Who Is Nomsa Nene the South African Actress?

Nomsa Nene (born 1957) is a South African actress, TV presenter, director, producer, estate agent, and community environmentalist best known as the host of the 1990s TV game show Zama Zama. She is the owner of the renowned property company Nolmsa Nene Properties.

Nene began her career at a young age. Her father started taking her to film agencies to pose for adverts at the age of six. Her dream of becoming a professional actress eventually came to reality when she joined South Africa’s playwright and composer Gibson Mthuthuzeli Kente’s production company.

Summary of Nomsa Nene’s Biography

  • Full name: Nomsa Nene
  • Gender: Female
  • Ethnicity: Black
  • Nationality: South Africa
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Divorcee
  • Nomsa Nene’s Ex-Husband: Peter Se-Puma
  • Famous for: Hosting the game show Zama Zama in the 1990s
  • Nomsa Nene’s Instagram: missnomsanene
  • Twitter: @nonsa_nene

Nomsa Nene was Born in Orlando East, Soweto in 1957

Actress Nomsa Nene’s parents gave birth to her in 1957 in Orlando East, Soweto, South Africa. She was singlehandedly raised by her mother in an extended family house under the Anglican faith. She is the eldest of three children.

Nene’s mother was a seamstress, while her grandmother worked as a domestic worker for a Roman Catholic family in Sydenham, Johannesburg. While growing up, she followed her grandmother to work on several occasions and eventually became friends with one of the girls in the house called Maureen.

The actress first questioned inequality as a black girl when she queried Maureen about gifting her only her old items. Nene shared that from that day, Maureen began buying two of everything whenever she went shopping with her mother. The actress has continued to fight against inequality since then.

Nomsa attended one of the secondary schools in Orlando East. She worked at Sales House and Foschini stores during holidays, and ever since then, she has never stopped selling valuables to buyers.

She Began Her Career With Gibson Kente Productions Theatre Company

Although Nene’s father was absent for most of her life, she disclosed that there was a time when he took her to film agencies to pose for adverts – she was six years old then.

The actress eventually launched her professional acting career after matriculation. She started out with Gibson Kente Productions Theatre Company and subsequently became the first lead black actress at the Market Theatre.

She took part in several projects with the company, including playing the title role in the stage play Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena nationally and off Broadway, New York. Nene joined the Pact Drama Company after she left Gibson Kente theatre company. Again, she became the first lead black actress, opening the doors for more black actresses.

Nomsa rose to immense popularity in the 1990s when she was unveiled as the presenter of the game show Zama Zama. She exited the show after Zama Zama was replaced by a lottery show. Nomsa briefly produced her own TV sex talk show before retiring from the screen.

Why Did Nomsa Nene Take a Break From Acting?

The actress took a break from the industry to join the real estate business. She began her career in 2001 with Wendy Machanik Properties (WMP). She won several awards for being one of the best realtors at the company.

While working as an agent at WMP, Nene worked on the popular e.TV morning program, The Toasty Show, which aired live between 6-8 am. This was her last job on TV before she focused fully on the real estate business.

Nomsa Nene Started Her Own Property Sales Business in 2011

South African veteran actress Nomsa Nene launched her own property sales career in the year 2011. The name of her company is Nomsa Nene Properties. The establishment has sold numerous properties to clients since it began operations.

Currently, Nene is one of the most accomplished estate agents in the country. She has invested over 10 years of her time in the business, while her service areas are Johannesburg, Gauteng, and Houghton Estate.

She Made a Comeback on the Screen After 16 Years of Hiatus

Nene returned to acting in April 2017 after a 16-year hiatus. In the same year, she was cast as Lydia (Thandi’s biological mother who once worked with Mam Gerty) in the e.tv telenovela, Broken Vows.

She also appeared in the iconic film Poppie Nongena in 2020. The actress shared in an interview that she made a comeback to the screen because of her passion for acting. Nene currently acts and sells property as well.

The Best of Nomsa Nene’s Movies

To the younger generation, Nene is best known for playing the fictional character Lydia in Broken Vows. However, her most iconic role remains her portrayal of the titular character Poppie Nongena in the stage play Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena.

Nomsa Nene’s Movies and TV Shows


  • My Country, My Hat – 1982
  • Morenga as Katharina – 1985
  • Red Scorpion as NoeKossongo – 1988
  • Jump the Gun as Sis Buleng – 1997
  • ChikinBiznis: The Whole Story – 1999
  • Pure Blood as Hope – 2000
  • Going Down Gorgeous as Dora – 2000
  • The Gordimer Stories Sweet ‘n Short

Shows Hosted

  • The TV game show Zama Zama – in the 1990s.
  • The Toasty Show – 2001

Theatrical Works

  • Die swerfjare van PoppieNongena at Market Theater and all the subsequent productions like Die Van Aardes van Grootoor at Market Theater from 1978 to 1979.
  • Call Me Woman at Market Theatre – 1979
  • Stepping Out at Pieter Toerien – 1985
  • Let the Spear Fit the Wound at Pot Pourri Festival – 1991
  • Homeland – 1992
  • My Children! My Africa! at PACOFS – 1993
  • The Good Woman of Sharkville at NAF – 1996
  • Ways of Dying – 1999
  • Symbols of Sex and State – 2000
  • Romeo and Juliet at Maynardville –  2000

TV Series

  • Broken Vows – Season 1 as Lydia
  • Soul Buddyz-  Season 1 & 2 as BatsiShabangu
  • Going Up as Regina Mtu as a guest actor
  • Tarzan: The Epic Adventures – cameo role
  • The Heard- Season 2 as MaMthembu

Nomsa Nene is a Multiple Award Winning Actress

Nene’s role as Poppie Nongena earned her international recognition and many acting awards. She was honored with the Off-Broadway (OB) award, Vita Award in 1993, and Computicket award in 1984. She also commentated for SABC at the Oscar Awards in Los Angeles.

Nomsa Nene is a Divorcee

Nene has been married and divorced twice. She was married to Alexandra, Johannesburg-born actor Peter Se-Puma. The duo parted ways in 1990 after Peter was accused of rape by two women. However, he was acquitted of the charges after the first woman confessed that she lied and the second woman withdrew her charges. Their marriage did not produce any offspring.

There is no available information about her other marriage.

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Osondu Queen Chidinma
Osondu Queen Chidinma
Queen always has the inside scoop on the lives of your famous celebrities, she is the go-to source when it comes to everything Hollywood and South African entertainment industry, an entertainer and a true queen in her own special way.


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