It is not often that a rookie comes in and steals the spotlight from the more established actors, but that is exactly what Blood and Water star Khosi Ngema did. The South African actress shot to fame after her excellent portrayal of the teen character ‘Fikile’ on the original Netflix web series that aired in May 2020. Since then, the names of both the actress and her on-screen persona have been on viewers’ lips worldwide.
Also a songwriter and singer, Khosi has established a solid Instagram platform where she showcases her singing for the listening pleasure of fans. In fact, there appears to be no limit to what the starlet can do as she also does a bit of modeling and brand influencing. Undoubtedly, the young actress is slowly becoming a force to reckon with as she unapologetically continues to trail-blaze her way through the industry.
The 21-Year-Old Khosi Ngema Was Born in Gauteng, in the City of Johannesburg
Khosi Ngema was born on the 2nd of November, 2000, in Gauteng, Johannesburg. If you were wondering whether she was related to a certain popular South African actor, then you weren’t wrong. Khosi Ngema is indeed the celebrity child of veteran actor Mangaliso Ngema and Busiswe. She grew up with her parents and her four other siblings in Johannesburg, and that was where she had her high school education. As a little kid, Khosi was very inclined to the arts and had set her sights on music and acting.
Growing up with a popular actor for a father must have played a role in her decision to pursue a career in show business, as she began to attend local acting classes with her dad. It is not clear whether or not she went to any formally accredited Arts college. Still, by the time she was 19, Khosi Ngema had attended sufficient acting and dancing classes to consider herself ready for a career in television.
The Netflix Series, Blood And Water, Facilitated Khosi’s Rise to Stardom in 2020
As we have stated earlier, Blood and Water was Khosi’s breakout moment. The binge-worthy streaming obsession was directed by the highly talented Nosipho Dumisa and was aired for the first time on the international streaming giant Netflix on the 20th of May, 2020. In this teen crime drama series, Khosi Ngema dazzles with fellow breakout stars Ama Qamata and Gail Mabalane. The story follows the story of Puleng (Ama Qamata), a curious teenager who suspected that IT girl and star athlete Fikile Bhele (Khosi Ngema) was her birth twin. Puleng then orchestrates her admission into the imaginary Parkhurst College, a school for the elite kids based in Cape Town.
The series became an unexpected international success and was the first-ever African original series to be ranked the viewers’ number 1 pick on Netflix in 10 different countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. However, what most of the viewers appeared to be captivated by, was Khosi’s brilliant acting. It is almost impossible to believe that this was her first television role, and she pulled it off perfectly.
Khosi Ngema Might Still Be A Newbie, But She Has Some Pretty Big-Shot Fans
It is every performer’s dream to be recognized for their art, and for some, there is no greater validation than being applauded by the people who have been there before you. This was Khosi Ngema’s reality when famous American actress, Gabrielle Union, gave a shout-out to her on social media. Apparently, Gabrielle is a huge fan, not only of the series but of Khosi herself, as she went on to call Khosi her ‘WCW’ in a sweet appreciation post.
When asked how she felt about Gabrielle’s shout-out in an interview, the celebrity kid tried to be modest about it, stating that she only wanted to create more art and didn’t want the success to ‘get to her head.’ Anyway, Gabrielle Union wasn’t the only one who had formed an attachment to the series. ‘Montero’ crooner Lil Nas X also revealed that he was an avid follower of the series in a tweet. It is impressive that Khosi Ngema wields such influence in just a little over a year of acting, and we are dizzy with excitement from just thinking about the greater things we know the young actor can achieve in the next few years.
Originally, Khosi Ngema Had Wanted to Audition for the Role of ‘Puleng’
Speaking with MSN in a 2020 interview, Khosi Ngema revealed that she was sent the audition details by her managing agency in 2019 and decided to try out for the role of Puleng. When she was finally called back, it wasn’t the confirmation call she was expecting at the time. According to the then 20-year-old starlet, she was asked to re-audition, this time, for the role of Fikile. She did exactly that and the rest, they say, is history. It turned out that Khosi Ngema was perfect for the role, and she hasn’t looked back since then.
The journey to becoming a superstar isn’t easy, and one has to be willing to make sacrifices. In Khosi’s case, she had to leave her family in Johannesburg and move to Cape Town for a shooting. On the set, Khosi was opportune to work next to well-known South African actors like Sello Maake KaNcube, Xoli Tshabalala, and Thabang Molaba.
If you don’t already know, the show’s second season has hit the Netflix menu, and Khosi returns to reprise her role as Fikile, as did most of the former cast. Last year, the popular American movie review website ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ certified the series 80% fresh. The series was a big winner at the 2021 SAFTAs, winning the awards for Best TV Drama, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound Design.
Unsurprisingly, The Budding Actress Comes From A Family of Artists
There is a popular saying that an apple does not fall far from the tree. Khosi Ngema’s love for performing may be hereditary, and this might have helped her hone her talents even without going to any known acting school. Let’s take a look at her family members and what they are up to;
Her Father, Mangaliso Ngema, is a Veteran South African Actor
Khosi Ngema’s father, Mangaliso Ngema, as we have previously mentioned, is a veteran South African actor popular for his roles in series like Lithapo, Mary and Martha, and Vehicle 19. The young actress has often spoken about how her father did everything to ensure that his daughter achieved her dream of acting. It appears the two have a very close father-daughter bond, and it might be because of the similarities between them.
Busiswe Ngema (mother)
While we know who Khosi Ngema’s father is, the same cannot be said for her mother as there is no record of who she is or what she does. What we do know is that Khosi loves her mother very much and that the latter has been very supportive of her daughter’s career.
Busani, Swazi, Unanthi and Mpange Ngema (siblings)
Khosi Ngema was not the only child born to her parents. In fact, she was the second of five children. Her siblings are Busani, Swazi, Unanthi, and Mpange Ngema. Of the five, Khosi happens to be the only famous one for now. Besides, Unaathi, who is also a singer and actress, there is no known record of what her other siblings do.
Patience Nomkhosi Africa a.k.a. Patience Afrika (grandmother)
This Durban-born legend was a South African singer, songwriter, and actress and was a regular face in many stage and film productions of the 1970s. She happens to be Mangaliso’s mother, making her Khosi’s grandmother, but sadly, she passed away in June 2006. There is no record of the nature of Khosi’s relationship with her grandmother, but it’s very clear that the love of performing arts runs in the family.