Thembisa Mdoda, also known as Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo (born on November 16th, 1982) is a 41 year-old actress, TV presenter, and writer best known for hosting the 6th season of Our Perfect Wedding. Thembisa suffered from Covid-19 complications in 2021 but thankfully, she survived and is alive and well.
Like many great entertainers, Thembisa Mdoda began her career in radio. She then digressed to TV presenting and acting. However, it was her presenting skills that made her a household name in SA, having presented many popular shows in the country. She is also famous for scoring roles in The Queen, House of Zwide, Baby Mamas, Isibaya, and Unmarried.
Thembisa Mdoda was born in 1982
In Mthatha, Eastern Cape, Thembisa Mdoda was born on November 16th, 1982 and that makes her 41 years old. The actress celebrated her 40th birthday in a grand style in November 2022. A few days before her birthday, she received a Volkswagen Taigo car worth R449,000.
Having bagged a brand ambassadorial gig with Benoni Citi VW that month, Thembisa was gifted the luxury car as part of her endorsement deal. She found it hard to contain her joy and then took to Instagram to announce that she had joined the Benoni Citi VW family and was grateful for the early birthday gift received from the brand.
Her Parents’ Names are Pat and Yolisa Mdoda
The name of Thembisa Mdoda’s mother is Yolisa while her father’s name is Pat. Sadly, in the year 2009, Thembisa Mdoda’s mother, Yolisa Mdoda passed away from pancreatic cancer and her death broke down the family.
Speaking to Drum in 2020 about the loss of her mother to cancer, the House of Zwide actress stated that she wasn’t quite close to her mum while alive. Nonetheless, her death hit her so hard that she felt pains all over her body when her father broke the news of her passing to her.
Afterward, she regretted not spending enough time with her mum as she was busy growing her career in entertainment. Despite regretting not being close to her mother, the acclaimed TV presenter was grateful that her late mum shaped her values which greatly influenced her to become the woman she is today.
She said her mother taught her how to love and take care of the people close to her, putting them first. The late Yolisa Mdoda worked as a publicist at Transnet and an SABC1 continuity presenter. On the other hand, Thembisa’s father, Patillizwe ‘Pat’ Mdoda is still alive. He is a businessman and a philanthropist who recently erected a school in a village in Eastern Cape.
She has Three Sisters including Anele, an Award-Winning Media Personality
Thembisa Mdoda is the second child of her parents four children who are all girls. Her older sister’s name is Unathi Mdoda, whereas her younger siblings are Anele and Zama Mdoda. Zama Mdoda studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at a New York-based university. She currently lives in New York.
With their mother, a former media personality, it’s no surprise that Anele and Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo followed in her footsteps and have grown to be ranked among the most popular media figures in Mzansi. Thembisa Mdoda is almost two years older than her sister, Anele Mdoda who was born on May 19th, 1984.
Anele acquired a degree in Politics and International Relations at the University of Pretoria. She began her career as a radio DJ when she was 20 years old and after she graduated from the university, she joined Highveld FM. She subsequently worked for 5FM after leaving Highveld FM. Then from 2009 to 2010, she co-hosted SA’s Got Talent alongside Rob van Vuuren.
More so, Anele Mdoda served as a judge in the reality competition, Clash of the Choirs, and equally, Miss South Africa in 2012. She then moved on to host the Miss South Africa beauty pageant in 2021 and 2022. Over the years, she has hosted several shows including Real Talk with Anele, 947 Breakfast Club Show, Voice South Africa, and The Buzz.
Thus far in her blossoming career, Thembisa Mdoda’s sister has bagged the following awards:
- Rising Star of the Year Award by Media Magazine, 2012
- Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Award for Top South African DJ
- SAFTA Golden Horn Award for Best Talk Show, 2017
- Best of Joburg Award for Best Radio Personality, 2020
- South African Radio Award for Best Breakfast Show Host, 2021
- Best of Joburg Award for Best Radio Personality of the Year, 2021
Thembisa Mdoda attended Wits University and the University of Cape Town
Thembisa Mdoda holds three university degrees. She first obtained a degree in Drama and Journalism from Wits University. With the determination to become an all-around entertainer, she proceeded with her post-graduate studies at the same university and earned Honours in Dramatic Arts in 2008.
Mdoda additionally bagged a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Cape Town. Little wonder, she has emerged as one of the most sought-after presenters in South Africa.
She Began her Career as a Radio On-Air Personality
Thembisa Mdoda started her career in radio and has climbed to the top, thanks to her sheer dedication and talent. Also, her ability to speak many South African languages paved a way for her to achieve an upward career trajectory. The Eastern Cape native fluently speaks Xhosa, Pedi, Tswana, Zulu, and English.
Thembisa had her first radio gig while in the university as she worked as a newsreader for Voice of Wits. She later joined 94.7 Highveld Stereo (currently known as 947). There, she hosted Highveld After Dark which aired on weekdays from 01h00-04h00.
Additionally, the multi-talented actress was associated with Metro FM where she served as the host of Saturday Morning Show (6 AM – 9 AM). She further had a brief stint at Yebo Radio and hosted Touch HD Let’s Do Lunch. Besides radio presenting, Mdoda has served as the MC for corporate events, product launches, as well as award shows.
She Got her Breakthrough as the Host of the Reality TV Series, Our Perfect Wedding
In the year 2015, Mdoda was announced as the new presenter of the reality show, Our Perfect Wedding. Every season, a new presenter gets introduced to the show, and the Mthatha-born was deemed a perfect fit for the job that year. Serving as a replacement for Tumi Morake, who’s one of the show’s best presenters, was a huge task for Thembisa Mdoda.
However, she moved on to nail her role in the show and her signature signing-off catchphrase, “Sifike! Sabona! Satshatisa!” made her a TV darling. Thembisa was mesmerizing to watch and interestingly, her role in Our Perfect Wedding won her some accolades as she emerged as one of SA’s best presenters.
While on the show, the media personality was dubbed a national treasure by viewers. She proved that she was not only working for fun but to make a positive impact in the lives of people when she went the extra mile to give a bride a perfect wedding. After a series of disappointments that made Mr. and Mrs. Khanyile’s big day impossible to happen, Thembisa beckoned on her crew to assist her to get things moving.
Seeing the bride in tears got her shattered and she had to step up her role than just working as a presenter. And with that benevolence act, Mdoda completely captured the heart of Mzansi. Despite hitting a career-high with her work on OPW, Thembisa Mdoda decided it was time for her to move on from the show and build her acting career in 2017.
She left Our Perfect Wedding, having had a tight schedule on the show which made it difficult for her to progress in her career. Though many said she was doomed to fail, Thembisa’s star has kept on shining brighter on global stages ever since.
Thembisa Mdoda Has Since Hosted Many of SA’s Popular Shows
Even though she left Our Perfect Wedding to focus on acting, Thembisa Mdoda couldn’t resist the urge to return to the small screen as a show host. In 2018, she worked as the host of the DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards Red Carpet and the co-host of the SABC1 show, Your Next Million. In the following year, she was the host of Madiba: The Do Up on Mzansi Magic.
Furthermore, in that same 2019, she hosted the first season of the Mzansi Magic’s show, Not A Diva. Also, she served as the host for the red carpet of the AFI Fashion Week. In June 2019, the award-winning presenter was announced as the host of the wedding show, 2 Families and a Wedding Dress.
The reality wedding show saw BET Africa partnering up with Veil Bridal Couture – an exclusive Pronovias retailer to give 13 lucky brides the chance to pick the wedding dress of their dreams. Later on, Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo had one of her career highlights when she was made the co-host of a pan-African singing competition, Old Mutual Amazing Voices.
She joined the show in the second season and became quite famous across the continent as Old Mutual Amazing Voices aired on eight African channels across the African continent. Still pushing her way to the top, the 41 years old landed another big hosting gig in June 2022.
On Mzansi Wethu, she debuted as the host of Suxoka, which means ‘don’t lie’ in isiXhosa, the next month. As the presenter of the confrontational show, Thembisa Mdoda tackled human stories, trying to get to the truth. More so, in February 2023, the eminent TV personality was unveiled as the host of Mzansi Wethu’s latest news broadcast, Newz Room Afrika.
Mdoda Kicked Off Her Acting Career in the late 2000s
While still pursuing her interest in TV presenting, Thembisa Mdoda put to a start her acting career. She began in theatre and thus, has many theatre credits in her alluring profile. In 2010, she was part of the cast for the theatrical production of Crocodile Tears. In the next year, she featured in Brer Rabbit and then landed a role in the play, Vagina Monologues in 2013.
She further played a role in The Children’s Monologues directed by James Ngcobo in the year 2017. The play was performed on three different stages – in New York, Johannesburg, and Free State. Meanwhile, Thembisa Mdoda debuted her acting talent on the small screen in 2013 when she had a minor role in the TV series, Vukani aired on Africa Magic.
In that same year, she had her movie debut with Mzansi Love: Lawless. The actress had more film roles in 2014, as she played a lead role in Game On and Through Her Eyes. She then gained recognition in the film industry for her portrayal of Thabisile Cebekhulu in the SAFTA Award-winning series, The Road. She played the recurring role of a make-up artist and resident gossip at Bambhata Productions in the Mzansi Magic telenovela from 2015 to 2016.
Afterward, she scored a guest role in the SABC1 series, Ses’Top La in 2017. In the following year, Thembisa was featured as Sandy in the Netflix romantic film, Baby Mamas along with Salamina Mosese, Kay Smith, and Dineo Ranaka.
The comedy film, which follows the story of four South African women who are single mothers, went international as it was screened at the 6th annual Toronto Black Film Festival. Additionally, the TV star scored the role of Thembi in Ferguson Films’ drama series, Unmarried. Since 2021, Thembisa Mdoda has been portraying Qaqamba in the Showmax series, Dam.
She has Since Featured in Hit Shows such as The Queen and House of Zwide
Having earned Honours in Dramatic Arts, Thembisa Mdoda was unfulfilled with the acting roles she was getting while presenting Our Perfect Wedding. As a result, she switched management agencies, joining Owen S. Management. Since then, she has been attaining incredible milestones in her acting career. One of the milestones is her joining the cast of the popular SA TV series, The Queen in March 2021.
Due to the injury sustained on set by Zandile Msutwana, who plays Vuyiswa Maake in the soapie, Thembisa took up the role temporarily till Zandile was fit to return to her role. She made her debut in The Queen in April 2021 and with support and guidance from Zandile Msutwana, she was able to steal the hearts of the viewers with her stellar performances.
Thembisa further gained dominance in the acting scene in the following year as she bagged a main role in the e.tv hit drama series, House of Zwide. She debuted in the soapie in February 2022 as Nikiwe Ndlovu, the owner of Miss Africa – the biggest pageant on the African continent. Nikiwe modeled with Faith (Winnie Ntshaba) and had a great history with Funani (Vusi Kunene).
Thembida Mdoda’s Filmography
- Crocodile Tears (2010)
- Brer Rabbit (2011)
- Vagina Monologues (2013)
- The Children’s Monologues (2017)
Thembida Mdoda’s Movies
- Mzansi Love: Lawless (2013)
- Game On (2014)
- Through Her Eyes (2014)
- Baby Mamas as Sandy (2018)
Thembida Mdoda’s TV Series
- Vukani (2013)
- The Road as Thembisile Cebekhulu (2015-2016)
- Ses’Top La (2017)
- Unmarried as Thembi (2018)
- Isibaya as Amanda (2019)
- The Queen as Vuyiswa Maake (2021)
- Dam as Qaqamba (2021-present)
- House of Zwide as Nikiwe Ndlovu (2022-present)
She is the Owner of the Production Company, Usakhe Productions
Having been working as a scriptwriter and writer for Real Magazine for many years, Thembisa decided to establish a production company called Usakhe Productions in 2014. The name ‘Usakhe’ was given to her by her former mother-in-law and means ‘build us’ in isiXhosa. Since its launch, the production company has partnered with several companies including her husband’s company, to create amazing South African stories.
Thembisa’s production company has also worked with South African director and producer, Zwo Farisani in one of his movies. The actress hopes that Usakhe Productions will thrive and become known for producing great stories for SA. Besides working as a scriptwriter, Mdoda has served as Blaque Magazine Feature’s editor.
Thembisa Mdoda Has Received Several Awards
In the year 2017, Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo emerged as the best presenter in Mzansi when she took home two prestigious awards in the category of the best presenter. In March 2017, she won the South African Film and Television Award for Most Popular TV Presenter. Five months later, she bagged DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Award for Best Presenter.
She also won the Ultimate Viewers’ Choice Award as the nominee with the most votes. Below is a recap of the awards claimed by the famed actress.
Recap of Thembisa Mdoda’s Award Wins
- 2022 SAFTA Award for Best TV Presenter
- Listed as One of Africa’s 100 Most Impactful People in 2022
- SAFTA Audience Award for Most Popular TV Presenter (2017)
- DStv MVCA Ultimate Viewers’ Choice Award (2017)
- DStv MVCA for Best Presenter (2017)
- South African Style Award for Most Stylish Performing Artist (2017)
Did Thembisa Mdoda Pass Away?
Thembisa Mdoda did not pass away. She is alive and well. However, she had a serious health scare in 2021 when she tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized due to having an allergic reaction that aggravated her health condition. Soon after the former Isibaya actress shared on Instagram that she was fighting for her life at the hospital, speculations about her passing started circulating online.
Though she spent some months at Sandton Mediclinic, she made full recovery after the doctors gave her six months break. She was discharged from the hospital in late August 2021 and was grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers she received. Her family also thanked Mzansi for their immense support.
After six months break, Thembisa made a comeback in the year 2022 and has been in good spirits since then.
Thembisa’s First Marriage was to Atandwa Kani in 2012
While attending Wits University in 2004, Thembisa Mdoda met her former husband, Atandwa Kani – a South African actor. The two dated on and off for several years before exchanging marital vows in 2012. Soon after the wedding, the couple welcomed twin boys named, Lonwabo and Lonwabile. Following the arrival of the kids, Mdoda and Kani’s marital relationship started going south as they struggled to make earns meet.
Eventually, the marriage crashed due to allegations of infidelity on the side of the HOZ star. Thembisa Mdoda’s former husband accused her of infidelity and thus wasn’t sure about the paternity of their sons. He then carried out a paternity test on their kids and it proved that he is not the father of Thembisa’s children. Consequently, the couple divorced in 2015.
Despite her marriage making headlines in the tabloids, the media personality never commented on the accusations leveled against her. She explained that she doesn’t wish to share her personal life with the public. She maintained that by denying the accusation and revealing the truth, she would be giving out aspects of her life she wants to keep private.
Thembisa Mdoda still maintains a good relationship with her estranged husband and has cited a lack of communication as the main reason for their separation. However, the former radio personality has hinted that her first marriage doesn’t count and she doesn’t expect people to recognize it. She made the revelation while emceeing a wedding event in Umtata, Eastern Cape.
She is now Married to OPW Crew Member – Eric Nxumalo
While receiving the best presenter award for her work in Our Perfect Wedding in 2017, Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo disclosed that she found love in OPW. She fell in love with one of the show’s crew members in 2016 and after dating for years, the two got engaged. Thembisa and Eric Nxumalo then tied the Knot in 2020.
Having once been in a public relationship that ended in a messy divorce which got her life splashed in the tabloids, Thembisa ensured that she kept her new relationship secret. After many years of revealing her relationship status, people got to know the name of the man in her life when she added Nxumalo to her name on her social media accounts.
After surviving COVID-19, Thembisa was full of praise for her husband whom she described as her saving grace along with her kids. She revealed that he was by her side all the while she was being hospitalized. She often gushes about her man in interviews and admits to falling in love with his personality as he is very spiritual, hardworking, and loves kids.
— Thembisa Liyema Nxumalo (@tembisa) February 14, 2020
Who is Thembisa Mdoda’s Husband, Eric Nxumalo?
Thembisa Mdoda’s husband, Eric Nxumalo is of the Zulu tribe and also works in the entertainment industry. The two collaborates in film production as they own individual production company. On Valentine’s Day in 2020, Thembisa shared a picture of her husband for the first time. She equally disclosed that a film co-produced by her hubby was nominated for a SAFTA award.
Before taking to film production, Nxumalo worked behind the camera on Mzansi Magic’s show, Our Perfect Wedding. He was the director of photography. Thembisa’s hubby is very good friends with comedian, Tumi Morake.