Nunu Khumalo (born on April 15th, 1992) is a 31 year-old South African model and actress best recognized for her roles as Hlengiwe Twala in the e.tv drama series, Scandal, and Nqobile in Mzansi Magic series, Nqobile. Though not married, Nunu is in a loving relationship with Federico Ancillai, an Italian actor and director.
The Swazi-born actress wears many hats. Not only is she famous for her acting talent, but is making waves as a model, writer, producer, and philanthropist. She serves as a co-founder of a production company named Komorebi Pictures and also owns a non-profit organization called Feed The Foundation. Nunu is a recipient of the New Vision International Film Festival Award for Best African Actress.
How Old is Nunu Khumalo?
Nqobile Nunu Khumalo is 31 years old. She was born to a Zulu father and a Swazi mother in the kingdom of Eswatini on April 15th, 1992. At two months old, her family relocated from Swaziland to South Africa. They spent a few years in Durban before finally moving to Johannesburg, where the actress spent the bulk of her childhood years.
Having been raised by a Zulu father and a Swati mother, Nqobile is multilingual and fluently speaks Siswati, Zulu, and English.
She Comes From a Close-Knit Family
Nunu Khumalo grew up in a family that loves and supports each other. She has cited that though her family was scared of her making a living in the demanding entertainment industry, they have never failed to show her support in every stage of her career. There exist a strong bond within the family such that when the Scandal star lost her grandmother in June 2022, she penned a heartfelt message for her on social media.
Heartbroken, Nunu expressed her gratitude to her granny for always being there for her when growing up. She was thankful for her love, kindness, and presence and will always cherish her prayers. She made a tribute to her grandmother with an emotional video that gave an insight into the close bond they shared when she was alive.
Nunu was seen holding a microphone for her at an event, and they took many pictures together. Seeing how she cherished her grandmother, Nunu’s fans were touched by the emotional tribute, and thus, condolence messages flooded her timeline. Her colleagues also sympathized with her during such a time.
The Actress Studied Journalism
Nqobile Nunu Khumalo completed her basic education at St. Mary’s Diocesan School in 2010. As a teenager, she developed an interest in arts and culture, and this propelled her to nurture her talent by taking to public speaking. During such time, she also dabbled as a dramatic performer at National Eisteddfod. Hence, she opted to study acting at the university.
But with her parents not accepting to fund her studies in acting, Nunu then studied Journalism at Midrand Graduate Institute in order to please them. While there, she moved on to pursue her passion for acting and had minor roles in some productions, including theatre works. She eventually bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Nunu Khumalo has attributed her outstanding performances in Scandal as an investigative journalist to her journalism studies. Little wonder, the role earned her global recognition.
Nunu Khumalo Made Her First TV Appearance When She was 9 Years Old
Having been an expressive child since birth, Nunu Khumalo made her debut on TV at the age of nine. She was featured on the Felicia Show hosted by Felicia Mabuza-Suttle. While attending Midrand Graduate Institution, she signed with Moonyenn Lee’s casting agency, MLA.
She subsequently featured in many theatre productions, including playing The Wolf in LRRH and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Transitioning into a TV and film actress, Nunu has embodied diverse characters in more than 12 drama series aired on channels such as SABC1, SABC2, SABC3, Mzansi Magic, and e.tv.
She Has Been Active in the Film Industry Since 2013
In the year 2013, the globally acclaimed actress made her TV acting debut in the first season of the Mzansi Magic soapie, Isibaya. She had a guest-starring role as Cindy in the drama series. Later in early 2014, she landed more guest-starring roles as she was featured in two SABC1 drama series―Mfolozi Street and Task Force.
In that same year, she landed her first recurring role as Nhlanhla, who is in a tumultuous relationship with Stapura in Loxion Lyric, an SABC1 youth drama series. Nunu Khumalo was then sprung to the center stage in her starring role as Relebogile “Riri” Diholo in Soul City in 2014. She portrayed the character of a community worker in the SABC1 youth drama series.
In the following year, the 31 years old actress scored a role in Shona and Connie Ferguson‘s production Rockville aired on Mzansi Magic. She also guest-starred in the SABC2 sitcom Gauteng Maboneng and replaced Thisiwe Ziqubu in High Rollers. She had a starring role as Thandi in the SABC3 soapie. Alongside Lawrence Fishburne, she was cast in the BET mini-series Madiba.
In 2017, Nunu joined the cast of Broken Vows as well as Scandal. Two years later, she debuted as Dudu in the Mzansi Magic supernatural drama series, The Herd. And in recent years, the award-winning actress has been quite busy, starring in several productions such as House of Zwide, Nqobile, Jewel, Uncovered, Little Broken Bodies, Meet Melusi, and Beauty for Ashes.
Nunu Khumalo’s Prominent Roles
Following her role as Riri in Soul City, which catapulted her into the public eye, Nunu Khumalo has further played amazing characters that have got her ranked as one of Mzansi’s favorite actresses. They include:
Hlengiwe Twala in Scandal
On May 26th, 2017, Khumalo made her first appearance in the e.tv popular soapie, Scandal. She plays Hlengiwe Twala in the drama series and portrays the character of an investigative journalist burdened with looking after her family. After her sensational performance in Scandal for three years and having perfectly executed the Black Tax storyline, the Swazi-born actress was recognized with an international award.
She won the Best African Actress Award at the New Vision International Film Festival held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2019.
Nqobile in Nqobile
Still playing her acclaimed role of Hlengiwe in Scandal, Nunu Khumalo landed a titular role in Nqobile, a 13-part Mzansi Magic drama series, in the year 2021. The series follows the story of a woman who conquers abuse and bosses up to rise in business. And Nunu plays the role of Nqobile, an ill-treated makoti of the Nkosi Family.
She eventually rose above marital abuse to begin to live fearlessly after outsmarting her entitled and abusive husband, Simo (Kagiso Modupe) to take over his empire. Nunu Khumalo was praised for excellently mirroring real-life scenarios with her character in the melodrama, which also featured Lillian Dube, Nomsa Nene, Magic Hlatshwayo, and Lele Ledwaba.
Siya Jewels in Jewel
Premiered in July 2022, Jewel is a Netflix original film that tells the story of the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa. Starring along with Senzo Radebe, Connie Chiume, Desmond Dube, and Sandile Mahlangu, Nqobile Khumalo played the lead in the movie. She portrayed the character of Siya Jewels, a young girl who lives in Sharpeville and later complicates her life when she enters into a romantic affair with a tourist.
Playing the role was special to Nunu as she resonated well with her character. With the film touching on issues of race and racial tensions in SA, it introduced Nunu Khumalo to millions of audiences across the globe.
The Model Has Had a Handful of Film Roles
Throughout her palmy acting career of over eight years, Nunu Khumalo has been privileged to score roles in multiple feature films. In the year 2019, she made her film debut as Aluta Ndlovu in Uncovered. She challenged herself a lot to be able to tell the story perfectly and underwent weapons training, including how to handle a rifle. As a result, the seasoned actress was a bundle of nerves in the political thriller.
She played a brave woman, Aluta, who takes on a corrupt mining tycoon and the town’s mayor (Sthandiwe Kgoroge) after the murder of her journalist sister (Thandeka Nodada). Afterward, Nunu Khumalo played Siya Jewels in the Netflix original Jewel in 2022. In the same year, she was cast as Everlyn Albright in the movie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.
She additionally starred in two 2022 films – Meet Melusi and Little Broken Bodies. She also appeared in a documentary titled Beauty for Ashes. The Eswatini-born was part of the EJE ensemble cast at the Pan African Film Festival held in Los Angeles and at the Toronto Black Film Festival held in Canada in 2022.
Nunu Khumalo Took to Modelling at a Tender Age of 11
While shopping with her cousin at the age of eleven, the Jewel actress was scouted as a model. Soon after, she started appearing in several ad campaigns for clothing retailers, including Jet & Edgars. In the past years, she made appearances in numerous commercials for companies such as:
- Cell C
- Hero Lager (Nigeria)
- Standard Bank
Additionally, Nunu Khumalo has played the role of a Glamorous Mother in Vanish commercial as well as a Daughter in an advertisement for Colgate. She also took part in Cremora Sitcom Style advertisements and was featured as a presenter in Hollard & Kaizer Chiefs Life Cover.
She Works as a Writer for Her Production Company
The multi-talented actress is one of the co-founders of a production company called Komorebi Pictures. With the aim to create timeless pieces in the world of film and documentary, one story at a time, all over the world, Nunu has served as the writer and creator of several documentaries about social issues produced by Komorebi Pictures.
She truly wears many hats as she further works as a director and producer for the production company. After two years of working on a documentary titled Beauty for Ashes, it debuted in 2022 and was produced by Komorebi Pictures.
Nqobile Nunu Khumalo is a Reputable Philanthropist
Since her teen years, Nqobile Khumalo has harbored the desire to be socially responsible and so has participated in fundraising and outreaches. She’s finally living her dreams through her not-for-profit organization called Feed The Foundations. The organization is dedicated to providing food to underprivileged people and families.
As a result of her magnanimity, the 31 years old has been associated with many charitable organizations in the country. She has partnered with Soul City Institute in its mobile outreach program and also works as Add Hope KFC ambassador. Her organization has further collaborated with Today4Tomorrow, supporting and celebrating their star students at Oscar Mpetha High School.
More so, Feed The Foundation is a sponsor at Princess Adoption situated in Westcliff Johannesburg and hosted Rhema Bible Church Fundraising.
The Talented Actress Has Won Many Awards
In 2019, Nunu Khumalo became a global star after clinching the Best African Actress Award at New Vision International Film Festival in Amsterdam. Having been nominated along with other A-list actresses across the African continent, Nunu was shocked to have taken home the prestigious award as well as her Scandal production team.
The actress also won the 2020 Simon Sabela Mabhunu Award for South African Best Actress. Below is a recap of Nqobile Khumalo’s award wins:
- 2019 New Vision International Film Festival Award for Best African Actress
- 2020 Simon Sabela Mabhunu Award for South African Best Actress
- 2022 Septimus Award for Best African Actress
Is Nunu Khumalo Married?
Nqobile Nunu Khumalo is not yet married. However, she has been in a loving relationship with actor and director Federico Ancillai for over two years. The love birds reportedly met in Amsterdam in October 2019 when Khumalo visited the city for the New Vision International Film Festival. After winning the award, the Italian actor posted a picture on social media congratulating the Scandal star and expressed his pleasure to have met her at the event.
A month later, they started posting pictures of themselves hanging out and spending time together. They have since made the relationship public and constantly share cozy pictures on their different IG accounts. Going by their social media posts, Nunu and Federico are in love with each other. Despite their tight schedules, they still make out time to sparkle their romance by going on vacations in different countries.
Many of their fans are rooting for their love story to have a happy ending. With the way they shower each other with compliments and heartfelt messages, hopefully, the beautiful couple will take their relationship to the next level soon.
Who is Nunu Khumalo’s Boyfriend, Federico Ancillai?
Nunu Khumalo’s heartthrob, Federico Ancillai, was born in Rome, Italy, in 1990. He is an actor and a director and has been active in the film industry for over ten years. He has featured in productions such as Rimbocchiamoci le maniche, Veleni, Little Broken Bodies, Burning Red, Sin, and Wonderwell. In 2022, he served as the director and producer of a short film titled Little Broken Bodies.
Following his role as Luca Santi in the 2018 short film, Burning Red, Nunu’s boyfriend was nominated for MLC Award for Memorable M-oster Individual Performance. Also, for his outstanding performance in Burning Red, he won Art Film Award in 2021.