The South African entertainment industry is a cut throat industry with many talented entertainers from across Africa. Our very own Zimbabweans have made a name in the country and are rated among the very top local celebs in the country. Of note are OSkido, Tendai Mutawarira, Nadia Nakayi, Leroy Gopal, Sha Sha, Chiedza Mhende and many others.
Named the Queen of Amapiano, Sha Sha’s real name is Charmaine Mapimbiro, she was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, and grew up in Mutare.
“I was born in Bulawayo and stayed there for a bit. We then moved to Mutare then Harare but most of my years were in Mutare because my dad is from Mutare,” Sha Sha mentions in a podcast interview with Mac G.
In June 2020 Sha Sha become the first Zimbabwean to win a BET Award, when she was nominated and won the BET Award 2020 – Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act award. Sha Sha’s recognition on the international stage triggered her identity as many fans weren’t aware that she is from neighboring Zimbabwe.
Chiedza Mhende is a voice-over artist, singer, and actor who has carved a niche for herself in the entertainment industry of South Africa. Well known as Chi Mhende, she played Wandile on Generations The Legacy where she is now part of the soapie’s production team.
Chi Mhende was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1991. She moved to Cape Town, South Africa in 2006 to study at the African Film and Drama and Arts (AFDA) School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance. She was introduced to Cape Town’s theatre world as Lady Capulet in the Artscape production of Romeo and Juliet in 2010.
She has played Sandile in the Cape Town film Love the One You Love, which debuted at the Durban International Film Festival in 2014. Chi has credits in Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams, JM Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians, and was cast as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mhende is an Africa Movie Academy Awards nominee. She is the voice behind ‘Siyaya’ and Al Jazeera’s global health series ‘Lifelines’. The star actress worked with theater productions such as The Bonfire Improv Theatre Company and the Zakheni Arts Therapy Foundation. Her rise to fame came with her role in Generations where she plays a man.
Mtawarira was born on 1 August 1985 in Harare, Zimbabwe. He attended Churchill School in Harare for five years before being given a full scholarship to Peterhouse Boys’ School, an independent school in Mashonaland East. At the age of 15, while at Churchill, he was spotted by Zimbabwean coach Joey Muwadzuri who invited him to join the Under 19 side at the National Schools Festival.
Mtawarira prowess landed him a spot in the invincible Sharks squad of 2008 which then saw him being offered an opportunity to play for South Africa. Mtawarira is known by the nickname The Beast.
Mtawarira made his debut for South Africa against Wales on 14 June 2008. With 117 caps, he is the most capped prop in South African history and the third most-capped Springbok of all time behind Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana. He became the second black Zimbabwean to play rugby for the Springboks in South Africa. In 2010, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma gave him the South African citizenship.
Nadia Nakai is an award-winning hip hop artist from South Africa. She changed her surname from Dlamini and adopted her Zimbabwean mother’s which is Kandava.
The 30-year-old Nadia N_ked II crooner is a half cast, Nakai’s mother is Zimbabwean whilst her father is South African. Nadia Nakai made headlines when she joined the Family Tree Music group which boasts of South African musical finest such as Casper Nyovest.
In recent years the musical maestro BRAGGA “QUEEN OF RAGGA” has always made it clear that she was of Zimbabwean origin and was not even shy about it. The reckoning force in SA Hip Hop considers Zimbabwe as part of her identity.