Wedding or warning bells
Zekhethelo thinks that her prayers have been answered when Mxolisi proposes.
Life in the fast lane nearly killed Zekhethelo (Nyalleng Thibedi) when she overdosed on drugs on Wednesday 29 August. Since then, this young woman has been using the cross of faith to crawl out of the pit. “She is an extremist, so she went from drug abuse to being born again. Now she is all about being ‘clean’,” explains Nyalleng. On Monday 15 October, Zekhe gave her lover Mxolisi (Nay Maps Maphalala) an ultimatum: it’s marriage and a family-friendly future together, or nothing. But while Zekhethelo is been filling her life with church and prayer, Mxolisi has secretly been dodging death, caught between rival gangs run by his uncle Mkhonto (Bonga Dlamini) and Zekhethelo’s dad Nkunzi (Masoja Msiza). Does this sound like the foundation for a happy marriage, anyone? No! But to Zekhethelo, it is proof of the power of prayer when Mxolisi pops the question on Monday 10 December.
Mxolisi isn’t the only one dodging death. Zekhethelo’s momfigure Gabisile (Baby Cele) and Nkunzi got frightening news about Zekhethelo’s health on Thursday 29 November. “She still has something going on internally from the drug abuse,” says Nyalleng. “But she feels like her faith is going to get her healed, as if she is immortal with her faith. When everyone around her is pessimistic, she is like, ‘Oh no, I’ve got this. I’ve been praying’.” Gabisile isn’t so sure though and behind Zekhethelo’s back, she gets talking to Mxolisi about his duty to Zekhethelo on Thursday 6 December.
BROUGHT TO HIS KNEES
“If you asked Sis Baby about her character, she probably wouldn’t describe her as a bully, but that’s how she comes across to Mxolisi,” Nyalleng says, laughing. “She is really manipulative – and in Mxolisi’s case, she wants him to get married and have a stable life.” So on Monday 10 December, Zekhethelo gets the proposal thrill of her life. “She is in La-la Land. She is on cloud 9 when it happens and it’s right after she comes out of hospital, so it feels like an act of prayer. Funny enough it also happens in a manner that in her eyes is ideal. If you like sushi and I put a ring in your sushi? That sort of thing,” hints the actress.
Zekhethelo can find no fault in their future. “She has this idea that they will get married, they will go through their honeymoon and have children. Mxolisi is going to get more involved in the church and they will someday run the church,” says Nyalleng. “I can relate to her because I’ve been there; I used to not believe in God and then I found God and when I did, it was so extreme that all I ever saw was the positive side of things. In her head, once she cleans up her relationship, that relationship is clean. And in her head, that ‘let us get married’ – that is the clean-up! And then it’s all rosy as long as she has prayer on her side.”
But behind Zekhethelo’s back, Mxolisi tries to weasel out of the wedding on Thursday 13 December by threatening to cancel everything if the Mdletshes don’t pay lobola. Blissfully ignorant, Zekhethelo forges ahead with wedding plans. “She wants a white wedding. She’s like a regular, model- C type chick. She doesn’t know what happens at the lobola. Her whole thing in her head is the wedding of her dreams. As an actor, my imagination went wild, but what we show is just her looking at magazines, then looking for a wedding planner, the venue, the dress, hair, her make-up and all the rest”. With disaster headed Mxolisi’s way in late December though, Nyalleng hints that “it doesn’t even get to the dress, eventually”. The answer to Zekhethelo’s prayers might not be the one she wants, but it could be the one that she needs.
Mxolisi makes Zekhethelo’s dreams come true But behind the scenes his arm is being twisted