From soap operas to sipping (and selling) wine, Mbalenhle Mavimbela rose to popularity in South Africa in 2020 with streaming platform Showmax airing the telenovela, The Wife, based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s book series Hlomu the Wife. Mavimbela, who plays the lead as Hlomu, chats to FORBES AFRICA about how she was never prepared for the reception and fandom the show gave her, and also her role as a spirited entrepreneur off-screen:
Q. The Wife has been received well and has everyone hooked every Thursday. How has your own life changed since its inception?
A. This was literally my breakout role, also [in] just realizing that this role [brought] more of a healing process for South Africans, both men and women. It has changed my life but also clearly the lives of others too. And it’s just insane how I impacted so many people, people even older than me… When they see me, they remind me that ‘hey, you’re powerful, we see you, we love your vulnerability’.
Q. From entertainment to business… You are also the founder and CEO of a South African wine brand, Moments. What made you venture into wine?
A. [When it came to] venturing into business… firstly, I just thought about how I could use the platform I have right now because I’ve always been business-minded; I’ve always loved business. Wine was the first drink I had when I started drinking alcohol. So it’s always been the drink of choice. But I have always
had an idea at the back of my head, just waiting for me to start. I wasn’t overly obsessed with wine, but I just knew that I have to have my own wine. I wanted a story or something that everyone could relate to.
Q. If your younger self could see you now, what would she say?
A. My younger self would say ‘this is only the beginning, Mbalenhle, I am proud that you trusted us to do what you are doing right now and I want you continue to show what greatness is through your life…’ [And If I could ever offer advice to anyone, it would be] that the little voice [in your head] that does not want you to start something, ignore that; what little voice that thinks you’re not good enough to succeed, quieten that voice and go for everything that this world has to offer.