Ntombi Mzolo (born on December 17th, 1984; Age: 38 years old) is a multi-talented singer, TV presenter, and actress who rose to prominence as a member of the kid music group, Amaponi, that made waves in South Africa in the late 1990s and 2000s. The Zulu native is married but tragically lost her 3-year-old daughter in September 2021.
Mzolo was raised in an entertainment-inclined family. Hence, she began her walk to stardom as a kid by forming Amaponi alongside her siblings. Throughout her entertainment career, she has served as the presenter of several TV shows, including Backyard Science, and has featured in a few movies. Thus far, she has been recognized with two SAFTA Award nominations.
How Old Is Ntombi Mzolo Now?
Ntombi Mzolo was born Ntombi Ngcobo on December 17th, 1984, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and she is currently 38 years old. She is the daughter of legendary SA musicians Bheki “Ihhashi Elimhlophe” Ngcobo and Linah “Ebony” Khama. She grew up with her three siblings, namely Nkosinathi, Jabulani, and Vusiwe Ngcobo, in Joburg.
Ntombi is one of SA’s child prodigies as her singing prowess sprung her to the limelight during her childhood. As a kid, her parents taught her the importance of hard work and how to shoulder responsibilities.
As such, when she, alongside her siblings, started making a great fortune from their childhood exploits as the Amaponi, they began paying their school fees and bills, which were split among the four of them.
The actress had colorful childhood experiences that were characterized by fame, wealth, and glitz. She still reminisces about those wonderful experiences to date.
Meet The Ngcobo’s Musical Family
Bheki and Linah Ngcobo are one of South Africa’s most popular celebrity couples. The two have carved a niche for themselves in traditional Zulu music called Maskandi and thus, rank among SA’s leading music artists. Interestingly, the couple has been married for more than 40 years.
Their union is blessed with four children—Ntombi, Nkosinathi, Jabulani, and Vusiwe Ngcobo. The music legends groomed their children to follow in their footsteps, and here’s a sneak peek into the Ngcobo family’s music endeavors.
Ntombi Mzolo’s father, Bheka Ngcobo, is a multi-award-winning Maskandi legend who is famously known not only in South Africa but across the African continent. Throughout his career, which has spanned over five decades, he has toured across the globe with his band and performed in countries like Sri Lanka and India.
The music icon has had live performances in more than 25 countries worldwide. He is the first Maskandi artist to perform with a Philharmonic orchestra during the Miss World Pageant. He was also one of the famed artists that performed during the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa.
Bheki started his illustrious musical career by adopting the stage name, Ihhashi Elimhlophe, meaning “White Horse.” He specifically made only traditional Zulu music called Maskandi. He relocated from his hometown of Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, to Johannesburg in 1976 and subsequently joined a band known as Young Brothers as a bass guitarist.
He later left the band to join the popular Mbaqanga group, the Soul Brothers, and was soon made the lead singer of the band’s junior group, Imitshotshovu. Ntombi’s father subsequently became a soloist and immediately adopted his stage, with which he has been recognized even on international stages. He released his first album, ‘Hlololo,’ in 1986 and has since dropped more than 27 studio albums.
Bheki Ngcobo became a household name in SA traditional Zulu music for releasing several hit albums. He has also released many successful collaborative albums as a member of prominent Maskandi bands such as Izinqunqulu Zomhlaba and Bula Music. The celebrated music personality has further worked with Boom Shaka, DJ Oskido, and Zuluboy. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Ebalenhke, Mpumalanga, in 2007.
The matriarch of the Ngcobo family is a pop diva who took Tshintsonga and Zulu traditional music to the next level in the ’80s. She first came to the limelight before her hubby and was well-known for setting parties ablaze with her songs. She began her solo career in 1987 after working as a backup vocalist for music groups like Dudu & the Big Time Boys and Abangani and Stimela.
With Linah dropping a series of hit albums, she became a music star and toured the African continent under her professional name “Ebony.” She used her music to motivate and change people’s lives. Ntombi Mzolo’s mother eventually took to the gospel route after giving her life to Christ in 1997. Afterward, she launched her ministry, Pearl Ministries, where she now serves as the senior pastor.
While on break from making music, Ebony worked as a vocalist for her husband’s band. She later began working as the manager of the Ihhashi Elimhlophe band and her kid’s musical career. After years of going on break, Linah was asked by her Tshitsonga fans to release a Tshitsonga traditional album which she did under her maiden name, Linah Khama.
She was given the role of Bo Sarah in the award-winning soap opera, Muvhango. Though not much active in the music scene at the moment, Linah remains one of the great performers in SA. Together with her husband, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Embalenhle, Mpumalanga, in 2007.
Nathi and Jabu Ngcobo
After years of making Zulu traditional music as members of their father’s band, Ihhashi Elimhlophe, Nkosinathi, and Jabulani Ngcobo decided to form a music group, Amaponi, together with their sisters in 1998. Though Amaponi seems to be defunct at the moment, the brothers still make waves in the music industry.
They are presently associated with their father’s band, Ihhashi Elimhlophe, as backup singers and dancers. Nkosinathi started performing with the band at the age of 5, while Jabu joined his father’s band when he was 8 years old. In the late ’90s, the two wrote a song titled ‘Amasiko,’ which was featured in Ihhashi Elimhlophe’s album, ‘Phal-aphala.’
Just like Ntombi, Vusiwe Ngcobo is quite popular in the entertainment industry. She is a lawyer, TV presenter, and sportscaster famously known for serving as the presenter of Yo-TV and Harambe. Vusiwe was born in Johannesburg on September 26th, 1988.
Besides taking to the centre stage as a member of Amaponi, the 35 years old increased her height of fame by working as the host of the SABC Education programme, Open Varsity in 2011. While in the university, she took up the role of a ring announcer for boxing tournaments aired on SABC Sport. Vusiwe Ngcobo obtained her Law degree from the University of Johannesburg.
She was then employed as a candidate attorney at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, one of SA’s top firms, in 2013. Two years later, she was promoted to associate in the firm’s dispute resolution department. Ntombi Mzolo’s younger sister further climbed the ladder in the legal world to begin handling finance and banking legal affairs in the year 2017. She currently balances her work as a lawyer and sports presenter.
Ntombi Mzolo’s Claim to Fame With Amaponi
With their parents taking the lead in SA’s traditional Zulu music scene, Ntombi Mzolo and her siblings were hugely influenced to take after Bheki and Linah. Thus, they began their musical career as kids. In 1998, the Ngcobo’s kids formed their group known as Amaponi (baby horses), and their mother was their manager.
Linah was strict in teaching her children the importance of sticking to their culture and following African traditions. As a result, it was easy for them to follow suit in singing traditional music. She ensured that all her kids contributed to Amaponi’s songwriting process, which she shared like house chores with them.
Amaponi was formed in 1998 when there was nothing like a kid’s band in South Africa. The road wasn’t all that rosy at the beginning, as the group’s demos were rejected by several record producers who feared they were bound to fail. Eventually, one of the record companies gave them a try, though still in doubt whether there was a market for young kids in the country at the time.
Before long, Ntombi Mzolo and her siblings hit astronomical heights of fame and became highly successful at an early age. Amaponi worked ten times harder than an average person to attain such height. Some of the group’s hit songs include ‘Mama,’ ‘Izinduku Zethu,’ and ‘Chiky Lai Lai.’
They have released more than four albums so far. Although Amaponi seems to have disbanded, they still receive bookings to date and go to shows when given notice on time.
Her TV Presenting Gigs
Besides her claim to fame with Amaponi, Ntombi Mzolo is famous in SA for working as a presenter for well-known TV and radio stations. She first got associated with SABC1 as the presenter of educational programmes titled Backyard Science and Science 4 Life.
Before delving into TV presenting proper, Ntombi launched a solo music career in 2010 and released an album titled ‘African Sexy.’ She returned to SABC1 three years later, working as the host of the documentary series, Come Again? Her role involved visiting places with unusual names to discover the stories behind the names.
In 2013, she hosted a music show, Gumba Gumba, on eKasi+. In the following year, the show was renewed for a broadcast on e.tv, and Ntombi Mzolo was the show’s presenter. She is further associated with Majo Love TV as the host of Lekunutu. As a radio personality, Mzolo has worked for Metro FM. In 2016, she served as the host of Whose Show Is It Anyway alongside Khanyi Mbau and Somizi Mhlongo.
The 38-year-old has additionally dabbled as an actress. In 2012, she was handed a minor role as a pregnant woman in the comedy film, Taxi Ride. She also scored the role of Nthabiseng in a short TV film, Baby Come Duze, which aired on Mzansi Magic.
Is Ntombi Mzolo Still Married?
Yes, Ntombi Mzolo is still married to her filmmaker husband, Sizwe Mzolo. The lovely couple tied the knot on August 22nd, 2009. They celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2009, and the actress took to Instagram to celebrate the rare milestone with her fans.
Ntombi and her hubby have been married for over 12 years now. As every marriage has its ups and downs, Ntombi Mzolo once contemplated leaving her marriage as she found marital life to be daunting. Thanks to her parents, who advised her against such and counseled her on coping with marriage challenges.
Despite all the challenges the couple has faced in their marital life, they are still stuck on each other and are happily married.
What Happened to Ntombi Mzolo’s Daughter?
In September 2021, the Mzolo family was struck by tragedy as their 3-year-old daughter, Linile Mzolo, was lost in a car crash. She was born in 2018, and her birth brought so much joy to the family after losing their second child in infancy.
Linile died on September 14th, 2021, and was buried three days later by her family. Reflecting on her daughter’s death, Ntombi Mzolo opened up about how much she misses her daughter in an Instagram post. She said that even though Linile stayed for a little while with the family, she will be forever grateful to God for blessing them with a beautiful soul like hers.
She considers herself “Mummy to Angels.” Due to how she handled the tragedies that befell her families, so many women who had buried their children began seeking advice from her. Consequently, Ntombi Mzolo has been holding healing sessions called Mothers of Angels with them.
Soon after her daughter’s demise, the radio personality was surprised by her immediate family with an unexpected dinner. It was arranged to remind her that she is very much loved and cherished. Her family’s shower of love brought Ntombi to tears as she was overwhelmed with emotions.
How Many Children Does Ntombi Mzolo Have?
Ntombi Mzolo is a mother of three children. Sadly, she has lost two of her kids named Dunamis Mzolo and Linile Mzolo. She is now left with only one child, a daughter christened Nomvelo Mzolo, and she is her first child.
The TV presenter gave birth to her second child, a son named Dunamis Sizwe Jnr Mzolo, in November 2015. As he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome when Ntombi Mzolo was seven months pregnant, the baby was rushed to ICU after his birth.
The rare heart condition meant that Dunamis’ left heart was not adequately developed, and thus, it won’t be able to supply enough blood to his body. Sadly, he passed away 28 days after his birth.