Hungani Ndlovu is set to stir things up on ‘Skeem Saam’ as the new Tbose Maputla

Hungani Ndlovu. Picture: Supplied

Hungani Ndlovu. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 2, 2023


Twitter was ablaze with comments after the SABC 1’s recent announcement that seasoned actor Hungani Ndlovu will be joining the popular drama series, “Skeem Saam”, in July, as the new Thabo “Tbose” Maputla.

Ndlovu will replace Thabiso Cornet Mamabolo, who left “Skeem Saam” in 2021 to focus on his financial services business.

While some people were excited about the news, others took to social media to express concerns about Ndlovu’s ability to communicate effectively in Sepedi, the dominant language used in the series.

Speaking to IOL Entertainment, Ndlovu simply laughed off the concerns about his ability to speak Sepedi and, instead, promised fans that he would be shaking things up a bit in “Skeem Saam”.

“Of course, I can. I grew up in Polokwane and Seshego. It might not be my mother tongue but I can definitely speak the language,” said Ndlovu.

“I’m bringing a whole new aspect to what and who Tbose is, how he is, and that’s what the audiences are going to engage with.

“I just tweeted not so long ago, saying, ‘a new era has arrived for Tbose Maputla’ because that’s what it is. I can’t take away the amazing work that Cornet did with the character since 2011.

“And for me, it’s how do I bring a different nuance to the character so that people can enjoy something new. Otherwise, I will just be coming in to continue sailing on the boat but I want to come in to rock the boat.”

“Viewers can expect nothing but drama when Tbose comes back into the picture. And I would be surprised if people like him still. That’s how much drama he brings,” added the star between chuckles.

Ndlovu, who already started shooting, admitted that playing Tbose comes with challenges but he is embracing the experience.

“I’m not gonna lie; it has been very challenging. I got thrown into the deep end in terms of the storyline. I got in and it was a lot of back-to-back shooting, which meant I really had to sink my teeth in and put in the work.

“I’m grateful that the crew, the directors, and most importantly, the cast have been very welcoming. They’ve been very open to helping me where I need help and just to be able to do the best that I can with what I’ve been given.

Ndlovu went on to thank the show's production team and the cast for welcoming him to the Skeem Saam family and giving him the much-needed support.

“I’m grateful that the crew, the directors and most importantly, the cast have been very welcoming. They’ve been very open to helping me.

“But I’m very happy because I don’t like taking on roles that are not challenging.”

The SABC announced on Thursday that the former “Scandal!” star would be joining the show in July as Tbose makes his comeback after leaving for a job opportunity overseas.

“The 1st episode of season 12 sees the return of Thabo ‘Tbose’ Maputla’ under unfavourable circumstances that threaten to tear a young couple apart,” read the SABC statement.

“The character of ‘Tbose’ has been recast and will now be played by actor and dancer, Hungani Ndlovu.”

Tbose left shortly after he tied the knot with his long-term girlfriend, Mapitsi Magongwa, played by Mogau Motlhatswi. Now fans are waiting with waited breath to meet the new Tbose.

“Skeem Saam” is also introducing a new character, Sisanda Qhubeka.

Sisanda, played by renowned actor Tazz Nginda, is a charming marketing strategist who oozes sex appeal and great confidence.

But not everyone will welcome him with open arms as he subtly stirs trouble that leaves the Maphosa kingdom divided.

∎ Catch “Skeem Saam” on SABC1 (DStv channel 191) at 6.30pm, weekdays.