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The ‘Single Wives SA’ cast gets a crash course in dating 101

By Debashine Thangevelo Sep 4, 2020

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Relationships require a lot of work. Falling in love can be all-consuming and joyous. But it also means leaving yourself susceptible to getting hurt.

The six cast members in M-Net’s first season of “Single Wives SA” have felt the devastating blows of failure.

If first impressions are anything to go by after tonight’s episode, each individual came across the epitome of a put-together woman. But it was far removed from the truth.

Expert dating coaches, Justin Cohen and Mapaseka Mokwele, saw past the façade of forced smiles and bubbliness.

The reality is many of them are still working through heartbreak that’s made them put up walls. And when you are on a show to help you find love again, this could be a serious stumbling block.

The coaches have a wealth of knowledge to help empower our six contestants – Angel Pather (38), Tori Celliers (47), Nikki Nell (42), Helen Zondo (50), Genevieve Stander (37) and Chantelle Thrupp-Snow (33).

Cohen is a bestselling author, international speaker and transformational coach. He is no stranger to being in front of the camera either. Mokwele’s wealth of experience at a host on radio and TV, including “Motswako”, gives her that empathetic edge.

Helen Zondo

Each cast member has a snot en trane story. Helen, a survivor of GBV, has a long road ahead of her. A single mother, her faith in men is visibly shattered. Tori’s backstory is heartbreaking. After her husband cheated on her and they divorced, they reconciled only for her to lose him all over again. He was killed.

Chantelle comes across very strongly. A mother of three, she admits to having a controlling personality.

“I don’t know how to switch my emotions off,” she shared.

Angel is a hopeless romantic. She tied the knot in her early 20s. Despite the age gap with her ex-husband, she wanted so badly for him to be her Prince Charming.

Nikki also had her fair share of heartbreak with her husband of twelve years, who she dated on-and-off after they divorced. She said: “I deserve love the second time around because I know what I can bring to a relationship.”

And Genevieve, who was cheated on several times, is hoping to turn her life around.

The coaches hit the reset button with each of the women. It started with a heartfelt letter to their ex. Then they got them to do a sort of speed date to gauge their strengths and weaknesses.

Helen was incredibly nice at the expense of her personal comfort. Aside from suffering from a serious case of foot-in-mouth syndrome, Angel brushed off potential suitors.

Genevieve and Chantelle were also very dismissive. Tori and Genevieve were a bit chattier with their dates – even with the ones they felt zero chemistry with.

Overall, it was a great starting point for the experts. It gave them invaluable insight into the fears of each woman.

Navigating the dating world isn’t easy. But each woman is given the tools to help them on their journey, where forgiveness plays a key role in dissolving a lot of pent up anger and scepticism.

As much as “Single Wives SA” is a reality show about several women finding love again, its a cautionary tale and helpful to viewers struggling with similar challenges.

What I appreciate about this reality show is that it doesn’t have the sensational trappings seen in most shows of the genre. There’s a sincerity in the stories. The journey of each woman is purposeful and cathartic.

If there is indeed a lid for every pot, there’s hope. And, for these women, they are fortunate in that they have two relationship whisperers shadowing them on their road to love.

“Single Wives SA” airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Thursday at 7pm.




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