STREAMING REVIEW: Somizi and Mohale – The Union brings us the biggest wedding in recent years and a momentous moment for gay rights in the country. For Phumlani S Langa, it could've been a little more entertaining.
Somizi and Mohale – The Union
Available on Showmax
Last month, Mzansi fixated on the moment the king of pizzazz, Somizi Mhlongo, got ready to marry Mohale Motaung.
The pair did it in two highly publicised ceremonies – a traditional wedding in Kibler Park, southern Joburg, and a more Western affair at the Inimitable Wedding Venue in Muldersdrift on the edge of Joburg. A third ceremony was scheduled to take place in Italy but, you know, The Rona had other plans.
Showmax has produced two episodes for each of the wedding days, and two more episodes conclude the series. The docuseries was Showmax’s most viewed show when it was released for streaming – more than any Hollywood blockbuster premiering on the streaming platform.
The fact that a gay couple’s wedding is one of our most streamed shows is a huge win for the country’s LGBTIQ+ community. It’s significant in what it means for gay representation in this country, especially for black gay couples.
Unfortunately, the actual Showmax production of the wedding ceremonies could have been much better.
My opinion is that the show failed to do more than simply film the wedding – it barely touched on how the couple met, their courtship and the proposal. This is all shown in Somizi’ actual reality show, also on Showmax, but I would have appreciated if the wedding show provided a recap.
We do get a glimpse of some of the traditional proceedings – such as the imvula mlomo, where the Mhlongo family waited outside the Motaungs’ gate until their offerings of money and alcohol were deemed worthy enough for a conversation.
The third episode was a little more playful as the wedding party got to grips with the reception wedding step, but don’t expect any entertaining drama. The rings don’t go missing and a best man doesn’t give an intoxicated speech – it’s mostly rose petals, rose gold jewellery and pearl-coloured foreign cars.