Scandelites... scandelicious ones... never before in the history of Scandal! has an actor's disappearance been such a mystery.
As you know, there have been rumours, stories, statements and speculations about what's going on with Hungani Ndlovu and his role as Romeo, dating back to August this year when Sunday World claimed he'd been fired.
e.tv protested the story
, saying it wasn't true and again today (19 November), they've done the same.
This just in from the channel:
e.tv RESPONDS TO INACCURATE REPORTS OF HUNGANI NDLOVU'S TEMPORARY DEPARTURE FROM SCANDAL!
e.tv has noted with concern the circulation of misleading media reports about the reasons for Hungani Ndlovu's temporary exit from popular daily drama Scandal!
The channel, together with Ochre Media, refute the claims made that Hungani was fired from the show for bad behaviour, nor has his character, Romeo been killed off.
The factual reason for his temporary absence is that the actor requested to go on leave.
Scandal! producers Sanele Zulu, Grace Mahlaba, and Ilse van Hemert have expressed their appreciation about Hungani's time on the show, saying - "We, as the producers of Scandal! have the highest regard for Hungani's professionalism and humility as an artist. He has always behaved with the utmost respect towards his employers and colleagues.
The character of Romeo is adored by viewers and the Scandal team alike, and we would love to create stories with him for as long as possible."
This news comes amidst TVSA's repeated attempts to get comment on what's going on from Hungani and his people.
We contacted Hungani via Twitter and e-mail to ask for insight into what's going on.
We had a morsel of very short lived success when we contacted his agent at Owen S. Management. The only problem was his agent doesn't have a clue either!
Lance Harrison, his rep. at Owen S. told us:
"Hungani is a relatively new actor with us and we do not handle his Scandal contract so I am unsure about what is happening."
We replied asking who handles his Scandal! contract.
This has led us to believe that one of three things is at the heart of this:
1. He's living it up in Bushiri's suitcase, laughing gleefully at our concerns.
2. He's suddenly going to pop-up in a big, new show or movie that he's taken time off for and he's signed a non-disclosure agreement that's so intense and unreasonable, he's being held prisoner, mumbling through masking-taped lips.
3. He's tired.
If the latter, it wouldn't be the first time an actor's left a show to have a snooze. It happened on Binnelanders in 2008 with actress Lindie Stander.
She requested time off the show for rest and recuperation and was literally booked off because she was having such a rough time. She returned and left again and returned last week for the show's 15th birthday
Is this Hungani's story too?
Ultimately the puzzle remains unsolved.
What we do know is that he's still Tweeting occasionally like a bird on a wire and he definitely wasn't fired because we're sure that e.tv and Ochre Media wouldn't be so adamant if he was.
The game of hide-and-seek continues... come-out, come-out Hungani, wherever you are.