Leleti Khumalo Biography


Leleti Khumalo born on 30 March 1970 ( age-51 years old) is a South African actress well-known for her leading role in The movie and stage play Sarafina.

Biography profile of Leleti Khumalo

Image of beautiful Lady Leleti Khumalo
Image of beautiful Lady Leleti Khumalo

Full name : Leleti Khumalo
Gender : Male
Date of birth : 30 March 1970
Place of birth : Durban, Kwazulu Natal province, South Africa
Nationality : South African
Occupation : Actress
Known for : Sarafina

Early age of Leleti Khumalo

Leleti Khumalo was born in Kwamashu township north of Durban, South Africa. She was born alongside three siblings mainly by her mother and she lost her father at the age of three. Although she grew up in abject poverty with a domestic labourer mother trying to make things work for her and the siblings, she found joy in performing since she was a little child. She was described as a born performer. [1]

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Education of Leleti Khumalo

Leleti developed her skills in performing As she joined a youth backyard dance group called Amajika, mentored by Tu Nokwe. In 1985 she auditioned for the Mbongeni Ngema musical which was to become the international blockbusters Sarafina. Norma wrote the lead Character of Sarafina for Khumalo and was previously married to him.

Khumalo performed the role Sarafina on stages in South Africa and on Broadway’s. Where she received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical. In 1993 she released her first album Leleti and Sarafina. Sarafina was ‘re-released in South Africa on 16 June 2006 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the youth uprisings in Soweto.

Career of Leleti Khumalo

Image of Leleti Khumalo acting the role of Mazulu on Imbewu
Image of Leleti Khumalo acting the role of Mazulu on Imbewu

Leleti wanted to pursue acting from early age.She began her career in music and acting when she joined a Youth group dance Amajika. During this time Tu Nokwe mentored the budding actor. When she was 15 years old her journey from obscurity to stadorm began. The actor, musician and playwright Mbongeni Ngema while scoating for talent visited a garage where her youth group was performing.

After seeing her potential he inquired whether she could feature in one of his plays. She said “yes!” and Ngema drafted him into his Sarafina cast, one of his musical productions. From there her career and personal life were never the same. Eventually she became a global sensation and married Ngema. At that point the two, Ngema and Leleti were meant for each other. Ngema delighted in performance and she was born a dancer and performer. However marital stress led out to a falling of the two and culminating in divorce in 2005.

Other notable movies she featured in include Hotel Rwanda (2004) a historical drama documenting the Rwanda genocide in 1994. The very same year she started in Yesterday, a film about the struggles of young HIV positive mother. Her role in the movie was instrumental , as it received rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival and won an award in the Pune international Film Festival.

Acting Career of Small screen

She then decided to take on the small screen in 2005 and joined the cast of Generations. She played the role Busiswe Dlomo, the sister of A power-hungry businessman. In 2015 She joined the cast of Uzalo and played as Zandile Manzuza . The role marked her first on screen appearance after a two year hiatus from acting to raise her Children. That did not stop her from her acting. She soon landed herself on one of the Mzansi’s big telenovela Imbewu, where she currently plays Mazulu.


TV roles
. Sarafina(1992)
. Cry The Beloved Country (1995)
. Voices of Sarafina (1988)
. African Skies (1991)
. Mama (1996)
. The Zulu (1999)
. Stimela saseZola (2003)
. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
. Yesterday (2004)
. Faith Corner (2005)
. Invictus (2009)
. Africa United (2010)
. Winnie Mandela (2011)
. Halo (2015)
. Free State (2016)
. Imbewu( 2018)