A new breed of South African film is about to hit our screens. Thando Thabethe and Lungile Radu team up in Love Lives Here, a movie about love, loyalty, friendship and family. The star-studded cast also includes Zola Nombona, Andile Gumbi, Motlatsi Mafatshe, Nomalanga Shozi and Nkanyiso Bhengu.
Filmed in KwaZulu-Natal and directed by Norman Maake (Soldiers of the Rock; Homecoming; and Skeem Saam), it tells the story of Zinhle Malinga (Thabethe), a hard-working modern woman with strong traditional values who has been burnt by love. Luckily, she has her two best girlfriends, Baphindile (Shozi) and Afiya (Nyokabi Angela Gethaiga) to cheer her up.
Zinhle is not willing to play games and waste time. She is ready to take the next step in her life and get married. The story starts and she meets Nkosinathi Shange (Radu), a true blue player, who has been burned in love. The chemistry they feel for each other is too hard to ignore. They decide to give their relationship a chance, but they are both a little wary and hesitant to truly commit, or be too open about who they are. Zinhle is so real, and so unpretentious that Nathi decides to give her one last test – he takes her to where he lives, his mother’s backroom.
When Zinhle discovers that he has taken her to his mother’s house, she is overjoyed – because if he is introducing her to his mother, it means that he is serious, and a proposal will soon be on the way. Nathi is delighted that Zinhle loves his mother Barbs, and that Barbs loves her, and he begins to think that she may be a keeper. But things take a bad turn when they discover that they don’t share the same goals.
Zinhle wants marriage, and Nathi has no intention of ever marrying, while Nathi has a child, and Zinhle has always sworn that she will never be a stepmother. Worse Nathi has unfinished business with Lilitha who broke his heart and turned him down cruelly when he proposed to her. To complicate matters further, Kwena Mthiyane, Zinhle’s successful businessman ex-boyfriend comes back in the picture and proposes marriage.
“The film is a charming modern love story, set in a contemporary South African city where, modern and traditional lifestyles clash,” says director Maake. “It shows how young people, mindful of their traditions, try to make sense of the great mystery of falling in love in the context of modern society. Those who are cynical about love, will be able to enjoy the ride; it’s sexy, and packed with comedy, fun and over the top characters. Ultimately, Love Lives Here is a film that explores the lighter side of love, life and everything in between.”
The glamorous Thando Thabethe, a radio and TV presenter, actress, club DJ, MC and the first ever-African brand ambassador for Nivea, has established herself a force in the entertainment industry, having hosted some of the biggest awards ceremonies in the country such as the South African Music Awards and the South African Film and TV awards. She also bagged the title of first female to host a drive time show on 5FM. On television, she can be seen in the biggest soapie in South Africa, Generations – The Legacy, boasting more than 9 million viewers. She’s starred in Mrs Right Guy, Intersexions, My Perfect Family (season 1, 2 and 3), Kowethu, 1s and 2s, Club 808, Single Guys and much more.
“In casting the film, I was blown away by the depth of talent in South Africa,” says Maake. “With Thando, Nomalanga, and Nyokabi, who is from Kenya, the film stars an eclectic mix of singles who are not only beautiful, but are also great performers who light up the screen.”