Famously known for playing Duma Ngema in Mzansi Magic soapie Isibaya, Muzi Mthabela is a versatile actor who has made a name for himself in the SA entertainment industry. He first began his career in the late ’90s as a model and later worked behind the scenes in the film industry for many years before veering into acting. In the last few years, he has become one of the big names in the film industry following his roles in popular soap operas such as Imbewu: The Seed, Muvhango, and Saints and Sinners.
Muzi has not only become famous for his diverse roles in the entertainment industry, but for being an inspiration to the younger generations. He uses his life experiences to coach them on the journey of life. Here are more riveting facts about the sensational actor’s life and career achievements.
10 Riveting Facts about the Sensational Actor
1. Muzi Mthabela Was Raised By a Single Mother
Born in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal on April 2nd, 1977, the Imbewu actor’s birth name is Muzi KaChibi Mthabela. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bhekisisa Mthabela. The 44-year-old grew up alongside his three brothers, including Lwazi Mthabela, in many towns in KwaZulu-Natal. They include Clermont, Mandeni, and Mzolwa. Their mother raised them singlehandedly in a staunch Christain faith, inculcating in them good morals and values. Muzi Mthabela attended Zwelibanzi High School and later studied Postproduction and Editing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
2. He First Met His Father at The Age of 12
Following his parents’ separation while he was still very young, Muzi Mthabela was bereft of fatherly influence at the early stages of his life. Along with his siblings, he had a carefree childhood, having been raised only by their mum. As a result, he became rebellious during his childhood and up to his formative years, to the extent that he stopped attending church services. Mthabela eventually got acquainted with his father when he was 12 years old and with each passing year, his dad became a huge influence in his life, reshaping him.
He has given his father the credit for shaping him into the man he has become today. He has learned so many lessons from him, including how to shoulder responsibility as a man. The two share strong ties and cherish spending time together.
3. Muzi Mthabela Has Been Active in The Film Industry For Over Two Decades
Having been raised in a Christain home, the former model initially wanted to become a Catholic priest. However, after graduating from the university, he started getting minor acting roles, which eventually made him pursue an acting career full time. He relocated to Johannesburg to kick off his professional career in 1999. Over the years, he has played recurring and guest roles in many soapies. In 2013, Muzi Mthabela was cast in Lokshin Bioskop movie titled, Thug Huis. He starred in the drama film alongside Siphiwe Mtshali and Khanyi Mbau.
Two years later, he had roles in Bootcamp, the Mzansi Magic reality TV series and Zaziwa, SABC1 interview show. From 2015 to 2016, he portrayed Pangaman in Ashes to Ashes and further played a voice-over role in Cishe Ngafa. Later in 2017, the proficient actor scored a role in Harvest. He additionally guest-starred as Richard in the soap opera, Muvhango, which aired on SABC2. In 2019, he played a role in the theatrical production of Jobe at Mandela Theatre in Sandton City. Throughout his long-spanning acting career, Muzi Mthabela has been cast in several other TV series. They include Ring of Lies, Jacob’s Cross, Tempy Pushas, The Road, Sokhulu & Partners, Saints and Sinners, Isibaya, and Imbewu.
4. His Role in Isibaya Established Him as a TV Star
For seven years, Muzi Mthabela portrayed Duma Ngema on the Mzansi Magic soapie, Isibaya. His sensational depictions on the series catapulted him to superstardom. He picked up the role in 2013 and portrayed the character of Duma – a strong hitman in Thukela Valley. Later in the series, he played the role of a respectable royal regent taking care of the Ngubane chieftaincy when the king was arrested. Having played the role of Duma Ngema with precision for several years, Muzi became one of the show’s fans’ favorite characters and equally rose to prominence in the acting scene.
He then left his fans heartbroken when he decided to quit Isibaya for a role in another soap opera in May 2020. Speaking about his exit from the series, the actor stated that he needed to challenge himself with a new role as he had been playing the same role for seven years. He also comforted his fans by telling them that he only got to be a channel away from them, as he would still be doing what he knows how to do best on TV, but this time, playing another character. Muzi eventually joined the cast of e.tv. soapie, Imbewu: The Seed, in the third season in 2020. He is presently playing the character of Menzi Vilakazi in the soap opera.
5. The Actor Has Earned Recognition For His Editorial Works
At the early stages of his career, The Road star worked as a model for a while and then transitioned into an editor. He had his first editorial gig in 2002 when he served as the editor for the first season of the TV series, Zola 7. He subsequently carried out multiple editing works and has been credited as the editor of many acting projects. They include Tempy Pushas, Zone 14, Skwizas, Jacob’s Cross, Rolling with Zola, Usindiso, City Ses’la, and Gaz’lam.
In 2017, the actor was nominated for the South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) for Best Achievement in Post Production and Editing – TV Soap/Telenovela. Though he didn’t claim the award, he surely looks set to win some in the near future as he has been putting up phenomenal performances in recent years. Even though Muzi Mthabela is reportedly a former model, he is presently working as a brand ambassador for Bishop Shoes and automobile company, Engen.
6. A Seasoned Motivational Speaker, Muzi is a Role Model to Young People
Having led a reckless lifestyle while growing up, abandoning his Christain faith and yielding to peer pressure, Muzi has taken it upon himself to be providing much-needed guidance and direction to the younger generations. He does this by going to secondary schools and talking to the pupils about the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction. He normally uses his life experience of becoming rebellious, rejecting his Christain roots to joining friends in smoking and drinking to instruct them. Muzi Mthabela changed his ways and headed back to the Christain faith with the help of his father, who incessantly advised him on how his new lifestyle would deter him from having a great future.
He is now a devoted Christain and has impacted the lives of many with his life story. Having been a role model to many young ones, Muzi has tried to stay true to his belief and teachings. As a result, he doesn’t accept acting roles where he has to drink alcohol. He has over time emphasized to the youth that drinking alcohol doesn’t seem glamorous as it has always been portrayed on TV. He forewarns them not to have a taste of alcohol or drugs as they might just get hooked to the habit on the first try.
7. He Founded Seraphim Book Club in 2018
Still passionate about influencing society positively, in 2018, the SAFTA nominated actor, who is an ardent book reader, launched Seraphim book club. He aims to help young people have personal libraries and equally inspire them to dream big and reach their full potentials. The actor has gone on to leave a legacy in the lives of the members of the club by buying book copies for them, helping to instil in them a reading habit at an early age. Since the establishment of Seraphim book club, Muzi Mthabela has influenced the lives of these young ones as some of the members now read about nine to twelve books in a year.
Through the book club, he has opened them up to the rich world of literature and they have grown in knowledge and wisdom. During some of their meetings, he has invited life coaches, who also help to nurture the journey of these young ones. Following his literary and coaching works, Muzi Mthabela has become a respected figure in the Orange Farm community. He has also offered a helping hand to school children by donating school jerseys to the less privileged children, who couldn’t afford them to keep them warm while attending classes in the winter.
To achieve this feat, he solicited help from his fans on social media platforms. After making the donations, he uploaded on Instagram, a video of where he was donating the jerseys at a school. He then thanked those that contributed to the much-needed jerseys.
8. Muzi Mthabela Celebrated 14 Years of Marriage in March 2021
On 3rd March 2007, Mthabela exchanged marital vows with his beauteous wife, Zanele Mthabela. The two celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary in March 2021 and have been waxing stronger as a couple with each passing year. Their union is blessed with two adorable daughters called Bubu and Bobo. Going by his Instagram uploads, the Imbewu actor loves spending time with his family. They go on family trips and hang out on some occasions. Mthabela’s significant other is a private person, and thus, he has set her Instagram handle on private. However, she is known to be one of the distributors of Forever Living Products in Johannesburg.
9. The Isibaya Star Shares Strong Bond With His Daughters
Muzi Mthabela’s first daughter, Bubu, was born on September 5th, 2008 while his second daughter, Bobo, came in 2011. The proud father of two, who hopes to be a positive influence in the lives of his children, has revealed that he spends time doing home works with his daughters every day as parents are supposed to be their child’s first teacher. Although he sees himself as a strict father, he often engages in fun activities with his kids. He bakes with them, and they also watch cartoons together.
Muzi has advised parents to always get involved in their children’s education and equally make them feel safe and protected. He further stated that parents need to be spending more time with their kids as their presence is more important than providing them with material things. Regarding his role as a father to two girls, he has beckoned on other fathers to equip their young ones to be independent and well-functioning adults by instilling in them sound teachings, ensuring they are disciplined and responsible.
10. A One-Time Alcohol Addict, Muzi Has Been Sober Since 2016
Muzi Mthabela started drinking and smoking in his formative years. As one of the cool things his age mates were doing at the time, he, alongside his friends at Clermont in KwaZulu-Natal, began drinking ciders and later moved on to drinking spirits (gologo). Before long, he got addicted to alcohol and despite making efforts to be sober, he used to find himself back in his old ways. He started turning a new leaf in 2010 when he heard of Molemo ‘Jub Jub’ Maarohanye‘s car accident in Soweto. It happened that the hip-hop artist, after taking a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, participated in a drag race.
Driving under influence, Molemo ploughed into a group of school children and many died at the spot while some were left disabled and injured. After hearing of the tragic accident, Muzi Mthabela realized he could find himself in such a situation one day. He then had a rethink about his lifestyle, knowing that he used to drive under influence at the time. Embracing adulthood and without the influence of friends, Muzi Mthabela, from time to time, would do self introspection and think about the effect of alcohol in his life, though it didn’t negatively affect his acting career during such time. He would quit the habit for a few months, and afterward, he would return to the old lifestyle.
After getting married and having children, whom he hopes to positively influence, Muzi continued struggling with alcohol addiction. He eventually gave his life to Jesus Christ and with the help of his parents, who never stopped advising him, the adept actor finally quit drinking alcohol in 2016. He has remained sober to date and has decided to honor God in his life and to be a better man to his wife and children. Muzi has cited that since he decided not to take his salvation casually but very seriously, his career has continued to grow, reaching new heights he never attained while struggling with alcohol addiction.