Phumeza Mdabe is a 36-year-old singer, actress, TV host, and retired model born on March 15th, 1987, and best known for her role as Phumi in Sokhulu & Partners. She is married to Mnqobi “Shota” Mdabe, a musician and record producer.
Since childhood, Mdabe has been in the performing arts. Presently, she has made a mark in the entertainment industry through music, modeling, presenting, and acting. She first started out as a singer, releasing several hit songs and albums, including ‘Just Listen’. Eventually, she veered into acting and TV hosting. Phumeza Mdabe has appeared in TV series such as A Place Called Home and Intersexions and has also hosted a couple of SA’s popular shows, including Our Perfect Wedding.
What Is Phumeza Mdabe’s Age?
Born on March 15th, 1987, Phumeza Mdabe is 36 years old. Her birthplace is Johannesburg, and she hails from Eastern Cape. Pisces is her Zodiac sign.
Having been active in the entertainment scene since 2003, Phumeza’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. Not only was her album, ‘Just Listen’ nominated for the Metro FM Award, but her show, Abandoned, was also nominated for the SAFTA Award for Best Docu-reality Show.
Phumeza Mdabe’s Parents
Phumeza Mdabe’s mother was a South African, Xhosa to be specific, whereas her father is a German national. Her biological father married another woman soon after her birth and focused on his family. As a result, the actress was raised by her mom and stepfather.
She grew up with her three siblings, and one has died. Phumeza Mdabe’s mother worked as a domestic worker to support their family. Sadly, she died in 2002, and Phumeza’s father didn’t show up at her funeral.
Was Phumeza Mdabe Abandoned?
Yes, Phumeza Mdabe was abandoned by her biological father after her birth. As the host of the Mzansi Magic docu-reality series, Abandoned, she opened up that she’s just like the guests on the show who were seeking closure with their parents who abandoned them. Phumeza grew up without knowing her father and struggled with her identity. She was told her father was White but never wanted anything to do with her.
However, at the age of 15, her mother gave her permission to go and look for her father to have a relationship with him. She told her where he lived, and Phumeza went to ask her father for her high school fees. Though she found her father at home, he never welcomed her. He asked her to leave because his wife, who was at the movie, would be back at any time.
Phumeza Mdabe’s father gave her his phone number and promised to pay her school fees. Even though she called him many times, he never answered her calls. Consequently, Phumeza gave up on trying to have a relationship with her biological father. After she revealed on Abandoned that she needed to have closure with her father, who denied her from birth and rejected having a relationship with her because his wife didn’t want them to unite, her production team helped her reach out to her father.
He came to the show’s production site and talked with Phumeza. Despite getting hurt by the things her father said to her, she was happy to have closed the chapter of trying to know why her father abandoned her at birth. Phumeza Mdabe gave her number to her father and said that it’s now left for him to call her whenever he decides to.
Phumeza Mdabe Released Her Debut Album in 2007
Before music, Phumeza was a member of a performing arts group called Amajika. It was founded by Tu Nokwe in Jeppestown, and she was introduced to the group when she was 11 years old. Then, in 2003, she was a participant in the second season of Idols SA. She got eliminated from the show after reaching the Top 60.
Eventually, in 2007, at the age of 20, Phumeza Mdabe landed a record deal with Universal Music after two years of searching for a record contract. She released her debut album, ‘Feeling Brand New’ in the same 2007. And later, when signed to Shota Music in partnership with Universal Music, she released her second album, ‘Breathing Out’. Her third album, titled ‘Just Listen’ was dropped in 2010.
In 2011, after releasing a new song, the 36-year-old took a break from music. She, however, made a return with a collaboration single with her husband titled, ‘Jabulani’, which was released in September 2019. Also, the two subsequently released another song, ‘Injabulo’ meaning “Happiness.”
Phumeza Transitioned Into Acting in 2011
Phumeza’s music career not only thrust her into the spotlight but also gave birth to her acting and TV presenting careers. In 2011, when she went on a music hiatus, she bagged the role of Phumi in the SABC1 series Sokhulu & Partners. She joined the drama series in the second season as the replacement for Kholeka Qwabe.
In the same year, she was featured in another SABC1 series, Intersexions, and further scored a cameo role in A Place Called Home. Subsequently, she played a variety of roles in the comedy series Dube on 2 and Dube on 2 Reloaded, aired on SABC2. As part of the One Love/Soul City campaign, Mdabe was cast as Hilda in the made-for-TV movie Umtshato in 2012. She also portrayed the character of young singer Sandra Jacobs in the SABC1 soapie Generations.
In 2019, the Eastern Cape native joined the cast of Isidingo as Anele Grootboom, a straight-cut police officer who discovered her dad was a corrupt ambassador and had to choose between remaining a cop or saving her father. She also played the role of Marcia (Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo‘s sister) in the second season of the series Unmarried in 2020.
Additionally, Phumeza Mdabe has had the roles of Thembi in Heist, L24 Reporter in Legacy, and Afrika in How to Ruin Christmas: The Baby Shower.
Phumeza Mdabe Has Hosted Several TV
In the past years, Mdabe has endeared herself to South Africans through her work as a TV presenter. In the year 2013, she emerged as the co-host of Mzansi Wethu/Mzansi Magic game show Cula Sibone, working alongside Bujy Bikwa. She then clinched one of her biggest TV presenting roles in the following year.
She replaced Brenda Ngxoli as the host of Our Perfect Wedding on Mzansi Magic. She followed couples around as they prepared for their special day and was also part of the drama that comes with wedding preparations. Later, in 2021, Phumeza Mdabe returned to TV as the host of the Mzansi Magic docu-reality series Abandoned.
She started shooting the show in 2019, but it debuted on TV on January 19th, 2021. On the show, she helped orphans who were abandoned as toddlers to find their family members. The 13-part reality show also helped parents who gave up their children, leaving them on park benches or at commuter stations and orphanages to reconnect with them. Phumeza Mdabe hosted Abandoned for two seasons, and the show grabbed a SAFTA Award nomination.
Phumeza Has Modeled For Many Brands
At the age of four, Phumeza Mdabe’s mother took her to a modeling agency, and she went ahead to build a blossoming career in the field. Even though she has reportedly retired from working as a model, Mdabe attained popularity in Mzansi for her appearances in numerous commercials.
She also modeled for several top-notch brands, which include Kellogs, Nando’s, Ponds, Loxion Kulca, and Jet Stores. Currently, she serves as an ambassador for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation and travels throughout the country, raising awareness about the importance of early diagnosis of cancer.
How Phumeza Mdabe Met Her Husband, Shota
Phumeza Mdabe got acquainted with her husband, Mnqobi “Shota” Mdabe, in 2007. After nabbing a record contract with Universal Music in 2007, she was referred to Mnqobi, who works as a music producer, to help with the production of her first studio album. Although their first interaction wasn’t so nice as they were engrossed with work, they eventually started developing feelings for each other after Phumeza signed under Shota Music, and they spent much time together working on music projects.
The two toured around the country and performed together on many occasions. They eventually started dating, and in December 2012, Shota proposed to Phumeza. For a year, the music producer asked the former OPW host whether she was ready to get married without any satisfying reply. He then took the bull by the horns in December 2012 when he stormed Phumeza Mdabe’s hometown with his father and uncles, asking for her hand in marriage.
When Did Phumeza Mdabe Get Married?
Mnqobi Mdabe first paid Phumeza’s lobola in 2012. Then, after discovering during the lobola negotiations that they had been on the wrong side of the family, he paid a second lobola in June 2022. Meanwhile, the couple got legally married in January 2014 as they went to Home Affairs and signed legal documents. They organized a small braai for their immediate friends and family afterward.
After years of planning for a big white wedding, Phumeza and Shota had the wedding of their dreams in June 2022. Before the civil wedding, they first held two traditional wedding ceremonies in their respective hometowns. First, the umembeso was held at Phumeza’s home in Eastern Cape. Then, the umbondo ceremony took place in Shota’s hometown.
Their white wedding was broadcast on Mzansi Magic as a four-part wedding special titled P.S. I Love You: Phumeza and Shota Wedding Special. It premiered on the TV station on September 24th, 2022. The 36-year-old and her husband have been married for over nine years now and are still going strong. Celebrating their 8th marriage anniversary in January 2022, the couple took to Instagram to gush about each other.
They attribute the secret to their long-standing marriage to connection, friendship, and positive vibes.
Who Is Phumeza Mdabe’s Husband?
Phumeza Mdabe’s husband, Mnqobi “Shota” Mdabe, is a singer and music producer. He serves as the owner of the record label Shota Music Pty (Ltd) and has worked with eminent artists like DJ Christos and the late Lebo Mathosa. He holds a Diploma in Music from Natal Technikon in KwaZulu-Natal. He also worked as a vocal lecturer at a college situated in Ntuzuma township.
Shota is close friends with DJ Black Coffee and Thandukwani “Demor” Sikhosana, with whom he formed the popular music group Shana in the year 1997. He was the group’s lead vocalist, and the trio released several commercially successful albums, including ‘Shende Lami’. They also dropped the hit single, ‘Benga’, collaborating with the late Lebo Mathosa. Subsequently, Shota has released many hit songs and albums in his solo career.
He released his first album ‘Afro Rawmantic’ in 2011, followed by ‘Never Give Up’ and ‘Say Something’ five years later, as well as ‘Sosha Lami’ which dropped in February 2017. Shota’s songs include ‘Ben 10’, ‘I’m in Love’, ‘Ungowani’, ‘Abantu Bami’, ‘Uyangichomela’, and ‘Ung’phulinhliziyo’. Phumeza Mdabe’s husband was born in Durban on March 5th, 1976, and is 47 years old. He grew up in Umtata in the Eastern Cape.
Phumeza Mdabe’s Kids
Phumeza Mdabe has two children. She shares one child with her husband, a son named Mpilo Mdabe. However, she welcomed a daughter christened Khumo Shoba on October 20th, 2006, before meeting Shota the next year. While Khumo is 17 years old, Mpilo, who joined the family on August 8th, 2013, is (10) years of age.
Also, Phumeza’s husband has two sons named Sbu and Mpho from his previous relationship. Amazingly, the cute couple have built a beautiful blended family they cherish spending time with. They are committed to their family life and enjoy spending time at home with their kids. Phumeza Mdabe once revealed that she relaxes by playing with her children.
The doting mom has never failed to show her kids how much they are loved. On Khumo’s 15th birthday in October 2021, the former Generations actress wrote a heartwarming message for her on IG. She also celebrated Mpilo during his 9th birthday in August 2022. She was grateful that his son chose to be part of their family.
What Happened To Phumeza Mdabe’s Son?
Phumeza Mdabe’s son, Mpilo, was born with abnormal dark irises, and as months went by, his parents noticed that he had impaired vision. By the time he turned one, his eyes were squinting and showed serious signs of poor vision. His parents, at first, thought it was a DNA issue, but later, they took him to an optometrist.
After several appointments, they were referred to an eye specialist who diagnosed Mpilo, who was 16 months old then, with a rare form of eye cancer known as retinoblastoma that was in stage 4. The news devastated Phumeza and Shota. However, they had to be strong for the sake of their kids. Thankfully, an MRI scan showed that the tumor in each eye had not spread to other parts. Nonetheless, the one in the right eye needed to be removed urgently as it was large and near the optic nerve that goes straight to the brain.
Mpilo’s right eye was removed after the first round of chemotherapy in January 2015. As the tumor in the left eye didn’t respond to chemo, Phumeza and Shota took their son to Johannesburg for specialized radiation treatment. The results were not positive after some months, and consequently, Mpilo’s left eye was removed. He has been using prosthetic eyes and is blessed with great sensing ability.
In October 2015, Mpilo Mdabe was declared cancer-free and has been in remission since. Although his parents faced the most difficult time of their lives during such time, they are thankful that their son is still with them and survived cancer. Mpilo attends a special needs school. The hurdles that Shota and Phumeza Mdabe faced in trying to give their son a better life propelled them to launch the Mpilo Foundation for Blind Children.
The foundation’s major aim is to build a school for visually impaired children across South Africa. Presently, it has the Eye Care Fund that donates towards children’s eye surgeries and prosthetic eyes. Also, through its Help Me Learn Fund, the Mpilo Foundation pays school fees for underprivileged, visually impaired children.