The past & the pastor
Prodigal husband Melusi Mdletshe gets a shock homecoming.
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!