Reality TV shows in the country are currently hot property with a new title seemingly popping up every other week.
Set to premiere on December 5, 2023, 'Sports Wives' gives a front-row seat into the lives of the wives, girlfriends and exes of South Africa’s sporting greats.
Yes, think 'Diski Divas' which ran from 2015 - 2017 but now with a new set of ladies and is produced by Ndlovukazi Concepts and directed by Thumeka Hlotshana ('The Real Housewives of Durban' S2-3).
‘Sports Wives’ is the first reality show from Ndlovukazi Concepts, which has produced hits such as ‘Cishe Ngafa’ and ‘Abandoned’ for Mzansi Magic.
“It was important for us to ensure that the first season of ‘Sports Wives’ is as inclusive and relatable as possible,” said Nonhlanhla Dhlamini, executive producer and creator of the show.
“We were deliberate in also including wives, partners and exes of professional athletes from the LGBTQIA+ community, athletes who are often at times neglected by the general media regardless of their outstanding performance at national and international level.”
Meet the ‘Sports Wives’
Banking app manager and mother of two, Bomzi September is married to ex-footballer Thabo September, now second assistant coach at his old team SuperSport United.
The 34-year-old, who hails from the Eastern Cape, comes from a family of sports lovers who were heavily involved in rugby.
Bomzi says that she never planned on becoming a WAG and didn’t even know who Thabo was when she first met him at an event.
“When you are married to an athlete, your life becomes sports,” said Bomzi. “All that you watch or talk about is sports. Luckily for me, I love sports, and being with my husband has nurtured that side of me more.”
Speaking on how she handles the attention that her husband gets from female fans, she said, “My husband has shielded me from that; I have never had to deal with anything crazy. I am blessed to have a husband who respects me.”
Thirty-seven-year-old sports manager, masseuse and lecturer Christa Kgamphe-Jane is married to Banyana Banyana star Refiloe Jane, who is based in Italy.
They’ve been together for nine years and married for two. Refiloe spends a lot of time abroad, so Christa spends a sizeable amount of time on her own.
Talking about their long-distance relationship, she said, “The distance is tough but it is something I am now used to. We miss each other a lot so to make sure that we stay close and connected, we communicate a lot, we keep each other updated throughout the day to keep the romance going.”
Thirty-seven-year-old entrepreneur and mother Clarrisa Manaças was in a 12-year relationship with Lionel Mapoe, a two-time Currie Cup champion, who played as a utility back for the Springboks and Vodacom Bulls.
They have now gone their separate ways after their 2021 engagement ended earlier this year.
Manaças is now picking up the pieces of her life and starting afresh. “Being on this show has been quite the journey,” she said.
“The show helped me through my breakup and it has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I made genuine connections with the ladies and I can’t wait for viewers to see it.”
Yummy Mummy Apparel owner Dipuo Maloi is no stranger to the spotlight; she has been a fixture in Sunday tabloids.
The 37-year-old Soweto native has two baby daddies who play soccer: Andile Jali, who has played for Bafana Bafana, Orlando Pirates, Sundowns and now Moroka Swallows, and Lantshene Phalane, his teammate at Moroka Swallows.
“So much has been said about me and most of it is not true,” said Maloi. “I wanted to tell my story in my own words. I am the author of my life and this platform has helped me clear a few misconceptions.”
Speaking of having children with teammates, she shared, “The only positive thing about my baby daddies being in the same team is that now my kids can support the same team; we no longer have multiple teams to support.”
Thirty-one-year-old Tsholo Makgalemele-Mbane from Tembisa is a stay-at-home wife who is married to Banyana Banyana player Bambanani Mbane.
The couple met in 2019 and her family has not always been accepting of her marriage to a woman but now that has changed.
“In the beginning, my family was not supportive of my relationship but now things are different, I have their full support and it has been a wonderful journey. I can now fully be myself around everyone I love.”
Shore excursion officer Sisanda Cetiywe has a baby with Kennedy Mwene, Zambia’s most capped football player, who also kept goal for Sundowns.
The well-travelled 37-year-old is excited for audiences to watch the show. “This season is going to be very authentic, like nothing you have seen before,” said Cetiywe.
“People have always been curious about this world and now is their chance to see it for what it is.”