Meet Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo, Futhi and Zakithi from Imbewu

Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo (born, January 15th, 1985; Age: 37 years old) are identical twins, famous actresses, singers, and dancers who rose to prominence as Futhi and Zakithi from Imbewu: The Seed. The identical twins have been inseparable since birth and thus, have worked together in some theatre productions and TV series.

Before landing their first TV role with Imbewu, the Umlazi-born thespians spent almost 10 years in theatres and took part in Disney’s Lion King productions on the international stage. After returning to their home country in 2017, they got lucky and were cast in the award-winning soapie, Imbewu: The Seed.

Nokwanda and Nokubonga have been in the show for five seasons, enabling them to gain popularity with the local TV show viewers. Portraying Ntombifuthi and Zakithi Bhengu has been the pair’s major career milestone to date as it brought them to the centre stage. And now, they are ranked among the most popular South African twin celebrities.

Are Futhi and Zakithi from Imbewu Twin in Real Life?

Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo, best recognized as Futhi and Zakithi from Imbewu, are identical twins. They were born on January 15th, 1985, in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The twins were born five minutes apart. Nonetheless, each of them considers themselves to be the eldest.

They look very much alike, making it hard to tell them apart. Even their mother, Nokuthula Xulu-Khuzwayo, sometimes gets them mixed up. To lessen the confusion, they both decided not to be making similar hairstyles and wearing matching clothes. Since birth, the pair have been doing everything together and are pretty inseparable. No wonder they share a strong connection.

Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo had Tough Childhood Experiences

Futhi and Zakithi from Imbewu were born and raised in Umlazi near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Their mother, an unemployed widow, struggled to raise the twins alongside their three sisters. As a result, they faced a life of struggles beginning from childhood.

Determined to get an education and alleviate poverty in the family, the sisters started singing, dancing, and even acting at a very young age. Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo completed their basic education at Umlazi Comtech.

Having no clue what they really wanted to do in life, they enrolled at a technical college that focuses on commerce – Coastal KZN TVET College. To support themselves and their family, the twins were forced to look for a job. Nokwanda later got a job as a waitress in Durban, while Nokubonga got associated with a call centre in Mount Edgecombe.

Early Career

Despite starting their career in entertainment at a very young age, Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo had to switch jobs to make ends meet. Nokwanda served as a waitress for six months before quitting her job.

On the other hand, Nokubonga quit her job at the call centre within a year. With their little earnings, the two opened a hair salon at home and then made a lot of money from making braids, fixing weavon hair, and other things.

Eventually, they had to stick to their passion as they have always enjoyed theatre and loved being at the centre stage. Hence, they became focused on dancing, singing, and acting. In 2003, they had roles in a play titled Madiba’s Magic Song. It was performed at Grahamstown Arts Festival.

While Nokubonga was cast as the late Nelson Mandela in the play, Nokwanda was among the ensemble cast. Soon after, they began acting on the international stage. Nokubonga became part of Disney’s Lion King Broadway Production tour in 2007 and traveled worldwide, visiting Hamburg, Taipei, and Las Vegas.

Whereas, Nokwanda joined a production about African culture and literature in England called Story Production and was also part of the Lion King UK Tour. The twins stayed overseas for almost ten years and then got homesick. Consequently, they returned to South Africa and continued with their careers.

The Twins Debuted as Futhi and Zakithi in Imbewu in 2018

On returning to SA, Nokubonga Khuzwayo met with renowned director Duma Ka Ndlovu, the founder of Duma Ndlovu Academy (DNA). She enrolled at the academy and was later invited to come and watch the production of Imbewu: The Seed. Soon after, Ndlovu, the creator and executive producer of the TV series, asked Nokubonga to go for the show’s auditions as the production team was looking for two persons with similar looks.

Fortunately for the two, they auditioned for the roles and nabbed them. Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo joined the cast of Imbewu in 2018. They are being cast on the show as cousins and not identical twins.

However, some viewers still believe that it’s one person who is playing both roles as they don’t know that the two are identical twins in real life. In Imbewu: The Seed, Nokubonga plays the role of Zakithi Bhengu, the daughter of the CEO of Maluju Oil Company – Zimele Bhengu (Tony Kgoroge).

Her character symbolizes power, a go-getter who works extremely hard. Her twin sister, on the other hand, portrays Ntombifuthi “Futhi” Bhengu, the daughter of Zimele’s older brother, Pastor Phakade “Shongololo” Bhengu (Sandile Dlamini).

The twins’ terrific performances in the soapie have made them very popular in Mzansi. Every week, they get thousands of South Africans glued to their TV screens and have been among the main cast members of Imbewu since season one.

Are Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo Still Single?

During an interview with News24 in 2019, Nokubonga Khuzwayo revealed that she had been in a relationship for a while, and her sister was still searching at the time. That same year, she disclosed her pregnancy and surprise baby shower organized by her Imbewu family. She later gave birth to a baby boy, and the identity of her baby daddy is yet to be disclosed.

Like her twin sister, Nokwanda got pregnant in her 20s and gave birth to a baby girl. Tragically, her daughter got ill and died at the age of two. Currently, Futhi from Imbewu is reportedly single and focused on her career.

Nokwanda and Nokubonga’s Social Media Presence

Although Nokwanda and Nokubonga Khuzwayo have identical looks, the two share different personalities. While the former is the quiet type, the latter is more vocal and outgoing. Thus, it’s no surprise that Zakithi from Imbewu has more followers on Instagram than her sister, Futhi.

Her Instagram handle (@nokhuz) boasts over 37K followers and has more than 290 posts. Additionally, her Twitter account (@NokuKhuzwayo) has over 7.9K followers. She joined the social media platform in April 2018 and often made posts about her career and family.

In October 2021, when her music group, A-Squared, dropped a single titled, ‘Isidwaba,’ Nokubonga took to her Instagram handle to share the news with her fans. Nokwanda, on the other hand, is not very active on Instagram, as her account (@nocups) presently has below 100 posts. Nevertheless, the Umkhokha actress has gathered more than 21K followers.

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