6 ladies, 40 eligible bachelors: The Single Wives SA S1 Ep1

The Single Wives SA opens with the six ladies going on a speed-dating exercise with 40 eligible bachelors

Grab a tissue box as local dating reality show The Single Wives SA takes viewers on 6 divorcees’ emotional journey to finding love again.

From the onset, it’s clear that their 6 weeks in the luxury mansion won’t be easy. These strong and ambitious women are forced to look within and break many barriers that have prevented them from finding Mr. Right. There’s bound to be lots of tears, self-reflection and, of course, plenty of dates with men.

In the pilot episode, the ladies went speed dating with 40 single men. What made their dates even more gruelling was that their dating coaches, Mapaseka Mokwele and Justin Cohen, were watching their interactions on a screen in another room!

While some cast members hit a home run, others felt like fish out of water: from odd conversations about rush-hour traffic, to cancelling the men before they could even say a word. Let’s get into it!

Watch now on Catch Up

The Single Wives move in

Before we get to the dating part, let’s meet the ladies. First to arrive at the mansion is chief operations officer Genevieve Stander (37). She’s bubbly and excited to start afresh. Unfortunately she hasn’t been lucky at love thus far, having been cheated on by both her ex-husband and her ex-boyfriend. “The show is my last resort. After this, I am becoming a nun,” she says while laughing. Genevieve will definitely need that sense of humour to get her through this uphill battle.

Next, lawyer Angel Pather (38) arrives and gets acquainted with Genevieve. Angel opens up about her unhappy marriage: she married at 22 to a man who was 18 years older than her, and he mistreated her. She’s open to letting go of the past and hitting the restart button.

It’s account exec Chantelle Thrupp-Snow’s (33) turn to enter the house. She was married twice and explains that her second marriage, which lasted 9 months, ended amicably. They’re all one blended family and she’s now ready for another shot at love.

Fitness studio owner Tori Celliers (47) walks into the mansion and fills it with her infectious positive spirit. From her smile and optimism, you wouldn’t tell that she’s still hurting from losing her ex-husband and “soulmate”, who was sadly murdered. With this journey, she’s determined to find closure.

Everything about public transport operator Helen Zondo (50) says fierce: her walk, demeanour, and charm – it’s all there. She feels like she wasted 16 years of her life on her abusive ex-husband. She’s on the show to confront her fears and date again.

Last but not least to complete the group is marketing guru Nikki Nell (42). Her dating experience is limited. The way she puts it, her only serious relationship was her ex-husband. She wants to challenge herself on the show to meet men who are on the same page as she is.

Set a reminder

To whom it may concern

The women’s first challenge is to write a letter to their ex in their journal. No one is going to read them, so they can pour their hearts out. They are going to keep the letters as a point of reference throughout the journey to never make the same mistake again. It’s painful for the ladies to revisit the past. Helen recalls a heart-breaking incident in which her ex nearly beat her to death. She grabbed her daughter, fled her house and never looked back. This activity proves tough for the rest of ladies, too.

Date night

The next morning starts on a lighter note. The ladies are told that they’ll be speed dating 40 single men. They’ll have 5 minutes with each of the men for a quick chat. The coaches encourage them to let their guard down and have fun. “The most important thing we need to do on a date is listen rather than talk. It’s a better way to create a connection and rapport,” says Justin, who’s on standby with Mapaseka to steer the ladies in the right direction during their dates.

For Tori, Chantelle and Genevieve, meeting new people comes easily. There’s banter during their conversations with the men. But here’s how Angel, Helen and Nikki’s dates went down:

Letting the walls down with Angel

Initially, Angel is closed off. She doesn’t seem enthusiastic about the dates and like a disappointed dad, Justin jumps in after one of her dates to encourage her to relax. He asks: “Where is your spark, where is your personality, where is your fire?” Her answer: she’s saving it for the second date. Justin lets her know that at this rate, there might not be a second date as she’s coming across as uninterested. He suggests that she let her hair down a bit.

Handholding with Helen

Because of her tragic past, Helen hasn’t been on a date in 20 years. So she’s a bit out of place. Her first date is rather awkward. He holds her by both hands, leans into her and stares into her eyes during their conversation. His come-on is a bit strong to say the least. Mapaseka jumps in to talk to Helen about upholding her boundaries. She doesn’t have to do anything that makes her uncomfortable.

Getting Nikki on board

To be fair, Niki handled her dates well. So why did Justin have to pull her aside and give her a talk? Because it seemed like she had already made her mind up before the dates began: she wasn’t interested in anyone and at some point, she had a 3-minute conversation about rush-hour traffic in Fourways. Not flattering.

Mixing it up

At the end of the evening, the ladies walked into a room where the 40 men were hanging out and they had to ask the guys that they were interested in for their numbers. It was an activity to see how well the women did under pressure and if they could take the lead. They rose to the occasion, and next week they’ll be heading on dates with the lucky guys who caught their eyes – you don’t want to miss it.

Watch The Single Wives SA S1, Thursdays on M-Net (DStv 101) at 19:00 or on Catch Up

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