Stained Glass, the production company behind Showmax’s popular telenovela “The Wife”, has confirmed that Thuli Phongolo’s contract has been terminated.
The company said in a statement that Phongolo’s character of Lerato had been written off the show and therefore, Phongolo had exited the production with immediate effect.
“Yes, we can confirm that Thuli Phongolo’s character arc ends in the episodes airing next Thursday, 13 January 2021. This was by mutual agreement, due to schedule clashes,” said Stained Glass spokeswoman Nomfundo Zondi.
Entertainment commentator Phil Mphela reported on Thursday that Phongolo had been fired from the show.
“Thuli Phongolo out of The Wife. The role of Lerato on #TheWifeShowmax, has unexpectedly been written out of the show. Sources claim the decision was made to drop the role due to Phongolo going M.I.A,” read Mphela’s tweet.
CASTING NEWS:— Kgopolo (@PhilMphela) January 6, 2022
Thuli Phongolo out of The Wife
The role of Lerato on #TheWifeShowmax, has unexpectedly been written out of the show
Sources claim the decision was made to drop the role due to Phongolo going M.I.A.#KgopoloReports pic.twitter.com/yJXX33APB1
There was mixed reaction to Phongolo’s exit on Twitter with some viewers expressing their dissatisfaction with the show.
Below are some of the fans reactions:
“...please tell them to rewrite the entire Series and base it on the book. Increase the budget for the series, hire proper talented writers, editors, camera etc.
“What we are currently seeing is mediocrity at its highest level Put litter in its place symbol I am not impressed at all by that series,” commented @archie_success.
@PhilMphela please tell them to rewrite the entire Series and base it on the book. Increase the budget for the series, hire proper talented writters, editors, camera etc— Archie S (@archie_success) January 6, 2022
What we are currently seeing is mediocrity at its highest level 🚮I am not impressed at all by that series.
“Her role and Lux don't even make sense to me... I fast forward every time their scenes come,” wrote @PholoShirley.
Her role and Lux don't even make sense to me.. I fast forward everytime their scenes come..— ❤MaZwide❤ (@PholoShirley) January 6, 2022
“Bathong Thuli.. Just as the character was getting interesting. Iyo!,” said @MmaBana_.
Bathong Thuli.. Just as the characters was getting interesting. Iyo! pic.twitter.com/PBAzMD7IE4— Mmagadi (@MmaBana_) January 6, 2022
“What a shame. I liked her in that character, it suited her and it brought some fun factor in the whole storyline,” added @Ngunelihlekazi.
What a shame— Nonhlanhla Khuzwayo-Mchunu (@Ngunelihlekazi) January 6, 2022
I liked her in that character,it suited her and it brought some fun factor in the whole story line
The Wife, broke the record for the most first-day views of all time on Showmax when it first launched a few weeks ago.
Inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestseller, Hlomu The Wife, the 40-episode first season tells the story of a journalist Hlomu, played by Mbalenhle Mavimbela, who falls in love with a taxi driver, Mqhele (Bonko Khoza), not realising that when you marry a man, you marry his secrets.
Though Phongolo who also played the role of a journalist and close friend and workmate of Hlomu, has been mum about her exit from the show, she had earlier said she enjoyed playing Lerato.
She took to her Instagram page in November, stating that she was “glad” that viewers finally got to meet the character.
She wrote: “I’m glad you guys have finally met Lerato! What a job she is, oh but I love her!”
Stained Glass has produced some of Mzansi’s leading shows including Uzalo, Ehostela, Ifalakhe, Durban Gen and Lingashoni.
The Wife is currently streaming on Showmax, with three new episodes added every Thursday.