Thulani Mtsweni (born March 12, 1994) is a South African actor famous for his roles in series like Isidingo, Isibaya, and iNumber Number. The 29 year-old has provided comic relief for South African soap opera lovers since he launched his career.
However, Mtsweni did not find it easy to get into the limelight and had to fight to get to the top. His efforts have not gone in vain, as he has become the go-to actor for certain roles his unique skill set can pull off. He is very versatile and is a polyglot fluent in English, Sesotho, Xhosa, and Zulu languages. Greater things are coming Thulani Mtsweni’s way because he has paid his dues, and if you haven’t heard of him, get ready for South Africa’s next biggest veteran.
Thulani Mtsweni is Currently 29 Years Old
When someone becomes famous, the spotlight is always turned upon every tiny detail of their lives. Our dear Thulani Mtsweni has not been exempted from this. The Zulu-born actor has been the subject of several speculations about his age, and the subject has even sparked several arguments on social media as every fan wants to be the lucky one to crack the great mystery. You might wonder why his age has been such a cause of dispute until you go to Thulani’s Wikipedia page.
On the reputable blog, the actor’s age is listed as 52, a figure some people swallowed hook, line, and sinker. On the other hand, others have insisted he was not that advanced in age. To be fair, Thulani’s appearance also contributes to all the speculations; the actor is always heavily bearded and wears old-fashioned clothes. The beards give him the appearance of a middle-aged man. When asked about his real age, Thulani Mtsweni refused to reveal it, stating that he loved the fact that his age was unknown.
Unfortunately for Thulani, his co-worker Chris Q, who plays King Dabula on the Mzansi Magic show Isibaya, let the cat out of the bag earlier this year (2021). On March 12, Chris gave a birthday shout-out to his fellow actor and revealed that he (Thulani) was actually much younger than many people believed and was actually 26 years old. Thulani hasn’t confirmed or denied the call-out yet, but many fans are inclined to go with Chris’ revelation (Thank you, Chris!).
He was Born in Tsakane and was Raised by a Single Father
Life was not very easy for the South African actor as a young boy as he grew up in abject poverty. On March 12, 1994, Thulani was born in Tsakane town, Ekurhuleni in Gauteng. His mother died when he was very young, leaving Thulani in the single care of his father, an amateur boxer. Unfortunately, death struck once more, and Thulani’s father died when he was a teenager. As a result, he grew up as an orphan with his many siblings.
Thulani and his siblings grew up not having access to basic amenities like running water, and they lived in an abandoned shack, and they had to rely on support from the two oldest sons in the family. According to Thulani Mtsweni, he was raised by his brothers, who also sponsored his acting journey. He developed a passion for the arts and acting at a young age, and it kept him motivated over the years. Thulani would listen to stories on Radio Zulu (now Khozi FM) and attempt to recreate them when visiting his friends.
He also loved watching television and would always visualize himself as one of the characters. All this spurred him to create a drama group with his friends. He also joined a local art group called Tsakane Kids, run by a woman named Refilwe Ledwaba. After attending several such acting workshops, Thulani Mtsweni was well on his way to becoming a movie star.
How Thulani Kicked Off His Acting Career
This prolific actor first began his journey at the community theatre. He later joined the South African State Theatre then went to the University of Witswatersrand to learn more about drama. To build an acceptable portfolio, he decided to work with student producers after realizing that successful producers were reluctant to give upcoming artists a fighting chance. Thulani later went on to participate in several art festivals across South Africa as a stage actor. He also has a very long performance history, especially in theatre. Some of the festivals include:
- The Arts Cape Festival (2014)
- Chekhov Festival (2014)
- Frenge Festival
- National Arts Festival (2017)
- Vrystaat Art Festival (2018)
During his theatre run, he acted in the following plays: Drama for Life, The Good Candidate, The Proposal, Stories Not Often Told, and Kasi Stories. The actor later got his big break in 2015 on the show iNumber Number. He would later go on to feature in so many other soap dramas like Gomora and Haibo Mnakwethu.
As Thulani Mtsweni’s popularity skyrocketed, so did the number of appearances he made. In subsequent interviews, the rising superstar admitted that it looked like he was being typecast in certain roles. When asked if he was bothered, he claimed that he had no issues with being stereotyped into a particular role. He also compared typecasting actors to typecasting medical doctors, claiming that the idea was incredible as he believed being typecast made you a field expert and was an excellent way to grow.
If you follow Thulani’s acting performances, you will notice he is usually cast as the funny, bearded little man. This is because the actor has a knack for looking hilarious, even when he is being serious. However, the actor might have a point as it is obvious that he is only getting better and better at those kinds of roles.
Some of the popular soap operas where Thulani has made appearances include:
- Gomora (2018-2020): Here, he plays the character of a love-struck man named Bongani, who was in a very complicated love relationship with Zodwa (played by SannahMchunu). This character exposed the soft part of the actor.
- Isidingo (2017-2020): In this drama, he played a loquacious miner, named Sibiya whose mouth was always getting him into trouble. A famous scene from this drama was when Sibiya admitted that the love of his life was beer. Hilarious!
- Isibaya (2020): In this series, Thulani became Mpihlangene Zungu, the younger brother of a notorious criminal.
Thulani has also appeared in Rhythm City (2017), iNumber Number (2017), and Unknown (2019).
Who Are Thulani Mtsweni’s Family Members and Where They Are Now?
The exact number of siblings Thulani Mtsweni has (and their names) is unknown, but they are all doing well, according to him. The funny actor remains grateful to God, who he believes brought himself and his siblings out of abject poverty. Thulani reminisced about his father, who died without any reasonable property and was grateful that at least he and his siblings were able to buy and drive cars, something his father was unable to do before he died.
The Petite Actor is Not Married, But He Has A Son
Thulani Mtsweni is surprisingly a father. The Zulu actor is the father of a ten-year-old boy named Sanele Ngcebo Mnguni, who he co-parents with the child’s mother. The exact relationship between Thulani and his baby mama is unknown, but it’s very clear that he is not yet married to anyone as yet.
The Isibaya star and his son have a close father-son bond, and the actor has revealed that he and his son share a lot of similarities. He is also happy that the boy grows up with his mother as he grew up without one. Thulani Mtsweni and his little family live in Johannesburg.