Connie Ferguson

The Queen Mzansi in slump without Connie Ferguson

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For the past six seasons The Queen Mzansi has, without fail, featured on top social media trends during prime time television viewing. But, in the last month, the award winning show which boasts (nearly) two million record viewership has slipped out of Twitter top ten trends. The show has sunk into a lull of improvisation, contrived hook-ups, overly risqué humour and shouting matches between Brutus and Shaka. With executive producer and lead actress, Connie Ferguson, on compassionate leave, following the passing of husband and co executive producer, Shona, The Queen Mzansi has not been the same.

The Queen Mzansi without Connie Ferguson

With Connie Ferguson away, scriptwriters of The Queen Mzansi had to quickly rethink the story just as the focus had shifted to the nascent affair between Vuyiswa’s husband, Hector Sebata and Harriet Khoza. It was after shooting the episode with the iconic kiss between Sebata and Harriet that Connie Ferguson had to withdraw from The Queen Mzansi in order to attend to husband, Shona, who at that time was unwell.

Entertainment commentators were quick to spot that something was amiss on the 9:00 pm Mzansi Magic show.

Schumacher scams Tembisa residents

With Siyanda in need of funds to revamp The Corner House diner, Schumacher suggested an SMS voting contest. In the first week of the contest, the money rolled in as Tembisa residents vied for the R500 prize money. But the text messages soon dried up and proprietor, Siyanda, was at a loss as to why her competition had suddenly ground to a halt.

While Siyanda sat with nothing but crickets and tumbleweed on her SMS inbox, Schumacher was collecting money in the name of the Corner House. But he pocketed all the money and rigged the vote in favour of neighbourhood thug, Stone, who had pressured the ambitious Schumacher. After winning the prize, Stone demanded that his Magriza be the chosen as the next winner. Meanwhile Schumacher, under pressure from entrants to the contest, blamed the phone service provider for the collapsed SMS competition. The trouble with lies is that they eventually catch up to you. Schumacher got found out and suffered a thorough beating from the angry community members. We heard nothing about Schumacher and Siyanda after this incident, as though the story no longer concerned the scriptwriters.

The Queen Mzansi gets smutty

During the pandemic, Police Minister, Bheki Cele has come under intense criticism for being the enemy of nice things. Cele became the most unpopular man in South Africa when he enforced a countrywide alcohol ban more than once. If you have been wondering about the link between the ban on bevs and the pandemic, it became clear on The Queen Mzansi.

The hookup began with lots of alcohol, as is the case with everything sinful. Noma treated the Khozas to some drinks and food at her restaurant, formerly named The Blue Moon. In turn, Olerato invited Noma to the Khoza mansion for a girls’ night where the two women consumed lots of the stuff that Bheki Cele detests. With Olerato the lightweight drinker passed out on the new sofa, Brutus entered the living room. He and Noma got to talking. Ordinarily, Noma would not have looked twice in Bhovungane’s direction, she had moved on from Brutus. But alcohol changes people’s behaviour, as Bheki Cele certainly knows. Noma came onto Brutus.

And Brutus, ever the gentleman, knew it would have been rude to turn down a lady in need. The two of them woke up the next day in Brutus’ room. The pillow talk between Noma and Brutus, most of it unnecessary and over the top, was the kind you don’t want to listen to while your parents are in the same room.  Anything to keep the two million viewers entertained while they wait for Connie Ferguson to return, I guess.

After the drunken night, Noma did her best to conceal the hookup while Brutus did everything to make it known to Olerato and Shaka, I swear if he was more tech savvy, Bhovungane would have posted it on Instagram. Eventually Noma and Brutus said they were just tlof-tloffing, with no strings attached. Olerato, who carries love in her name was eager to see romance between Brutus and Noma but, for Shaka, the memory of his heartbroken uncle is still fresh in the mind. Remember when Noma chose Charles over Brutus. Shaka gave Noma “the talk”. You know that man-to-man chat that big brothers all over the world have with their baby sisters’ boyfriends; if you hurt my uncle you’ll have me to deal with. It wouldn’t be long before Brutus had his heart crushed underfoot.

Brutus and Noma carried on tloffing until a much younger man – younger than Brutus that is – named Gordon noticed her at the restaurant.  Gordon (real name Batwa Mzamane) began to pursue Noma, making sure he dropped unnecessary details about the countries he has been to. Behind the scenes, Olerato, she who has love in her name and Shaka – who had come around to the idea of Brutus being with Noma – were playing Cupid. They created a phoney emergency at the Khoza mansion, a place that is as monstrous as it is boring, in the absence of Connie Ferguson. Brutus was ready with a proposal to become real boyfriend and girlfriend. Noma drove to the mansion with the well travelled Gordon who she asked to remain in the car while she went to attend to this “emergency”.

As Noma made her way through the home, inside her car, where her new admirer waited, the phone rang. Wanting to be helpful, Gordon picked up the phone and went after Noma, like an overzealous child who can’t follow his mother’s instructions. When he caught up with her, she had arrived at the scene of what would have been Brutus’ romantic flower littered setting. Brutus’ proposal was ruined, like The Queen Mzansi without Connie Ferguson.

Brutus blamed Olerato and Shaka for “meddling.” He wanted nothing to do with Noma. At the truck depot, we were subjected to more improvisations. Brutus took out his hurt on the workers, whom he accused of being smelly and not washing the vehicles enough.

The Cupid Cousins, Shaka and Olerato again tried to hook up Brutus and Noma. This time, Noma would take the lead. She waited ready at the Khoza mansion. But Brutus, proving his ambidexterity, showed up with a “butcher” girl on each arm. It was Noma’s turn to suffer heartbreak.

A double scam

The last we heard of Hector’s sister, Dorothy “Dodo” Sebata (real name Liophelo Maphathe), she was in hospital with very little chance of ever walking again. She showed up at the Sebata gate, seated in a hospital wheelchair, because South African television researchers haven’t got the foggiest idea about the different genres of mobility aids. Dodo was as useless at self propelling her wheelchair as the show researchers on investigating correct wheelchairs. Any actor worthy of the title “actor” ought to learn to use a wheelchair before playing the part of a wheelchair user, it’s not rocket science.

Dorothy came with a hunky physiotherapist, Johnny (real name Anelisa Phewa) whom  you may recall from SABC drama, Montana.

Dodo and Johnny put on a show for Khumo and Hector, as they held physio sessions in the living room.  After the physio said his goodbyes, Dodo deliberately fell out of her wheelchair. Johnny then asked to spend the night and watch over his patient. Hector consented. But he had no idea that the physio and Dodo were lovers. Never mind that, they were also secretly plotting to swindle the Sebatas.

Johnny invented a place in Europe with advanced medical facilities which could give Dodo the ability to walk again. In the privacy of her room, Dodo stood up, like Jesus had said “rise up and walk.” She has made a full recovery from the shooting incident but as far as her son Khumo and dim-witted cop brother Hector know, she is still dependent on the wheelchair. Vuyiswa, who has a proper cop’s nose, seemed half skeptical of the physio. She bombarded him with questions. But still, Hector, a whole police Colonel, paid the money into the fake company account. The money went straight to Johnny’s pocket. Once he received deposit notification, he made his excuses and headed to The Corner House where, like everyone else with ill-gotten money, he shouted “drinks on me!”

It looks like Hector may not be the only scam victim. Dodo may just find herself holding nothing but the wheelchair rims that she never quite learned to use properly. I can’t wait to laugh when Dodo sings like Yemi Alade, “Where is my Johnny, looking for my Johnny!”

It has been exactly a month since Shona Ferguson earned his angel wings. I hope and pray his wife, Connie, is on the mend. Meanwhile, as her daughter Lesedi said, the Sho goes on.

Till next week, my pen is capped.

Connect with the author on Twitter @RewindMzansi

The Queen airs weekdays at 9:00pm on Mzansi Magic and is available on DSTV catchup as well as Showmax.

Image from Twitter, videos from YouTube

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