Meet the cast of Widows Unveiled

By Gen Terblanche28 February 2024

Meet the cast of Widows Unveiled

Five high profile widows – Lerato Sengadi (widow of Motswako legend HHP); Mpho Tshabalala (widow of kwaito star Mandoza); Sikelelwa Ngubane (widow of actor Menzi Ngubane); Fundiswa Molefe (widow of businessman John Molefe); and Lerato Maphatsoe (widow of former Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe) – unite to support one another as they navigate life in the spotlight, private grief, and personal struggles in Showmax Original reality series Widows Unveiled.

Along the way they’ll uncover issues shared by many other South African widows, including raising children alone, the loss of a loved one’s emotional and financial support, losing their peace, expectations around their behaviour and how they talk about their late husbands (regardless of character), complicated legal battles, arguments over property ownership, revelations about husbands’ secret lives, and the fact that despite the years spent working as their husband’s silent partners, their names are not on vital paperwork and contracts.  

This 10-episode reality series from Passionlane Productions (Uthando Nes’thembu) is executive produced and directed by Musa “NASH” Khumalo. 

Stream Widows Unveiled on Showmax now. New episodes on Mondays. 

Watch the Widows Unveiled trailer

Who’s who in Widows Unveiled 

Lerato Maphatsoe 

Lerato Maphatsoe in Widows Unveiled

Lerato has been engaged in legal battles and infidelity allegations since her husband Kebby Maphatsoe’s death in 2021.​ She is still focused on winding down his estate so that she can provide stability for their children and begin a new chapter of her life. But other women and children are coming forward to stake their claim. And Lerato and Kebby’s eldest son, Thabiso, has been keeping his father’s secrets. 

Who was Lerato Maphatsoe married to? Kebby Maphatsoe, the former President of MKMVA (uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association) and South Africa’s former Defence Minister. 

How long were Lerato and Kebby Maphatsoe married? They met in 1992, had their first child in 1993 and were married from 1994 to 2021. 

How did Lerato Maphatsoe’s husband die? Kebby Maphatsoe (58) died of heart failure at home in his sleep in August 2021. 

Does Lerato Maphatsoe have children? Lerato and Kebby had two children together, their daughter Lehlohonolo and son Thabiso. But there might be as many as four more children claiming him as father. 

Has Lerato Maphatsoe remarried? No. 

What does Lerato Maphatsoe do? Lerato founded transport company Lethaneo Coaches in 2021, shortly after Kebby’s death. She also runs a business in the Cape winelands.  

Anything else to know? Lerato comes from Soweto, Meadowlands Zone 2, and grew up in Mofolo Central. After Matric she started working at the traffic department and studying through the Traffic College. 

Fundiswa Molefe 

Fundiswa Molefe in Widows Unveiled

As the wife of late businessman John Molefe, Fundiswa Molefe was the silent partner in his life’s work. But like many widows, she now finds herself facing a mountain of legal claims from both her in-laws and franchise owners,​ because her name is not on the official paperwork for the houses and businesses that she and John poured their lives, labour and finances into building together. Fundiswa is taking her million-Rand battles to court, from theft charges, to defamation, to eviction. And with every case draining money, time and energy, Fundiswa is also wrestling with becoming a single mother to three children who, in the past, took their troubles to their dad. 

Who was Fundiswa Molefe married to? Businessman John Molefe, who ran a handful of Total petrol stations in the franchise, including Total Dube, Total Orlando, and Total Mabandla.  

How long were Fundiswa and John Molefe married? Their twins were 22 years years old at the time of filming, so many years. 

When did Fundiswa Molefe’s husband die? John Molefe died in January 2021. 

Does Fundiswa Molefe have children? John and Fundiswa had three children together, twin daughters Khanya and Khanyi, and a son, Bontle. 

Has Fundiswa Molefe remarried? No. 

What does Fundiswa Molefe do? Having been John’s silent partner in building their Total garages from the ground up, Fundiswa has tried to take over the reins, but she is struggling thanks to the legal ramifications of franchise ownership terms. 

Anything else to know? Just because you run petrol stations doesn’t mean you always have money for petrol! 

Lerato Sengadi 

Legato Sengadi in Widows Unveiled

For the past five years Lerato Sengadi has had to fight for her right to be recognised as the legal, customary wife to the late Motswako hitmaker HHP. Shut out from death rites and even her own home by her late husband’s family, she feels robbed of her chance to mourn. As Lerato enters the story in Widows Unveiled, she is on the brink of what she hopes will be her final legal battle in South Africa’s Constitutional Court. Lerato aims to put the battles behind her, and to start defining her own future and legacy. 

Who was Legato Sengadi married to? Motswako musician HHP (Hip Hop Pantsula, born Jabulani Tsambo). 

How long were Legato Sengadi and HHP married? Three years between 2016 to 2018, but they’d been together since around 2009.  

How did Legato Sengadi’s husband die? Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo (38) was found dead in his home in October 2018 after taking his own life following a prolonged battle with depression.  

Does Legato Sengadi have children? No, but HHP had a son named Leano with Lerato Khanye. 

Has Legato Sengadi remarried? No. 

What does Legato Sengadi do? Lerato is a highly respected public relations professional, influencer marketing specialist, and brand manager. She’s now working with companies including Paramount Africa and Humanz AI. 

Anything else to know? Soweto (Dube) born and bred Lerato was a contestant on Big Brother Africa in 2007, and returned for Big Brother Africa All Stars in 2010. 

Mpho Tshabalala 

Mpho Tshabalala in Widows Unveiled

Mpho has dedicated herself to upholding her late husband Mandoza’s legacy by building up the Mandoza Foundation to support and develop young music artists, including their son Tumelo. But she claims that her choices have placed her at odds with those closest to Mandoza, like his mother and sister.​ And Mpho fears that continued fighting within the family is fracturing her children’s relationship with the larger Tshabalala family..  

Who was Mpho Tshabalala married to? The award-winning kwaito musician Mandoza (Mduduzi Thembinkosi Edmund Tshabalala), who was honoured with a posthumous SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.

How long were Mpho Tshabalala and Mandoza married? Mpho and Mandoza married in 2002 (with a white wedding in 2008) after dating for four years. 

How did Mpho Tshabalala’s husband die? Mandoza (38) died of pharyngeal cancer on the way to hospital in September 2016. 

Does Mpho Tshabalala have children? Mpho and Mandonza had three children together, eldest son Tokollo (who’s studying sports management), Tumelo (who’s a hip hop artist) and Karabo. The couple also helped to raise Mandoza’s second son, Thapelo.  

Has Mpho Tshabalala remarried? No. 

What does Mpho Tshabalala do? Mpho oversees the Mandoza Foundation, she was a driving force behind the BET documentary film Nkalakatha: The Life of Mandoza (launched during the events of this season), and she’s involved with licensing Mandoza merchandising. 

Anything else to know? Mandoza died on Mpho’s birthday. 

Sikelelwa Ngubane 

Sikelelwa Ngubane on Widows Unveiled

When Menzi Ngubane’s life was cut short, his wife Sikelelwa lost the love of her life and all her plans for their future together. The family’s tragedy was doubled when Menzi’s own father, Ndodeni Ngubane, died three days after him. Sikelelwa is still grieving and while she might be open to dating again, she might be hard pressed to find a man who’d measure up to Menzi, who used to call her his queen. 

Who was Sikelelwa Ngubane married to? SAFTA-winning actor Menzi Ngubane (Generations, Isibaya) 

How long were Sikelelwa Ngubane and Menzi Ngubane married? From 2013 to 2021. They met in 2004 while Sikelelwa was working as a receptionist at the SABC. 

How did Sikelelwa Ngubane’s husband die? Menzi Ngubane (56) died of a stroke at home in Ladismith in March 2021. 

Does Sikelelwa Ngubane have children? Sikelewa has two daughters from a previous relationship, Siyasanda and Ziyanda, whom she and Menzi raised together. Menzi also helped raise his first wife Lerato Sedebi’s daughter, Aisha. 

Has Sikelelwa Ngubane remarried? No. 

What does Sikelelwa Ngubane do? Sikelelwa is involved in running the Menzi Ngubane Foundation in partnership with Brightspark Foundation. And she and her family were involved in the production of the documentary Ngubs – The Life And Times of Menzi Ngubane, which was released in 2022. 

Anything else to know? At the age of 16, Sikelelwa had a huge crush on Menzi in his role as predatory teacher Elliot in TV drama Yizo Yizo! 

Stream Widows Unveiled on Showmax now. New episodes on Mondays.  

Join the conversation: #widowsunveiled 

Widows Unveiled: Cast introductions
Widows Unveiled: Two truths and a lie