‘Widows Unveiled’ documents life after deaths of famous husbands

The latest series in Showmax Original, Widows Unveiled, touches a contentious issue of women seeking a new life after the demise of their public figure husbands.

The 10-episode series follows the lives of five women who were married to public figures who passed away.

The reality series will document the journey of each woman from pain to triumph as they navigate the drama, challenges and scandals that followed the demise of their husbands.

The cast is made up of Lerato Sengadi, the widow of Motswako rap legend HHP, Mpho Tshabalala, the widow of kwaito music star Mandoza, Sikelelwa Ngubane the widow of actor Menzi Ngubane, Fundiswa Molefe the widow of businessman John Molefe and Lerato Maphatsoe, the widow of former defence minister Kebby Maphatsoe. 

The widows have shared that they want to share their stories as an encouragement to other women in similar positions that they are in.

Maphatsoe said viewers can expect a lot of discomfort and honesty from each lady’s storyline.

“Viewers can expect things that are not comfortable to speak about, especially in a black society. Viewers can expect that we are authentic, we are telling our truth, and nothing is scripted, but everything is from our realities.”

Drama even before’s hubby’s death

Molefe says so much happened in her marriage, even before her husband passed away.

“My marriage was an uphill battle and it still is, so the decision to embark on this journey stems from all that I bottled inside. If I talk about my life, there is probably another woman out there who is dying inside because of a similar experience and I hope my story will show them that they’re not alone in this,” said Molefe.

Sengadi said she joined the show because she made a realisation that widowhood is treated like a colossal taboo. She added that throughout her journey as a young widow, she realised that black widows, specifically, have it harder.

“It’s a generational curse and pattern. Women can’t speak openly about these experiences; they can’t speak about the pain and the journey to rediscovering yourself after loss. The fact that you have to wear all black when your husband dies is just a ‘scarlet letter’ to let people know that you’re now a widow, so everyone must feel pity for you and avoid you like the plague.

“Society has made it very difficult to be a widow, when you show up for each other you are ridiculed and it’s called ‘trauma bonding’, instead of seeing it as a support system. In that moment of loss, you want someone who understands what you’re going through and who will help validate your emotions and feelings. I want to show my reality and let people know that it’s not easy, it is nothing to be ashamed of, and you’re not alone,” said Sengadi.

Society hard on widows

Tshabalala said as widows, they go through various journeys and one of the most difficult ones is the journey of loss. Not only the loss of a husband but also the loss of everything one has built.

“So my decision to be a part of this show is not only to tell my story and how I dealt with my losses but to also show how I handled things differently because my peace comes first and if anything costs me my peace, I move away. Rebuilding is difficult but through faith and hope it can be done.”

Ngubane said it took time for her to agree to do the show but she had some time to sit and think of all that she went through since her husband’s passing and the things that she has endured since his passing.

“I know that I am not the only woman who is dealing with the trials and tribulations that come with being a widow. My husband was a public figure, so why can’t I tell my story publicly? I also want to show other people that it is not only your average Joe who goes through this we are many. Let me share and tell my story as best as I can.”

Widows Unveiled shows on Showmax from February 12.

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