Legendary actor, Homla Dandala, is with over three decades worth of acting credits under his name. But arguably for the past five years, he has given life to the character of Commissioner Zweli Dikana. The one-half of one of South Africa’s most beloved onscreen couples along with Sindi Dlathu as Lindiwe Dlamini-Dikana.
Therefore, fans of the hit Mzansi 1Magic telenovela The River were surprised at the news of Dandala leaving the telenovela. This is besides the foreshadowing of the fact at the beginning of the fifth season of the telenovela with the flash-forward of uLala’s untimely death.
However, at the time of Dandala’s exit confirmation on The River, news of other beloved cast members leaving the telenovela abruptly was also confirmed. First, was the surprise confirmation that Lawrence Maleka, who plays the beloved Zolani and Lindiwe’s right-hand and confidant, had resigned with immediate effect.
As Zolani left in October 2022 from the world of the story, fans were surprised at how abrupt his exit was. As fans took to the timeline to question whether his abrupt exit was really the end of the road, Maleka suggested that he would address the matter. But to date, he has still not addressed his exit.
Thereafter, it was announced that Tango Ncetezo as Paulina was also fired and not leaving the telenovela. As such, it is no surprise that Tango has not shared any word on why Paulina would leave the telenovela abruptly without the writers properly concluding her kidnapping story.
From the streets of Refilwe to the soft life in the Dikana mansion, we Riverians will miss Hlomla Dandala, Lawrence Maleka and Tango Ncetezo as they bid farewell to #TheRiver1Magic. ❤️
Click here for more: https://t.co/2V3lnNbl0k pic.twitter.com/VVirNpJeta
— 1Magic (@1MagicTV) October 17, 2022
While the departing actors have not shared their reasons just yet, Hlomla Dandala has led the charge as he broke his silence on why he was leaving The River.
Dandala was tired of playing the character of the incompetent Police Commissioner. This is as during his recent interview with Newsroom Arika, Dandala broke his silence over leaving the telenovela by sharing in part his reason for leaving by stating that, “Generally what tends to happen with any career, is that if you stay in any character for long enough is that it is very difficult to then pivot anyway from it or to be perceived any other way.”
Dandala also emphasized that the exit was amicable with the producers of the show and indicated that the fact that he was continually being the “duped” character between him and his Lala, that it was beginning to affect his future role prospects and as such believed that it was time to leave.