Play­time is over

Chief Azwin­dini gets broody when he vis­its his new wife.

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If there’s one thing that Thathe’s Chief Azwin­dini (Gabriel Te­mudzani) loves, it’s power. And since the leader can’t stay in power and con­trol of the re­gion for­ever, it’s his “royal duty” to give his peo­ple an heir who will take his place and keep his fam­ily at the top of the peck­ing or­der. He has sons but there’s a catch when it comes to Mu­londo and Muvhango (Ndamulelo Mbuwe and Owen Mm­bobo): they were kid­napped and cir­cum­cised in 2016 and cir­cum­cised men can­not be chief. So that means Azwin­dini needs a new son to take his place one day. His new young wife Mpho (Azwimm­bavhi Ramm­buda) has other ideas, as Azwi finds out on Wed­nes­day 9 August: she has no in­ter­est in be­ing do­mes­ti­cated or hav­ing chil­dren. “And that’s a prob­lem,” jokes Gabriel.

LONG FACE

Mpho tells her hubby on Thurs­day 10 August that kids will have to wait “as she wants to con­cen­trate on her ca­reer,” says Gabriel. “Mpho is big into her mod­el­ling and doesn’t want to be tied down at home run­ning around af­ter chil­dren. She wants to get her ca­reer off the ground and make money first.” While Azwin­dini has heard her, he isn’t lis­ten­ing to what she’s say­ing and doesn’t un­der­stand Mpho’s need to have a ca­reer. His tra­di­tional out­look clashes with Mpho’s mod­ern be­liefs and Gabriel adds, “Azwin­dini wants more chil­dren be­cause that’s the norm as a chief and he is be­ing a typ­i­cal African leader try­ing to se­cure his chief­tancy and le­gacy. When Mpho turns down his wishes, she is turn­ing down his le­gacy and al­most in­sult­ing him”.

IN THE NAUGHTY COR­NER

Sid­ing with Azwin­dini are the other royal wives and elders, who agree that new­comer Mpho is be­ing dif­fi­cult and miss­ing the point of her mar­riage. As an elder, Vho-Masindi (Regina Ne­sen­gani) has a chat with Mpho on Fri­day 11 August, hop­ing to change her mind. “There is pres­sure on Mpho from the fam­ily, but it’s a question if the head­strong Mpho will buckle,” ex­plains Gabriel. Un­for­tu­nately, Vho-Masindi’s plan back­fires and Mpho is even more adamant about her dreams be­ing her pri­or­ity and fam­ily com­ing sec­ond on Mon­day 14 August. “There are a num­ber of ar­gu­ments and dis­agree­ments at this time,” hints Gabriel.

THROW­ING TOYS

One of the ar­gu­ments on Tues­day 15 August brings to light the tra­di­tion­alver­sus-mod­ern chal­lenges that Thathe’s so­ci­ety faces. “There are de­lib­er­a­tions about mod­ern peo­ple liv­ing in a mod­ern so­ci­ety and how some tra­di­tional cus­toms no longer ap­ply to them,” says Gabriel, adding that “the royal house is in tur­moil be­cause Mpho is tak­ing a stand against some­thing that is very im­por­tant to the cus­toms of Thathe. It’s un­for­tu­nate and a num­ber of these things are also be­ing ques­tioned in real life in real African royal houses!”

Azwin­dini and Mpho clash over kids.

The chief’s other son Muvhango.

Azwin­dini’s son Mu­londo.

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