Lunathi Mampofu is many things most Mzanzi would wish they were. The South African beauty is a celebrated actress, a delectable singer, a successful fashion designer, and an inspiration to many. Though most people know her more for the roles they have seen her play on screen, Lunathi’s career successes and life as a whole is an interesting tale, seeing the kind of family she was born into.
Lunathi Mampofu Hails From Cape Town, South Africa
Lunathi Mampofu was born in South Africa’s port city- Cape Town, to Nosabata and Patrick Mampofu as one of their three children on 7th March 1987. Her siblings are twin; Oros Mampofu and Mkhokheli Prince Mampofu. Oros and Prince, just like their sister, are pursuing careers in the entertainment industry as actors. The Mampofu’s is an artistically inclined family. Aside from the twin, Lunathi also has two other sisters.
Her childhood was fun as she and her brothers spent ample time doing what they loved as kids; acting. They grew up in a church and were always part of the church drama and music teams. This allowed them to perform on stage from an early age. Also, while Lunathi was in Victoria Girls High School, she was part of the school’s choir, which traveled to Europe for performances. According to her, it was at this point she got convinced to pursue a career in arts.
After completing her studies in South Africa, she enrolled in the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) to study acting. In 2010, she graduated from the school. Still, with a quest to gain more knowledge in the acting field, Lunathi enrolled at the New York Film Academy, where her natural acting talent was further polished. By 2013, she graduated from the academy and launched her career as a professional actress.
She Started Her Professional Acting Career in 2016
Before she became a professional actress, Lunathi had already gained exposure acting on stage both competitively in her school and church. Then as a student actress in California, she acted in movies like Mercy, Rising Light, Shack Attack, Umthandazo, etc. About three years after returning to South Africa, Lunathi starred in her first TV show as a spiritualist in an episode of Isikizi (2016), an Mzansi Magic drama series.
Her spectacular performance in this show opened the door of opportunities for her as she landed more TV roles that kept her on the screen. She has equally appeared in the following TV shows:
- #Karektas (Season 2) as Celebrity Guest
- Ambitions (Season 1) as Lerato
- Celeb Feasts with Zola (Season 1) as a guest – herself
- Ingozi (Season 1 and 2) as Zikhona Sebotsane
- Kings of Jo’burg (Season 1) as Zaza / Mystery Woman
- Shadow (Season 1) as Mary
- The River (Season 3) as Emma
- Unmarried (Season 2) as Claudia Dunn
- The Queen (Season 3) as Benni
Aside from TV roles, the Cape Town-born actress has also acted in films, including:
- The Good Man
- The Flat Tires (Naledi)
- Lockdown Heights (Aluta)
- Shack Attack
On stage, she has played various roles in theatre productions like:
- Almost Maine
- Remember to Remember the Memorial
- Look Before You Leap
Lunathi Mampofu Joined The Queen Cast in August 2019
WHAT'S HER NAME? 😍
WHAT'S HER NAME?😍
WHAT'S HER NAME?😍
Her character's name is Benni; a murderous 🗡🔪 tomboy with African threading in her hair.
Her real name is Lunathi Mampofu
— Jay™ (@RewindMzansi) August 8, 2018
Lunathi made her debut on The Queen on August 3rd, 2019, and within a short time, fans of the show noticed her special acting skills. On the show, which premiered on August 1, 2016, she gives life to the gangster villain Bennie. The show is about a drug lord’s family who uses their logistic company as a smokescreen to hide their shady businesses. As it is the norm with such businesses, they often have problem with the Tembisa Police Service and sometimes their rivals who make daring moves to put them out of business.
Bennie’s character strangely captures Lunathi’s personality as a child, which many people do not know of; tomboy. She is a tomboyish lesbian who grew up under harsh conditions (dad a drunkard and mum a drug addict) that define who she is as an adult. She was tossed into the care from one relative to another till she was sent to an orphanage, yet there was no succor for her there. Thus, Benni opted to become a rebel, stealing and indulging in all manner of vices to survive.
Getting the role of Benni on The Queen was everything Lunathi Mampofu had prayed for. Not only was she reportedly excited when she got a call about being picked for the series, but she readily embraced the challenge seeing that it will allow her to work with some of the best acting heads in South Africa. Today, she is almost inseparable from her Benni character.
Meet Lunathi’s Twin Brothers, who are both Actors
With two brothers already carving out a career in South Africa’s movie industry, Oros and Mkhokheli can be rightfully said to have also inspired Lunathi (in addition to her innate artistic talent and exposure early on in life) to pursue a career in the same field.
To some people, he is best known as Jama, a character he played in Skeem Saam. Oros was born on the 27th of August 1990 and is currently aged 31. Growing up in Cape Town, he attended Tableview High School and later enrolled in AFDA, where he bagged a degree in Motion Picture and Live Performance.
He got his big break in 2015 when he starred in the film Rise, directed by Rea Rangaka. Still, in 2015, he acted in the short film Lost in the World, and from here onwards, there has been no stopping for Oros. He landed a role in the popular Igazi in 2016 and The Lucky Specials in 2017.
Mkhokheli Prince Mampofu
Mkhokheli Prince Mampofu is the identical twin brother of Oros Mampofu. He was born on the 27th of August 1990 and is currently 31 years old. Like his other siblings, they all grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied at Table View High School and later proceeded to AFDA following the family’s traditions. Also an actor, but Prince’s career has not been detailed like that of his siblings.