In a joint statement SABC1 and “Uzalo”, two of their key characters, Pastor Gwala, played by Menzi Biyela, and Nosipho, played by Nompilo Maphumulo, will be leaving the show.
The characters will exit the popular soapie at the beginning of season nine, early next year.
Maphumulo has been with Uzalo since its debut on SABC1 and her character has grown over the years. Viewers have seen her go head to head with Nkuzi over her father’s estate, making her his enemy and, in so doing, almost getting buried alive.
She has had her fair share of lovers over the years, from dating ruthless criminal Amos, a stint with resident detective Mondli, and the abusive Njeza until she found her prince charming in Pastor Gwala.
Nosipho’s character may have started out as a gangster’s daughter but her business skills made her KwaMashu’s resident Mashonisa and the brains behind the business hub.
Before becoming Nosipho’s prince charming, Pastor Gwala arrived in KwaMashu to help the community regain their church from the ruthless Nkunzi who he later learned was his biological father.
Biyela, joined Uzalo in 2021 and his character was a hit with viewers, his on-screen romance with Zekhethelo, which had viewers glued to screens.
SABC1 acting channel head Thuli Nhlapo said: “We want to take our hats off to the stellar performances of Nompilo and Menzi over the years.
“Their portrayal of the characters, Nosipho and Pastor Gwala, will forever be embedded in the hearts and minds of our viewers. Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”
Series producer King David Mukwevho said: “We are incredibly honoured to have worked with such talents.
“Nompilo has been an integral part of Uzalo since season one, she has brought us a remarkable rendition of Nosipho that the fans will never forget, and Menzi’s portrayal of Pastor Gwala has been nothing short of exemplary.
“Our viewers love them, and so do we. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”
While Biyela and Maphumulo’s exits have been amicable, actress Omuhle Gela earlier this month quit the soapie following a contractual dispute.