“The Wife” Books Author Dudu Busani-Dube Speaks On Mental Illness Struggles

“The Wife” Books Author Dudu Busani-Dube Speaks On Mental Illness Struggles

“Hlomu The Wife” author Dudu Busani-Dube [Photo:Dudu Busani-Dube via Instagram]


Dudu Busani-Dube, the author behind Showmax’s first original South African telenovela – The Wife, has opened up on her struggles with mental illness. The Wife is based on and inspired by Busani-Dube’s bestselling novel Hlomu the Wife.

Busani-Dube said she will use her influencer and public profile to speak on mental illness in an emotional post. Outlining her own struggles with mental health, the “Hlomu the Wife” author wrote,



“The Wife” Books Author Dudu Busani-Dube Speaks On Mental Illness Struggles


Now, here is the thing…

For the past 6/7 years of me being the writer of the most popular books over here, I have (and this is something my therapist pointed out to me) avoided and rejected the ‘famous/influencial/public figure thingie.

I said to him, I’m the most known person who isn’t a celebrity. I was just saying that, but because he is a professional he made me understand why that is the case, and how it has everything to do with me and my personality(problematic and complicated personality).

So, I’ve decided that If he is right about me being influential and choosing not to put it into good use, well then…this is how I’m going to do it.

I spent 21 days, 22 December 2021 to 12 January 2022 in a mental institution. I remember one of the patients,on the day I was discharged asking me ‘But you are Dudu Busani-Dube, you have done so much, your life is like a dream, how are you here?’

If someone had asked me that question on my first day at Vista, I would have lost it, broken down and cried, or had my usual anxiety attacks. But, I was better then, I had had 21 days of healing and reconnecting to the Dudu I was before I was Dudu of the Hlomu books.

I said to her: “I’m also human” and we laughed and made a video for her boss who happens to be a big fan of my books.
I left the institution scared and anxious, with a three month prescription of a cocktail of pills and fear if my psychologist would still be available for me(he made time for me every single day I was in there, even on Christmas and New Year’s Eve).

“The Wife” Books Author Dudu Busani-Dube Speaks On Mental Illness Struggles
“The Wife” Books Author Dudu Busani-Dube Speaks On Mental Illness Struggles [Photo:Dudu Busani-Dube via Instagram]



I have rejected many ‘influencer’ deals, turned down many celebrity event invitations (not because there’s anything wrong with them, but because I know my limits and complications). The mental issues, the struggle to crawl out of depression and fighting anxiety attacks.

If the assumption that I’m influential is true, then that’s the one issue I’m willing to speak about, openly and honestly. I didn’t tell my parents about my admission, in fact, I drove myself to Vista and deliberately isolated everyone who offered to be there for me.

Thanks to Covid regulations,no visitors were allowed, but I had friends I could call anytime I ran out of cigarettes or craved cupcakes and Woolies grapefruit juice. So many people who love me wanted to be there for me(another thing my therapist said was a problem with me.

I shut them out,rejected their efforts and enjoyed being in an enclosed space with people who were as mentally unstable as I was.I was happy there. I made friends. I learned to say ‘I love you’ without thinking twice to teenagers who had never heard those words from their parents.

I’m ready and okay with talking about mental illness, in fact I’m ready to be an ‘influencer’ on that subject (my therapist will probably laugh at the ‘influencer’ part). DM me. We’re dying young, gifted and black. And we are taking our own lives.

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