When one thinks of a chart-topping couple in the South African music industry, Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha’s names probably come up. These two certainly know what it takes to produce hits and get people dancing through the year. While they’ve had great success in showbiz, their romantic relationship has been filled with controversy and a lot of public opinion.
Despite having their ups and downs in the spotlight, Babes (Bongekile Simelane) and Mampintsha (Mandla Maphumulo) have shown that their love can and will rise above anything.
Us against the world
In their recently launched three-part reality special, Uthando Lodumo, a Showmax Original, the Durban lovebirds give viewers an intimate look at their much-publicised relationship. From the outside looking in, one can tell that Babes and Mampintsha have an “us against the world” type of union. While explaining how they met almost 10 years ago, it became clear that theirs would be a relationship that only they would understand.
“I was very young. You loved me when I was still very young,” Babes shared, while looking at her husband. And when did she realise that she was in love with him? Well, she clearly remembers that time Mampintsha bought groceries for her family. In her eyes, that was a defining moment for their relationship.
Success and public opinion
The couple dated for a while before going into the music business together. When they finally made the call to collaborate, they quickly rose to the top, not only as a couple, but also within the music industry. Mampintsha was already an established artist and part of the award-winning group Big Nuz. Babes, on the other hand, rose to fame after releasing her hit song Wololo, featuring her man. Success was inevitable.
Ask any famous person and they’ll tell you that fame and success come at a great cost. Every single move, whether good or bad, will be scrutinised by fans.
“We were madly in love. We then made hit song after hit song, and we made a lot of money as a result. So, I think our success confused even the devil himself,” Babes said, adding that even their families didn’t understand what was happening.
Drama and mistakes
Although they seemed like the perfect duo when it came to making hits, there were missing ingredients in their romantic relationship. When a video of Mampintsha hitting Babes went viral a few years ago, the couple was thrust into the spotlight. People had a lot to say about the incident, and some women, including her industry peers, reached out to the singer and dancer to show their support.
While Mampintsha mentions the incident on the show, he only refers to it as a “drama” and “mistakes” that happened. Considering the gender-based violence South Africa is facing, he could have perhaps used more direct language to address what happened. Moreover, Mampintsha could have used this as an opportunity to share the steps he has taken to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
As a person in the limelight, you inevitably become a role model. So, whatever you say or do has influence on those who look up to you.
By simply referring to abuse as “drama”, Mampintsha doesn’t seem to understand the seriousness of the act. He did, however, apologise to the Simelane family and has seemingly regained their trust. Before accepting his apology, Mr and Mrs Simelane did well by explaining to him why it will never be okay for a man to put his hands on a woman.
They were able to move on from the “drama” and Mampintsha went ahead and proposed to Babes, who was elated.
According to Babes, their love will never be transcended by anything. After all, there have been many challenges along the way, including side chicks who’ve given her a tough time for years, but they seem to have conquered all that through their love. Will entering this marriage remove all the problems that already exist within the relationship? Probably not. But it seems they are willing to put in the work.
“We’ve come a long way, from when I was a teenager and he was in Big Nuz, to being in love, to trending for all the wrong reasons and falling back in love,” Babes said. Mampintsha brought up the fact that they never gave up on each other because sometimes love has its ups and downs.
“When she met me, I was all over the show, but I loved her and that’s all that matters,” he shared. “Love requires patience and knowing that even in bad times you’ll stay, not someone who gives up easily. Otherwise, you’ll be single for a long time.”
These sound like wise words from Mampintsha, but we can’t help but wonder what he means when he speaks about bad times and not giving up easily.
Yes, relationships require a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean one needs to be bruised and battered to qualify for this love that doesn’t give up easily. With that said, these two have shown that they can come back from anything. We hope that they’ve learned and grown from their past mistakes and are now walking on a path to healing.
Uthando Lodumo is now streaming on Showmax.
Check out some of the couple’s wedding pictures here.