Ishmauel Songo, who plays the role of Mpande Zulu on the Showmax series Hlomu The Wife, has left the cast after mesmerizing Mzansi with a string of performances to remember. Ishmauel exits The Wife series with his head high, revealing that the Mpande character has offered him a platform to shine and exhibit unmatched talent.
Mpande on Hlomu The Wife Series
In the Showmax series The Wife, the Mpande character is the seventh son of Sbopho Zulu, together with his brothers, who lost their parents at a tender age in Mbuba, their rural area. The Zulu brothers grew up to become respected taxi owners and made money through money heists. Mpande was one of the youngest brothers; his role was to change number plates during heists that he once forgot to execute, leading to his arrest. Despite a brief arrest due to underhand deals to release him, Mpande’s tinted hair signature made him easily recognizable.
Mpande the root of Sbopho Zulu’s family
Mpande is a Zulu name translated to “roots” in English, meaning he was the family’s roots.
Forming the junior crew of the Zulu brothers, Mpande has always been in the company of his elder brother Mqoqi (role played by Thulane Shange) and his younger brother Ntsika (Swelihle Luthuli). Named the three musketeers in the group Mpande worried more about the family’s history and future. He remembered what happened in Mbuba when community members murdered their parents and always encountered triggers of harsh memories.
Mpande lost his life during his brother Mqhele’s traditional wedding; his sad exit comes through death after being shot in an ambush by the Majola brothers.
Speaking on his heartbreaking exit from The Wife cast, Ishmauel Songo revealed that the Mpande role changed his personal and professional life.
He points out the challenges he faced while playing the role and emphasizes the need to research before playing a character that already exists in the books.
“I always advise actors to invest in research; it helps a lot in portraying the character, it’s always the challenge, but it comes with the job.”
Ishmauel’s highlight on playing Mpande come when the producers tell him that they have added a scene off script and asked him to freestyle his famous prayer for Sambulo.
“I am taking away growth from this character. The role came when I was down in every sense of the word; I was going through a lot financially, emotionally, and physically. When this role came, it completely changed my life; that’s why I am grateful.”