in front of Zandile (Leleti Khu­malo), the wife he walked out on a year-and nearly-four-months ago, with a smile on his face. “Mdlet­she ex­pects for MaNzuza (Zandile) to ac­cept him back her life and con­tinue from where they left off. He’s tak­ing things so easy like, okay, ‘What hap­pened, hap­pened. Let’s move on. Let us con­tinue,’” says Glen. But the fact that Zandile lost her home, her son Nkosi­nathi (Sipho Mh­longo) and pretty much her san­ity dur­ing his ab­sence can’t just be swept un­der the couch. “With the bit­ter­ness of all the hard­ships that MaNzuza had to face on her own in his ab­sence, she feels there is no re­morse on the part of Mdlet­she. He just ex­pects things to move along. Yoh!” ex­claims an ap­palled Glen. But Uzalo fans, the good pas­tor’s eyes are about to be opened. AS CLOSE AS CAN BE

Pas­tor Mdlet­she is still so much in the dark on Thurs­day 2 March that he’s thrilled to greet his wife’s would-be fi­ancé Ad­vo­cate Zulu (Luthuli Dlamini) like a long-lost brother and he in­vites Zulu to stay in the house too – much to Zandile’s pri­vate hor­ror. “There is a his­tory be­tween Zulu and the Mdlet­shes,” ex­plains Glen. “They grew up to­gether and they are friends. He’s very thank­ful for the role that Zulu’s played in Zandile’s re­lease from prison, so he ac­cepts him as part of the fam­ily.” And on Fri­day 3 March, Melusi Mdlet­she asks Ad­vo­cate Zulu to help him get back in his wife’s good books… be­cause “she seems to be a lit­tle an­gry about some­thing”.

While his church wel­comes Pas­tor Mdlet­she back with open arms on Mon­day 6 March, his wife is less for­giv­ing. A fu­ri­ous Zandile re­ally lets Melusi have it! “He is very hurt, but he feels he did wrong,” says Glen. “He ac­cepts re­spon­si­bil­ity for leav­ing them on their own with no ex­pla­na­tion.” With an end to de­nial, Melusi also has to con­front his son’s death. “There is a scene where he voices to MaNzuza the fact that if he had been around, most prob­a­bly he would have done some­thing to pro­tect Nkosi­nathi. He is torn apart about the whole in­ci­dent and by the fact that MaNzuza had to face up to the death of her son and the burial all by her­self,” ex­plains Glen. He adds that “run­ning away won’t solve any­thing, be­cause when you come back, chances are the chal­lenge will still not have been re­solved”.

There’s worse to come. Af­ter Zandile lets the cat out of the bag about her ro­mance with Ad­vo­cate Zulu on Thurs­day 9 March, Melusi nearly comes to blows with his old friend on Fri­day 10 March. “Both Zulu and MaNzuza come clean about the fact that they were an item and they’re plan­ning on get­ting mar­ried and MaNzuza was plan­ning on leav­ing Mdlet­she,” re­veals Glen. But even with his eyes fi­nally open, Melusi still steps right into his next huge mis­take as he turns to Hlengiwe (Gugu Gumede) for com­fort. “MaMlambo (Hlengiwe) comes into the story first as a shoul­der for Mdlet­she to cry on. When he goes to pour out his grief, it ac­tu­ally hap­pens that MaMlambo has had a thing for him all the time. She in­vites him to move in with her and then they end up in bed!” Glen laughs. And once MaMlambo has her dream man in her grasp, she’s not let­ting go… NB! See more on p19. WALK­ING BACK INTO TROU­BLE ZANDILE LASHES OUT

Zandile gives Melusi (cen­tre) what for when he fails to ac­knowl­edge any re­spon­si­bil­ity for aban­don­ing his fam­ily. The men get to grips with their sit­u­a­tion: they both love Zandile!

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