Actor and presenter Thembisa Mdoda has finally opened up about the drama involving her and her ex-husband, Atandwa Kani, in an interview with Anele Mdoda. Though the two fought on Twitter, Thembisa said it was not always the case in the first two years of their relationship. In fact, her mother was the one who told her Atandwa was “the one” when she met him.
The two met in their first year of university at Wits and became close friends who studied together.
“He and I, we went through all those teething things in trying to make this career, in trying to find out where we belong in this dramatic thing,” she told Anele.
When trouble began, it was never a question of whether they loved each other, because they did, she said. They both struggled to keep up with the change, and the question of who would compromise and follow the other caused the conflict in their relationship.
“I remember the first two years of varsity, I was Atandwa’s girlfriend, and then I grew into an actress, and I stopped being that person. In my mind, there was a change, there was a shift, and I think in all my life that I’ve known Atandwa, I think there’s always a shift and a change and a gear, but someone was always one step behind.”
To make matters worse, communication was never a strong point for them. “It would always be that emotion and drama,” she said.
On her first episode of Our Perfect Wedding, stories about Atandwa not being the father to her twin boys emerged. Thembisa said she knew it was Atandwa’s family that leaked the story, as “they had been planning it for a while”.
The story followed after accusations of cheating on Thembisa’s side and physical abuse in Atandwa’s long Facebook post.
He said he decided to leave the relationship after a confrontation that landed him a few slaps across the face and threats that he would never see his children again. “Soon after this incident, she told the papers that she had been in an abusive relationship, claiming to have been ‘black, blue and battered’, expressing to her family that I had deserted her and the children.”
However, Thembisa said all that was over, as the two had apologised to each other. “I don’t think we’ve stopped apologising to each other. I don’t care what the rest of the world thinks now, and I would hope he doesn’t care either.
“We’ve sat down, we’ve spoken about it. He needed to hear it from me for all those years why I was closed up, why I was blocked. We’ve had to go back and do it step by step. I’ve had to take a lot of responsibility because a lot of what happened it’s me just not giving him the chance to be the husband,” she said.
Atandwa has since moved on with his wife, Fikile Kani, while there are rumours that Thembisa is engaged, though she refused to comment on the engagement.