Somizi Mhlongo is a South African movie star, singer, and choreographer, as well as a radio and television personality. He rose to prominence through his appearance in the 1992 musical and political drama film, Sarafina!. As a choreographer, Somizi has equally garnered huge fame through his stint as the lead choreographer for numerous shows. Notable among them is the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was held in South Africa.
Beyond dancing and acting, Mhlongo is also very popular for appearing as a judge on Idols South Africa and as a host on V Entertainment. He also has his own show called Living the Dream with Somizi, which has been airing since 2016.
Somizi Mhlongo Was Inspired By His Parents To Launch An Entertainment Career
Somgaga, as he is widely known today, was born Somizi Buyani Mhlongo on the 23rd of December, 1972, to veterans of the South African entertainment industry. He is the son of the veteran actress, Mary Twala, and her actor and comedian husband, the late Ndaba Mhlongo.
Thanks to the exploits of those that raised him, Somizi was exposed to the entertainment world at an early age and he was able to forge a career for himself by the time he turned a teenager. He spent his early years in the township of Soweto before deciding to trail the same career path as his parents. As a result of this, he had to drop out of school in grade nine to pursue his dreams. This decision looks to have paid off as he is today one of the most popular and most influential figures in the SA entertainment industry.
His Role in Sarafina Brought Him Fame
As mentioned above, Somizi Mhlongo kicked off his acting career in his early teenage years, at the age of thirteen to be exact. He made his first appearance in the 1987 film, Scavengers, where he played the role of Jeffery. A few years later, in 1992, he appeared in what would turn out to be his breakthrough movie, the political and musical drama film about students involved in the Soweto Uprising titled Sarafina!, where he portrayed the character of Whacko. The film enjoyed huge success both locally and internationally; thus bringing all that participated in it into the limelight.
In 1993, Somizi made his television debut by appearing in an episode of African Skies. Two years later, he played the role of a young thief in Cry, the Beloved Country, before going on to feature in the American TV series that only lasted for one season, Tarzan: The Epic Adventures, in 1996. Other notable movies and TV shows he has gone ahead to be a part of include Zero Tolerance (2004), Black Beulahs (2006), and City Ses’la (2007).
In 2016, Somizi Mhlongo began appearing in his own reality television show titled Living the Dream with Somizi that airs on Mzanzi Magic.
Details Of Somizi’s Work as a Choreographer
While taking up various acting roles, Somizi Mhlongo was able to work on his choreography. It is reported that his debut choreography work was in Sarafina! Years later, as he became popular for his acting, Somgaga was able to shine a light on his other skill which allowed him to feature in various dance shows, both as a host and as a judge. He got his breakthrough in 2015 when he was named among the judges on the singing talent show, Idols South Africa. Between 2010 and 2012, he served as a judge on Dance Your Butt Off.
With the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in his home country, Somizi was able to perform alongside international music stars like R-Kelly and Shakira. He further showcased his choreography skills by choreographing the opening and closing ceremonies of the competition. Three years later, when the 2013 African Cup of Nations was hosted in South Africa, the Soweto native was again handed the same responsibilities. Some of the other events he has choreographed include the Miss South Africa pageant and the South African Music Awards among many others.
Somizi Mhlongo is Married to Mohale Tebogo Motaung
When it comes to his love life, Somizi has had his fair share of romantic relationships with different members of either sex. Since 2019, however, he has been married to SA model and entrepreneur Mohale Tebogo Motaung. In 2017, rumors began circulating that the duo were dating. Neither party confirmed this until 2018 when they got engaged while vacationing in Paris, France.
About a year later, on the 28th of September 2019, the pair tied the knot in a private traditional wedding ceremony. A few months later, on the 30th of January 2020, they had a white wedding.
Prior to his relationship and subsequent marriage to Motaung, Somizi Mhlongo was in a long term relationship with a man identified as Themba Zuma. In 2014, when the two first broke up, word went round that Themba contemplated committing suicide. Afterward, the duo got back together and their relationship continued through 2015 and 2016 before Somizi realized that his lover was cheating on him with a woman. As a result, he called an end to the relationship for good.
Somizi Has a Daughter Following in His Footsteps
Back in the early 90s when Somizi had not come out as a bisexual, he was in a high profile relationship with actress Palesa Madisakwane who he met while they were teenagers. After having dated for a while, the couple welcomed a daughter named Bahumi Madisakwane.
A few years after they had their daughter, the actor and dancer came out as a bisexual to his partner. This revelation subsequently led to the end of their relationship. But despite his sexuality, Somizi has never stopped being a good father figure to his daughter as the duo share a very close bond.
Bahumi was born in 1995 and just like her mom and dad, she has taken to acting. The young girl, who features in her father’s reality show, has landed some major roles in a few local films. She is better known for playing the role of Zola in the SABC telenovela, Keeping Score.