Nomzamo Mbatha is a 31-year-old South African actress, businesswoman, television personality and human rights activist. She has been serving as a LuQuLuQu High Profile Supporter for several years and was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in January 2019. [ ¹]
In the entertainment industry, Nomzamo is popularly known for starring in Mzansi Magic telenovela-turned-soapie Isibaya playing Thandeka Zungu. She is also known for starring in Zaziwa, Umlilo and Lockdown. She came to lime light after making it into the top three finalists of the 2012 MTV Base VJ Search.
Full name: Nomzamo Nxumalo Mbatha
Born: July 13, 1990 (age- 31 years old), KwaMashu, KwaZulu Natal Province
Nationality: South African
Occupation: Actress, TV Personality, Businesswoman, Accountant, Human Rights Activist
Years active: 2012 to present
Siblings: Zamani Mbatha (brother)
Childhood of Nomzamo Mbatha
She was born on July 13, 1990 in a small town of KwaMashu in KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa as Nomzamo Nxumalo Mbatha. She grew up in that same village she was born, KwaMashu. Nomzamo Mbatha’s mother, Manakutu Mbata, is a teacher. And her late father is Skuta Nxumalo but its not known what was his profession.
Nomzamo developed interest in modelling at young age. So, she used to model at beauty pageants even though her father did not entirely approves it. According to Youth Village website, Nomzamo had a difficult childhood growing up. She travelled on foot to go to school and sometimes she would reach the school premises wet from rain.
“Promising myself that one day I would have a car and not have to walk in the rain again. That I’d work really hard to change my narrative,” said Nomzamo Mbatha. “The most heartbreaking part was getting to school soaking wet. Socks, uniform ALLES. Oh and my backpack, with all my schoolbooks” [ ²]
Education of Nomzamo Mbatha
Nomzamo attended Sihlezi Primary School before moving on to Bechet High School. She enrolled at the University of Cape Town to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce with an accounting concentration. She finished her higher education courses in 2018 and graduated. [ ³]
While still at school she used to be invited to speak at other schools around Durban and was subsequently invited to become Madam Speaker in the KZN Youth Parliament.
Career life of Nomzamo Mbatha
Nomzamo began her career in 2012 when she made it into the top three finalists for the 2012 MTV Base VJ Search. In 2013 she landed a role in the Mzansi Magic telenovela-turned-soapie Isibaya to play the role of Thandeka Zungu. She portrayed this character from season one until its last season which season eight.
In 2015 she had a starring role as Khwezi, an orphan from KwaZulu-Natal who was adopted by her uncle as a teenager and is the potential third wife in a polygamous marriage, in the e.tv drama series Umlilo. Her character came back using a different name of Thembi Kumakani when the drama series renewed for season three and season four. In April 2016 she appeared in “the South African version” of the Lip Sync Battle Africa as one of the competitors. [ ⁴]
She appeared in SABC1 music talk show Zaziwa. And in 2017 Nomzamo portrayed the role of Palesa in Mzansi Magic drama series Lockdown which was created by Mandla N. She also hosted music awards including The MTV Africa Music Awards Season 6 and The South African Music Awards Season 25. [ ⁵]
Movies where Nomzamo appeared
In 2015 Nomzamo starred as Moratiwa in Tell Me Sweet Something. The story was based on Moratiwa, an aspiring writer who owns and runs a bookstore in the heart of Johannesburg. The bookstore, like her love life, is not experiencing much success.
The same year of 2015, she played the role of Page in The Jakes Are Missing. She appeared in Coming 2 America as Mirembe alongside American stars such as Morgan Freeman and Eddie Murphy in 2021. Her other films include the 2017 All About Love, A Hotel Called Memory and the 2022 Die Like Lovers. [ ⁶]
Personal life of Nomzamo Mbatha
Nomzamo is related to Zamani Mbatha. They are sister and brother respectively. Their older sister died in 2009 and their younger sister Carla committed suicide in December of 2014. The only sister that Zamani and Nomzamo Mbatha have is Wendy who is known for acting in District 9. Nomzamo is also known among her friends for being full of life, with tons of personality, a big heart and the gift of the gab.
Coming to her love life, Nomzamo Mbatha dated Maps Maponyane, a media figure, back in the day. The two split up in 2018 after it was alleged that Maponyane cheated on her with multiple women, including Cape Town blogger Nadia Jaftha. Nomzamo was spotted with cricketer Kagiso Rabada in January 2019, and media blogs speculated that the two were romantically involved. The two were, however, seated next to one other on a yacht in Cape Town.
Activism and philosophical work
Nomzamo was announced as an ambassador for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2017. In 2020 she partnered with the Cotton On Foundation, the philanthropic arm of fashion retailer the Cotton On Group, to create widespread change in the lives of young people in South Africa.
In December Nomzamo was a keynote speaker at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, after earlier in the year being honoured by the New York State Senator Kevin Parker at the WASH Gala in New York City. To highlight a few charities she has been involved with in recent years. [ ⁷]
Achievements, Awards and Nominations of Nomzamo Mbatha
- DRUM Darling Award for Rising Star (2013)
- Feather Awards for Hot Chick of the Year (2013)
- One of the Okay Africa 100 Women 2018 Honorees conducted by Okay Africa Digital Media
- Listed by Forbes Africa as one of the “30 under 30 creatives” in June 2018. She was also featured on the cover of this issue.
- Landed an activism issue cover at Cosmopolitan due to the fantastic work she was doing at UNHCR.
- SASTAs, Best Actress Nomination (2019)
- Philanthropy Award from EAfrica! (2019)
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