Nambitha Ben-Mazwi Biography: Inside the Life of the Actress

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi (born on December 1st, 1988; Age: 33 years old) is an award-winning South African actress, TV and radio presenter, activist, and business strategist. She is popular for her role as Lulama in the e.tv soapie, Broken Vows, and as Shaqueesha in The Queen.

Over the years, Lady Nam has successfully established herself in a plethora of careers for which she has received accolades. Not only has she attained recognition for her acting prowess, but has gained award nominations for her achievements in the corporate world as a business strategist. In 2019, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi emerged as one of the five finalists for the coveted Accenture Rising Star Award.

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Biography Summary

  • Full name: Nambitha Ben-Mazwi
  • Nickname: Lady Nam
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of birth: December 1st, 1988
  • Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Age: 33 years old
  • Ethnicity: Black
  • Nationality: South African
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christian
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Parents: Nanziwe Ben-Mazwi (grandmother)
  • Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 2.9 inches
  • Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Height in Centimetres: 160 cm
  • Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Net worth: $400,000+
  • Famous for: Her role as Lulama in Broken Vows and as Shaqueesha in The Queen
  • Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Instagram: @ladynam_bm
  • Twitter: @LadyNam_BM
  • Facebook: @NambithaBen-Mazwi

How Old is Nambitha Ben-Mazwi?

Nmabitha Ben-Mazwi, one of the leading SA actresses, was born on December 1st, 1988 and her age is 33 years. She made her arrival into the world in the small town of Gqeberha in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. There, she was also raised by her parents. She is fondly called Nampo by her family, while her stage name is Lady Nam.

She is multi-lingual, speaking Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English. In December 2021, Lady Nam held a lavish birthday party for her closest friends. She celebrated her 33rd birthday at Molitva, which is her second home and secret hideout. She often goes there to relax after stressful work engagements.

As she wasn’t feeling well on her birthday, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi decided to hold a belated birthday party and was oozing joy throughout the event. To make the celebration extra special, Nono events handled the decorations, and the gold-themed setting was buzzing luxury.

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Family Members Helped Shaped Her Future

At a young age, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi cultivated a reading habit thanks to her mother, who took her to the library every Saturday. With such upbring, Nambitha ended up becoming an overachiever who excelled in both academics and athletic activities. Hence, she incessantly lavishes praise on her mum, who shaped her into the lady she is today.

The famed actress has also been grateful to her iconic grandmother, Nanziwe Ben-Mazwi, who taught her how to love her dark skin as a kid. She helped her build confidence and comfort in her skin as the Diamond City actress was bullied for her skin color while growing up. Lady Nam’s grandmother was a black beauty whose revolutionary acts speak volumes.

She not only challenged the apartheid regime but went on to travel to England, where she became a matron at a period when such was frowned upon. Consequently, Ben-Mazwi Street in KwaMagxaki was named after her. By always entrenching ‘Black is Beautiful,’ Nanziwe Ben-Mazwi boosted her granddaughter’s self-esteem.

While still a kid, Lady Nam’s grandmother would sing high praises of her, telling little Nambitha that she was her star. As such, she named Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, Nokhwezi (meaning bright morning star).

With all the support and encouragement she got from her family during her childhood, the 33 years old actress has grown into a fearless young lady with high self-esteem.

Lady Nam is the Niece of Tony Award-Winning Actor, Winston Ntshona

Hailing from a family of influential greats, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi is Winston Ntshona’s niece. The late renowned South African playwright and actor influenced  Nambitha’s career to an extent and was responsible for igniting a passion for arts in her. Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on October 6th, 1942, Ntshona became active in the film industry in 1974.

Before his retirement in 2012, after close to four decades in entertainment, the late award-winning playwright worked together with fellow actor Athol Fugard on many projects. They include the notable 1980 film version of Fugard’s play, Marigolds in August, Gandhi, and A Dry White Season. Alongside John Kani and Fugard, he penned the 1973 play, The Island.

He then moved on to feature in several major international productions of the play over the next three decades. He additionally co-wrote the critically acclaimed stage play Sizwe Banzi is Dead. He was a cast member in its stage productions. For his performances in The Island and Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Winston Ntshona co-won Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play alongside John Kani, who also featured in the plays.

It was a great career milestone for Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s uncle, as it was the first time black actors were recognized with Tony Award. Winston is further known for having roles in popular films such as Tarzan and the Lost City (1998), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), and Blood Diamond (2006). He passed away on August 2nd, 2018, in New Brighton, South Africa, aged 76.

Shado from Scandal is a Graduate of UCT

Nambitha achieved her matric at Collegiate Girls High School. Afterward, she proceeded to Russell Road College, where she acquired a Diploma in Business Studies in 2005. Two years later, she enrolled at the University of Cape Town. There, she bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Business Sciences (Honours).

The actress studied a Management Programme specializing in Marketing. It’s worth noting that in February 2009, she received a South African Marketing Bursary/Scholarship from L’oreal South Africa. Before her graduation in December 2011, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi worked as a drive-time host at UCT Radio and equally contributed to the Varsity Magazine. Additionally, she was a Fuller Residence Entertainment Sub Committee.

Nambitha Began Pursuing an Interest in Arts at the Age of 12

Following up on her interest in arts, Lady Nam began performing in Sunday Schools at the Word of Faith Christian Centre at a very young age. She then joined the Eastern Cape Children’s Choir when she was just 12 years old. She traveled across Western Europe along with the choir during such a time. Nambitha got to sing and act as she was part of multiple musical productions.

The actress spent her childhood years in theatres. As such, she was privileged to perform along with the Eastern Cape Children’s Choir at Grahamstown.

She Veered into the Corporate World Upon University Graduation

Soon after leaving the University of Cape Town, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi landed a business development/international management work with Meltwater Group in January 2012. She carried out diverse roles during her one-year stint at the company. The actress was part of the company’s international management programme.

As a business strategist, she also developed client/business leads’ portfolios across various industries, including fashion, media, retail, and TV/broadcasting.

One of her major highlights was negotiating a long-term contract with Wendy Appelbaum – one of Forbes-voted richest businesswomen in Africa. As a go-getter with a business-savvy character, Nambitha moved on to establish her own business career as a marketing and strategy consultant in May 2013. She has been carrying out the role to date, and it has enabled her to grow a global career.

So far, she has been associated with the New York-based company OXOSI, as well as Social Bodega (SOBO) based in Florida, USA as a start-up strategy and marketing consultant. Also, the qualified business scientist has worked as a marketing consultant for Vidal Mobile in Cape Town, South Africa. She additionally managed digital marketing for Heart 104.9 FM.

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi Kickstarted Her Professional Acting Career in the Mid-2010s

While working for a global software company, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi decided to travel to New York to seek new opportunities. The actress felt very unfulfilled in her chosen career field, and it took a call from a friend to get her to realize that she was actually missing the ability to feed her creative side and her craft through the arts.

Consequently, she resigned from the company and negotiated her exit package. Having notified the company of getting a global experience, thus, wanting to visit their New York office, Nambitha got a two-weeks holiday in New York City. She then engaged in serial networking that turned two weeks in NYC into six months of media achievements and business leads.

In the year 2016, the TV presenter officially started her journey in the film industry. She successfully executed her plan of building an international footprint in her first year in the entertainment sphere by landing a role in the Netflix remake of Black Mirror. She debuted in the third season of the series as a black American lady, Tamara, in 2016.

Also, in the next year, the 33 years old scored another international role in the BET series, Mandiba, starring American actor Laurence Fishburne in a titular role. Before the international roles came knocking, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s first acting role was in the Mzansi Magic crime drama series, Doubt in April 2016. She portrayed the character of Unathi Mweli – a bitchy sister of a man arrested for the murder of a stripper.

Afterward, she had a minor role in the eKasi+ police procedural series, Traffic! in the second season in the same 2016. Having showcased her diversity and range with the aforementioned acting gigs, the marketing consultant cum actress was subsequently handed roles that enabled her to tell stories close to her heart that are quite relatable to the audience.

She is the First South African Actor to Star in Six Netflix Series

In April 2022, after landing the role of Linda Bhengu in the Netflix series Savage Beauty, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi became the first South African actor to feature in six Netflix productions. The actress is basking in the glory of attaining such feet. Thus far, her six Netflix series credits are:

  • Black Mirror
  • Happiness Ever After
  • How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding
  • Diamond City
  • Dead Places
  • Savage Beauty

While attending the premiere of Pearl Thusi-led Queen Sono, Nambitha confidently told her designer, Mzukisi from Imprint, that she is the next to gain a career breakthrough with Netflix. Though not taking it seriously, she got more than she anticipated within the next two years. She had her second Netflix gig in 2018 with Diamond City after the remake of Black Mirror by the video streaming giant in 2016.

In 2020, she starred alongside Busisiwe Lurayi and Thando Thabethe in the South African romantic comedy series, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding. The following year, Lady Nam joined the cast of Happiness Ever After and Dead Places. Then Savage Beauty role came in 2022. This is surely the beginning of great things to come Nambitha’s way as she sees her work as an actress as purposeful, a calling to impact lives by telling stories as truthfully as possible.

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s Best TV Shows

A year after kicking off her professional acting career, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi clinched her break-out role as Lulama in Broken Vows. She portrayed the character of an aspiring designer who oversees the bridal couture department at Yours Truly Concepts.

Having been mentored by her uncle, Winston, who was a veteran actor and playwright, the actress was able to tap into the role and perfectly brought the character to life.

This garnered her a huge fanbase in the country, making her popular. Following her performance, she received two e.tv Award nominations for Best Newcomer to the Channel and Best Dressed. She further accentuated her level of fame with subsequent roles.

Lady Nam has been able to stand out from the crowd in the acting scene by focusing on letting her work speak for her. Thus, she allows herself to go through the motions of her own life while executing each role. Little wonder, she was hand-picked by American diva Beyoncé to feature in her musical film and visual album, Black is King, which streams through Disney+.

The role greatly aided the multi-faceted South African actress in establishing a remarkable international footprint.

Lady Nam’s Other Prominent TV Roles

Nambitha sees her acting work as a channel for serving her true purpose. This has helped her play every character with a focus to touch the hearts of the viewers. There is always a message in how she delivers and carefully plays her roles.

According to the media personality, if her performance doesn’t move or leave anyone changed, then she hasn’t done her job. Hence, she has won the hearts of Mzansi with several roles she has played in the past years. They include:

1. Benathi in Diamond City

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi debuted as Benathi Zwide in the Netflix production Diamond City in October 2018. Through her role as a young advocate, she was able to touch many lives, giving them hope. True to her purpose, she portrayed the character of a defense lawyer surrounded by a lot of self-doubts but eventually grows to become a fearless young woman.

A timid yet bold lawyer, Benathi is faced with solving a high-profile case. Thus, she has to overcome her nerves and insecurity to become a bold, confident, and focused advocate. Nambitha stars in the legal drama series along with Thalang Molaba, Noxee Maqashalala, and Angela Sithole.

2. Shaqueesha in The Queen

Lady Nam made her first appearance in The Queen in January 2020. She was cast as Shaqueesha – a New York-born African-American who’s mentally unstable and has a deep and traumatic past in the Mzansi Magic drama series.

It is the most challenging character the actress has played thus far in her career. Having played the role so well, many people still call her Shaqueesha to date.

3. Linda Bhengu in Savage Beauty

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi was presented with another opportunity by Netflix to show off her versatility, vigor, and sheer talent in May 2022 when she made a debut in Savage Beauty. As the TV series follows the story of the elite Bhengu family, who own a global beauty empire established on lots of secrets, Lady Nam plays the role of Linda Bhengu – the daughter of Don Bhengu, who longs for acceptance from her father.

With her outstanding depictions in the series, there’s no denying that Nambitha has emerged as one of South Africa’s favorite leading ladies. She features alongside Nthati Moshesh, Rosemary Zimu, and Dumisani Mbebe in the dark drama series.

Highlights of Nambitha Ben-Maziwa’s Acting Roles

TV Shows

  • Black Mirror as Tamara
  • The Queen as Shaqueesha
  • The Estate as Gigi Thethani
  • Scandal as Shado
  • Traffic! as Busi
  • Madiba as Nandi
  • Doubt as Unathi Mweli
  • Savage Beauty as Linda Bhengu
  • Diamond City as Benathi Zwide
  • Broken Vows as Lulama
  • Grassroots as Bontle
  • Dead Places as Angela
  • How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding as Refiloe

Film

  • Happiness Ever After (2021) as Zimkitha

TV Commercial Roles

Through the years, Nambitha has not only shown off her sheer talent through acting but with lead roles in TV commercials. For 12 months, she engaged in a TV, radio, and print campaign for PEP Brandi Hair. During such time, she served as the face and voice of the brand. Alongside Thembi Seete, she featured in the Nescafe Gold campaign.

Also, the seasoned actress has appeared in TV commercials for other prestigious brands across the African continent. They include:

  • PEP (SA)
  • Clorets (SA)
  • Tecno (Nigeria)
  • Benny (Nigeria)
  • Vodacom (SA)
  • Nedbank (SA)

Nambitha Has Hosted Many Radio and TV Shows

While at the University of Cape Town, the Port Elizabeth-born put to a start her career in the media industry by working as the presenter of UCT’s drive-time radio show. In 2010, she was made the official MTN emcee for the FIFA World Cup.

Five years later, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi was selected as one of the five finalists of the SABC3 presenter search, which she participated in.

She was then announced as the new SABC3 travel insert presenter on The Weekend Edition in 2016. At the 15th annual rAge Expo hosted by Kwesé in 2017, she was made the official host for the first ESL African Championships. Furthermore, while in New York City, Shado from Scandal made a guest appearance on the primetime talk show, Viewpoint, hosted by John Fugelsang.

She worked as a presenter at The Stand – New York’s best comedy club. As a marketing analyst, Ben-Mazwi has additionally interviewed guests on the SABC3 morning show, Expresso. She has further emceed a number of fashion, corporate, and media events over the course of her career.

She is the Founder of NambithaBM Media and the She Speaks Movement

Following her return to South Africa in 2013, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi established NambithaBM Media. It was through the start-up culture and digital marketing experience she gathered in New York City that she was able to launch the digital marketing, consulting, and production company. Also, the global leading lady established the ‘She Speaks’ movement for women.

She embarked on the project with the aim to give a voice to women who seem vulnerable in certain areas of life as she has had such experience. As a victim of bullying for her skin color, Nambitha suffered from low self-esteem until her grandmother spoke life into her and taught her how to love her dark skin.

The former Scandal actress then decided to become a source of encouragement to many women going through low self-esteem. She launched the global women’s empowerment movement in the year 2018 on Women’s Day in partnership with Global Citizen. Having been open about how she was bullied when younger for her dark skin, many young people started seeking counsel from her.

This led to Lady Nam creating a platform where she could interact with everyone in a safe space. Furthermore, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi serves as the founder of Matric Outreach (Gugulethu). She is also a co-founder of Students For Change.

The Actress Has Volunteered in Several Organisations

Besides playing impactful roles on screen, Ben-Mazwi has been impacting lives through volunteering work. Based on her Linkedin profile, she has been a member and a volunteer at SHAWCO, a registered student-driven NPO, since February 2007. She has also been an active member of the Port Elizabeth Interact Rotary Club for over a decade and a half.

Along with other residents of Smuts Hall and the Fuller Hall University of Cape Town, the versatile actress co-founded an economic empowerment group called Students For Change (SFO) in 2008. More so, she has been volunteering as a facilitator for Gugulethu Matric Tutoring Outreach since May 2011. She is the founder of the matric outreach.

Linda from Savage Beauty is a Recipient of Multiple Awards

In 2019, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi became the only media personality to be nominated as one of the five business CEOs finalists for the Accenture Rising Awards. Having established a blooming career in business and entertainment, it’s no surprise that the actress has rolled up her sleeves to a number of prestigious awards and nominations. They are listed as follows:

  • Feather Awards nomination for Hot Chick of The Year, 2022
  • Annual Panache Women of Wonder Award, 2020
  • Accenture Rising Star Award nomination, 2019
  • Nominations for e.tv Awards for Best Dressed and Best Newcomer to the Channel, 2017
  • YOU Spec Award nomination for Favourite Actress, 2016
  • Glamour Woman of the Year Award nomination, 2016

Is Nambitha Ben-Mazwi Married?

The CEO of NambithaBM Media, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, is unmarried and currently believed to be single. In the year 2019, she revealed that she would be going on a one-year dating break to heal. Since then, she hasn’t opened up about her relationship status, although she is quite known for being open with her fans about her personal life. Hence, it is believed that the actress is still waiting for her prince charming.

Lady Nam has further cited that she needs an understanding husband after disclosing that she had been suffering from endometriosis. In June 2020, she went for emergency surgery as she was diagnosed with stage one endometriosis. Thankfully, it was successful.

Even though the condition can be treated, the media personality seriously prays for a supportive, caring, and understanding husband, as endometriosis is mentally and emotionally draining.

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