'How to Ruin Love: The Proposal' a hilarious spin-off celebrating South African families and romance

Published May 31, 2024


How to Ruin Love: The Proposal’ is the spin-off from ‘How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding, The Funeral and The Baby Launch’.

When one hears the word “spin-off”, you sometimes wonder if it is even necessary, the original is good enough. Burnt Onion Productions, however, with ‘How to Ruin Love: The Proposal’ answers that with an effortless yes.

The story of how Zoleka Dzana’s love story brings two families together, introducing audiences to new figures that are relatable should be told.

Sbu and Beauty, portrayed by Sandile Mahlangu and Thando Thabethe, introduce audiences to the new couple which is set to rock their worlds. This is done in a way that viewers understand that this is no longer a story about Sbu and Beauty’s families.

The cast is led by actress Sivenathi Mabuya, who viewers will get to see in a whole new light.

Most viewers may be familiar with the actress from ‘Scandal!’ where she portrayed the character of Xolile Langa, but here, her range is on full display when she portrays the headstrong, top actress and wealthy Zoleka.

When the actress found out that she had landed the role, she was both nervous and excited, as comedy is something she had never done before.

“I was excited because as an artist, you want to try everything, you want to get into the shoes of every kind of character, and Zoleka was that for me.

“I was very excited to get the opportunity to play her, she is different from anything that I have ever played before, as opposed to my natural characters. It was also exciting because I got to play a lot and stretch my creativity.”

Mabuya’s ‘Scandal!’ character's brother, portrayed by Ayanda Daweti also stars in ‘How To Ruin Love: The Proposal’ as her cousin Langa - but don’t worry, viewers - you see the actors in their new roles with ease.

Viewers get to see actress Shoki Mmola in a different light on ‘How To Ruin Love: The Proposal’. Picture: Supplied / Netflix

In ‘How To Ruin Love: The Proposal’, Zoleka is living her dream life; she is the star of South Africa’s latest hit telenovela ‘Savage Seductions’, making her Mzansi’s latest it-girl and she’s dating the charming but nerdy, Kagiso Phatudi, portrayed by Bohang Moeko.

Days before their third anniversary on Valentine’s Day, forever pessimist and love cynic Zoleka believes her long-term boyfriend, Kagiso, is cheating on her. She decides to follow him, hoping to catch him in the act.

However, things are not as they seem, and her suspicions lead to heartbreak. In an effort to mend her broken heart and relationship status, Zoleka enlists the help of their families to win her man back by any means necessary.

As with most families, there is plenty of drama on both sides; from Kagiso’s father, Papi, portrayed by John Morapama, using his son’s girlfriend’s fame to buy him extra time from the loan shark, his sister Katlego, portrayed by Mapaseka Koetle and her no boundary ways, to his “rich”, but stingy aunt Doreen, portrayed by Shoki Mmola.

Viewers also get to see Mmola in a different perspective as an actress. Her character is dramatic and over-the-top, a diva of note, shying away from her usual serious roles.

The four-part series explores different issues around family, love, trust, black tax and different generations coming together in today’s modern society. The story also showcases black people in a beautiful light.

“They are trying to bring black families because we are experiencing single-parent homes. We are bringing in elements where children have voids because of certain parents not being around, and exploring those relationships that the parents have,” explained Morapama.

Kagiso’s father, Papi portrayed by John Morapama. Picture: Supplied / Netflix

Kagiso is a character that many black men may relate to; a hard-working entrepreneur who has spent most of his life trying to make his dreams come true, while still supporting his large and colourful family.

“You just draw from your real-life experiences,” said Moeko about stepping into his character's shoes.

Family norms and values are issues that ‘How To Ruin Love: The Proposal’ also looks at; how open communication helps the different relationships within families.

The story is not just about Zoleka and Kagiso navigating their relationship, but also the broader relationships of their families and how they have their own stories.

The cast all got to come together and have fun as one big happy family on set as they worked and their love is displayed on screen. The story is brought to life even more with the perfect score that uses local music to add that local is lekker flavour.

“It felt as though you would hear the music that would be played in a scene and it elevated your performance,” said Dumisani Mbebe who portrays Martin, Zoleka’s father.

Morapama further explained that the song choices were well-curated to speak to each scene and even the characters.

‘How To Ruin Love: The Proposal’ is streaming on Netflix, and watching whether Zoleka gets her man back and manages to bring the families together is worth the watch and expect plenty of hilarious moments.

IOL Entertainment