Mlu’s mo­ment

Staunchly tra­di­tional Mlu helps his daugh­ter Om­phile to take her first steps on the path to wom­an­hood

TV Plus (South Africa) - - SCANDAL! -

Scan­dal! Week­days e.tv (*194) 19:30

Very few soaps fol­low child char­ac­ters to their teenage years, but Scan­dal! is go­ing to show just how pow­er­ful that can be on Mon­day 27 March when Om­phile (Botl­hale Boikanyo) takes an enor­mous devel­op­men­tal step with the help of her fa­ther Mlu (Pa­trick Mofokeng). “Ex­cited?” laughs Pa­trick. “No, I was scared! As African men, the thing of pe­ri­ods is very taboo to us. It’s the space that we don’t in­vade. But what I liked about these episodes was the as­pect of try­ing to break a bar­rier be­tween fa­thers and young daugh­ters. I hope this story will stim­u­late dis­cus­sions in house­holds.”

BE A FA­THER

Pa­trick points out that Scan­dal’s writ­ers could have eas­ily made Om­phile’s first pe­riod a bod­ing mo­ment with her step-mother Zinzile (Gcina Nkosi). “But it was clever of them to take this story and put it at my feet, to say that we as fa­thers, our re­spon­si­bil­ity doesn’t stop at the line where we just be­come fi­nan­cial fa­thers. We have to be in­volved in our daugh­ters’ lives and I’m say­ing es­pe­cially daugh­ters be­cause of this arm-length re­la­tion­ship that we have, es­pe­cially when it comes to a char­ac­ter like Mlu – he’s seen as a very strict, rigid African man. I think that it will help a lot of fa­thers to start open­ing up and to start talk­ing to their daugh­ters.”

BE A FAM­ILY

For Om­phile, the fact that her fa­ther is will­ing to set aside his own dis­com­fort to be open with her is a huge deal. “There is a scene where Om­phile says, ‘Why is this hap­pen­ing to me? I wish that my mother was here’. And at that mo­ment, I am the mother and I am the fa­ther and I must show her that all is well, all is good and I must com­fort her and just hold her hand and walk the path with her,” ex­plains Pa­trick. “It’s a demon­stra­tion of love, of sin­cer­ity and of car­ing. And more than any­thing, it is a demon­stra­tion of sup­port – know­ing that her mother is gone but there are peo­ple here for her, there is fam­ily and there is her fa­ther.”

Mlu is as ner­vous as his daugh­ter Om­phile.

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