Zanele Mbokazi is a 52 year-old media personality, public speaker, author, evangelist, and businesswoman born on November 7th, 1971. The host of Indumiso on Ukhozi FM has been married to Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule since 2011.
Zanele Mbokazi started her media career with an appearance on a reality show titled Livewire in the early 1990s. She then moved on to achieve a successful career as a radio and TV personality. In addition to Ukhozi FM, Mbokazi has been a presenter for KZN Network and SABC. She also serves as the co-founder of Crown Gospel Music Awards and equally owns a PR and events company called Mirror PR & Events.
How Old is Zanele Mbokazi?
Zanele Mbokazi is 52 years old as of 2023 and was born on November 7th, 1971. Her birthplace is Durban, a coastal city in Eastern KwaZulu-Natal, where she was raised by her parents.
In November 2021, Zanele celebrated her 50th birthday with a star-studded party. The glamorous birthday dinner was attended by Brenda Mhlongo, Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Winnie Ntshaba, Tha Simelane, Brian Themba, Sorisha Naidoo, and DJ Happy Girl, to mention a few. Zanele Mbokazi’s husband, Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule was also there to celebrate the special moment with her.
The guests were entertained by gospel artist, Vicky Vilakazi who performed her song, ‘Great is thy faithfulness’.
Who are Zanele Mbokazi’s Family Members?
Zanele Mbokazi’s mother was Mgadalene Mbokazi fondly called MaHarris. She also has a sister named Kitty. Sadly, in February 2015, her mother passed away at her home in Durban at the age of 73. She had a long battle with brain cancer which got her confined to a wheelchair.
As her mother changed from being an active woman to someone who couldn’t do anything, Zanele knew that she would eventually pass on, but she never knew she wasn’t ready and strong to bear the loss as she thought. Zanele Mbokazi’s mom was her prayer warrior. She is survived by her daughters―Kitty and Zanele Mbokazi, 16 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.
Zanele Mbokazi’s Educational Achievements
Zanele Mbokazi attended St. Francis College in Marianhill, KwaZulu-Natal where she obtained her Matric. She then proceeded to the University of Natal (now known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal). There, she acquired a BA degree, majoring in English and Politics. The renowned radio presenter also earned a BA Honors degree in Media and Communications from the same university.
To become a public relations professional, Zanele further completed a Diploma in Public Relations at Damelin College. She additionally enrolled at Eaton University where she completed her Master’s Degree studies in Project Management. She is presently a member of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa (PRISA).
Zanele Mbokazi Kickstarted Her Media Career in the 1990s
In the early ’90s, Zanele Mbokazi was featured in a reality show titled, Livewire aired on the then-NNTV. She launched her radio career in the year 1995 when she became Ukhozi FM’s presenter. She hosted gospel music programs and talk shows on the radio station. She subsequently branched to TV work and presented news and current affairs on KZN Network whilst at Ukhozi FM.
She joined SABC1 in 1997 and also worked as a news and current affairs presenter. Later on, she began hosting a gospel and music program titled, Ihora Lokudumisa. Eventually, in 2000, she left Ukhozi FM after three and a half year stint. Zanele Mbokazi emerged as the presenter of another gospel show, Gospel Gold on SABC1 and equally, served as the producer of the show in 2007.
She subsequently worked as the host of the ONE Gospel’s reality singing competition, Shine. She hosted the first season of the show and was replaced by Fezile Makhanya in the second season. Additionally, in 2012, the 52-year-old began hosting a religious talk show titled, Khwezela/Rekindle with Zanele Mbokazi on SABC1.
Throughout her over 20 years of career in media, Mbokazi has been associated with several other radio and TV stations. She was a presenter at P4 Radio and also presented TV shows on Soweto TV, TBN, and KZN Tonite. Furthermore, she was a guest judge on the first season of I Want to Sing Gospel and served as the editor of Women’s Supplement on UMAFRIKA Newspaper.
Is Zanele Mbokazi Back to Ukhozi FM?
In March 2023, Zanele Mbokazi made a return to Ukhozi FM after more than twenty years of working at the radio station. She announced her return to the radio station by sharing a video of herself in the Ukhozi FM’s studio. As part of the radio station’s new line-up, Zanele hosts the Indumiso Gospel Show on Sundays from 09h00 – 12h00.
She replaced Sibusiso Buthelezi as the host of the gospel show as he was fired in 2022. Speaking about her return, Mbokazi promised listeners uplifting content that will bless them. She added that she went back to radio after 23 years because it was her first love.
Zanele Mbokazi’s Companies
Zanele Mbokazi first worked as a communication and marketing officer at Unilever before establishing an integrated marketing and communications company called Mirror PR in 2001. She later rebranded the company to Mirror PR & Events in 2016. Over the years, through her company, Zanele has executed diverse roles in both public and private sectors.
She worked on the crisis communications strategy and product marketing for the SA Post Office. She also worked as a PR personnel for Post Office Mobile Money. In 2015, she was a strategist for special projects, including Africa Month for the Minister of Arts and Culture. She additionally conceptualized and managed the ‘I AM THE FLAG’ project for the SA government.
Furthermore, Zanele Mbokazi has negotiated corporate partnerships with SABC, M-Net, and Mail and Guardian Newspaper. More so, She is the founder of World Gospel Powerhouse which masterminds many initiatives that build the Kingdom of God. They include the Uzibo Conference for Pastors, the Woman to Woman Conference, and Music Imbizo – a workshop for upcoming and independent artists.
Marking her 20-year career milestone as an entrepreneur in the creative events space, the KwaZulu-Natal native launched an events academy called Future Leaders Organization. She aims to empower the youth by providing training in speaking, emceeing, choreography, catering, and lighting, among others. She also plans to expand her events academy across the African continent.
It is noteworthy that Zanele serves on the board of several companies. In June 2021, she was appointed to the board of directors of Visual International Holdings Limited. She serves as the company’s independent non-executive director.
List of Zanele Mbokazi’s Companies
- Mirror PR & Events
- Future Leaders Organization
- World Gospel Powerhouse
Zanele Mbokazi Co-founded the Crown Gospel Music Awards in 2007
Zanele Mbokazi is the co-founder of the SABC Crown Gospel Music Awards established in the year 2007. One of the award’s founding members was Sipho Kaleni who died in August 2022. The award show celebrates producers, artists, and groups in the gospel music industry. Each year, the Crown Gospel Music Awards keeps changing levels. In 2017, it celebrated its 10th anniversary and was franchised in various parts of Africa.
Interestingly, Mbokazi is the executive producer of the SABC Crown Gospel Music Awards. Also, her company, World Gospel Powerhouse is the organizer of the awards. As a trendsetter, the famed entrepreneur was honored by South Africa’s Mzansi Business Forum with the Uphaphe Legwalagwala Award in November 2017.
Additionally, in 2020, Zanele was awarded the Global Africa Award in recognition of her contributions to the music events industry on the continent and also her contributions to moral regeneration.
Zanele Mbokazi’s Role as a Public Speaker and Turnaround Coach
A passionate believer that faith plays a vital part in success, Zanele Mbokazi has been a source of inspiration to many people in South Africa and overseas. She was nicknamed, the ‘Midwife of Dreams’ for always encouraging people to have faith that everything they have ever dreamed is possible. She is a well-known speaker who has hosted several events in the country.
She has also been invited by organizations and higher institutions to speak to their staff and students respectively, on how to realize their dreams. The 52-year-old author returned to her alma mater―the University of KwaZulu-Natal 20 years after graduating to encourage social work students to follow their dreams and pursue success. She shared some of her life lessons to motivate the students.
More so, In January 2023, Zanele Mbokazi posted her latest endeavor of working as a turnaround coach. In the post, she encouraged people, who feel they are not where they are supposed to be in life, to send an email to her as she would be their coach and mentor. She also promised not just turnaround in relationships, but personal, financial, and spiritual turnarounds.
Furthermore, she has a website where she encourages people to book a counseling session with her, as well as a personal consultation. She takes pride in her ability to empower people to make sound financial and life decisions.
Zanele Mbokazi’s Books
To encourage people to dream again using her life as an example, Zanele Mbokazi has authored more than five books. They include:
- Push! Pusha! Push!: You are closer than you think! Don’t bury your dream.
- The Battle Is Not Yours
- Before The Vows
- Maids and Madams
- Isikhiye: The Key for the Youth
- Dear Daughter
In March 2019, the award-winning entrepreneur launched her book, “Dear Daughter” as a guide to stronger mother-and-daughter relations. In the book, she encouraged parents, especially mothers to learn how to sit down with their daughters and talk about different issues including menstruation and its challenges. She also penned the book for young girls who don’t know how to have in-depth conversations with their mothers.
Is Zenele Mbokazi a Sangoma?
No, Zanele Mbokazi is not a Sangoma. In July 2022, controversial entertainment blogger, Musa Khawula shared on Twitter that Mbokazi was at thwasa, initiating to become a Sangoma. He added that she was not herself and not eating for two weeks and afterward, started crying and requested to be taken to the dam.
Shortly after, Zanele shared a screenshot of the tweet and told her followers that she was sitting in her lounge at home and was not at any initiation school. She also urged Musa Khawula to get his facts straight. Musa, however, didn’t back down, rather he asked Zanele to post a photo of herself sitting in her lounge, which she ignored.
Also, her PR company, Mirror PR and Events released a statement denying Musa Khawula’s claims. The statement explained that Zanele Mbokazi has a gift from God that enables her to prophesy, pray, and heal people. And that she didn’t go to any initiation school for that, instead her gift just blossomed.
Zanele Mbokazi Has Been Married to Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule for Over 12 Years
Zanele Mbokazi met her now husband, Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule at a church seminar in Swaziland. She got attracted to him because he is a God-fearing man. Afterward, the couple decided to get married and they held a special engagement party in December 2010. The bishop proposed to his sweetheart in front of his church members, family, and a few close friends including SA’s former first lady, Nompumelelo MaNtuli Zuma.
The love birds had the first leg of their traditional wedding ceremonies on January 22, 2011. The Umembeso, which was held at Zanele’s home in Thornwood, Mariannhill, saw her husband shower her family with gifts. The couple then celebrated their civil wedding in August 2011. The high-profile nuptial was held at the Champagne Sports Resort in Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal.
It was attended by 600 high society guests and celebrities which included the mayor of eThekwini, James Nxumalo, former South Africa first lady, Nompumelelo MaNtuli Zuma, and King Mswati III’s first wife, Inkosikhati Lambikazi. In August 2023, Mbokazi and Mpendulo celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary and the famed public speaker took to IG to thank her hubby for his support, and love, and for allowing her to pursue her dreams.
It is noteworthy that Zanele Mbokazi entered her second marriage with Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule. She got divorced from her first husband and it’s unknown when they exchanged marital vows.
Who Is Zanele Mbokazi’s Husband?
Zanele Mbokazi’s husband is Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule, the founder of the Word of Hope Ministries in Swaziland. Soon after his marriage to Zanele, he opened a branch of Word of Hope Ministries in Stamford Hill, Morningside in Durban. The vision of the church is based on hope, healing, and deliverance. Mpendulo works alongside his evangelist wife in ministry and they have many church branches in Swaziland and South Africa.
How Many Children Does Zanele Mbokazi Have?
Zanele Mbokazi reportedly had two children―a son and a daughter from her previous marriage. However, it’s unclear whether she has welcomed any child with Bishop Mpendulo. Her daughter, Yolanda was born on December 6th, 1999 and her age is 24 years.
In December 2016, Zanele celebrated her daughter’s seventeenth birthday with a lovely Facebook post. She was also featured alongside Yolanda on YoTV’s celebration of Mother’s Day. She often shares pictures of her daughter on social media.