Dawn Thandeka King (born October 1, 1977) is a 46 year old South African actress, musician, and motivational speaker best known for her former role as MaNgcobo on the award-winning South African soapie, Uzalo.
The multiple-award winner is one of the most gifted actresses of her time. She is a down-to-earth woman who knows what she wants and gives her ultimate attention to her craft. Since her acting career began, she has inspired many South Africans with her resilience and has won plenty of applause in the process.
Dawn Thandeka King Was Born In KwaZulu-Natal
The Uzalo star was born on the 1st day of October 1977. This means the actress is now 46 years old. She was born in Eshowe, the oldest town of European settlement in Zululand in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. King is a proud Zulu woman.
There is very little information about who the parents of the actress are. This is because her father’s identity has remained unknown and no one knows what her mother is really called. However, some sources claim that her father worked as a banker, although this claim has not been independently verified. Also, details about whether she is the only child of her parents or whether she has siblings remain vague at the moment.
The Actress Studied Drama In School
Growing up, Dawn Thandeka King reportedly attended a private school in Durban. During this time, she developed a love for acting and dreamed of becoming a professional actress. By the time she was done with her matric, King had already developed such a deep love for acting that she decided to study drama in school.
Consequently, she enrolled in Technikon Natal, a public university that is now known as the Durban University of Technology. While at Technikon Natal, she completed her drama studies and connected with other lovers of acting. At Technikon Natal, King took part in several stage plays and honed her acting skills in the process. Some of the plays she starred in include Peace In The Valley, a drama that was staged at the Playhouse Theatre in 2000 and was directed by Jerry Pooe, a renowned theatre creator and founder of Botho and Uhuru International Festivals.
Dawn Thandeka King Worked A 9-5 Job Before Achieving Fame
After she was done studying drama at Technikon Natal, some people expected Dawn Thandeka King to start acting afterward, however, she did not immediately go into acting. In fact, she actually secured a white-collar job and worked 9-5 in the tourism industry around Durban. First, she worked as a hotel tour guide. Later, she rose to become the regional manager of a hotel chain, proving that she was dedicated to her work. As time went on, she kept growing and eventually ventured into sales and marketing.
The actress continued working in an office for several years and, at some point, it seemed like she would never achieve her dreams of becoming a star actress. However, King was all the while, thinking of how to make a detour and go back to doing what gave her the most joy. Deep down in her heart, her passion was to be a performing artist. In a 2017 interview, the actress explained that while she was working in the tourism sector, she did not find any satisfaction. Instead, she was often depressed because she was not doing what gave her joy.
According to her, she went through so much depression until she finally decided that she couldn’t do it any longer. Eventually, she quit her job and started pursuing her acting career.
The Actress Is A Late Bloomer
Dawn Thandeka King is termed a late bloomer because she did not start her acting career at the age that most people would start. Most actors began chasing their careers and made their big breaks in their teens or 20s. However, King was already in her 30s when she quit her job to start acting professionally. And she has gone on to do very well for herself.
In 2010, when she was about 33 years old, King joined a Durban theatre production and began learning the ropes once again. She reunited with other drama enthusiasts who reignited her passion for acting.
Her First Role Was In Inkaba
While she was with the Durban theatre production group, King began auditioning for roles and within two years, she landed her first TV role. In 2012, when she was about 35 years old, she landed her first TV role when she was cast to play the recurring role of Anele, a gossiping, flirtatious, domestic worker in Mzansi Magic’s telenovela Inkaba.
Dawn Thandeka King’s role in the series got her favorable reviews from film critics who expressed admiration about how well she portrayed her first-ever character on TV. It was clear that she was on her way to achieving great things in the industry. The actress would later explain that for her, acting is not just a career, it’s a calling.
How Uzalo Brought Her To The Limelight At Age 38
In 2015, after stunning people with her work in Inkaba, King got her huge break at the age of 38 when she was cast to play the role of Lindiwe Xulu (Mangcobo), the matriarch of a gangster family and the wife of self-made gangster Muzi Xulu, on Uzalo, a telenovela that was broadcast on SABC1.
The TV series, Uzalo, has become phenomenally popular among viewers, making it to the top of the most-watched television show list in the whole of South Africa. The huge popularity of the show gave Dawn Thandeka King her biggest ever exposure as it put her in front of millions of viewers, Also, the role she played as the matriarch of a gangster family made her even more popular as viewers of the show came to identity very well with her.
King’s incredible portrayal of her character was very well received by the audience in South Africa and the actress ended up getting enormous praise for her acting skills. The actress starred in the Uzalo TV series from 2015 to 2021, appearing in about 800 episodes as one of the most talked-about characters from the show.
She Has Starred In Other Works
Apart from Uzalo, the actress has also starred in other works. In 2017, she was cast to play the role of Zandile ‘Ma Z’ Mkhwanazi in the TV series dubbed Lockdown. The series got Dawn Thandeka King some more praise as well. At this point, it was clear that she had become one of the elite actresses who ranked among the A-listers in South Africa.
In 2021, she starred in the TV series Isehlukaniso, putting in yet another sterling performance. In 2021, after she left the Uzalo series, King joined DiepCity, another TV Series in which she played the role of Thandiwe. Also in 2021, she played the role of Lungi in Slay, a comedy movie.
The actress was also involved in the making of two short films called Untitled and Hlezephi. The two movies were part of the Youth Film Project called Mandela’s Children. It is noteworthy that while she was heavily involved in making movies and TV series, Dawn Thandeka King also took part in theatre productions. In 2014, she was a cast member of Eclipsed, a play that was directed by Warona Seane and had a 3-week run at the Soweto Theatre.
The Actress Is Also A Singer
Dawn Thandeka King is a very versatile woman. Apart from being a star actress, she is also a musician. King is known for performing indigenous music which she claims comes from her ancestors. She mainly performs her songs on stage. In August 2013, King, who was already a star actress at the time, performed her indigenous music at the Land Reform Exhibition Nasrec, a suburb of Johannesburg. The same year, she performed at the Plat4orm Theatre in Bezuidenhout Valley, also in Johannesburg.
In 2014, the actress was also invited to perform at the Land Reform Exhibition in February 2014, this time it was in Pretoria at the Events Exhibition Centre. She has been hailed for having what some have called ‘a smooth voice.
Dawn Thandeka King Was Married For 15 Years
King used to be a married woman. The actress was married to a South African businessman called Jabulani Msomi with whom she remained for more than a decade before things went south and they had to part ways. However, they are still very cordial and raise their kids together.
During their marriage, very little was known about King and Jabulani Msomi’s relationship as the couple kept things very quiet and rarely brought their private matters to the public. Even details about how they met remain vague. However, some sources have revealed that Dawn Thandeka King and her ex-husband first met when she was still a student studying drama. In an interview she granted in 2019, the actress revealed that she met her husband in 1998.
After they dated for some time, the couple went on to tie the knot as husband and wife. Details about their wedding event remain very scarce and it is not clear the exact day and month they got wedded. However, we know that they tied the knot in 2002. The couple remained married for 15 years before things went sour between them in 2017. The couple, who got married when King was not yet in the spotlight, got divorced at the height of King’s fame as an actress.
Why Thandeka King’s Marriage Ended
After their divorce, there were lots of speculations about what may have happened. The actress herself opened up about the situation in an interview with DRUM. She explained that because of the demands of her career, things got very dull between herself and her husband. This was because, at some point in her career, she had to live far away from her him. She lived in KwaZulu-Natal while her husband lived in Johannesburg.
The actress confessed that the physical distance between her and her husband and the demands of her job contributed to the failed marriage because it created a void in the marriage. At first, they tried to salvage the situation by agreeing that Dawn Thandeka King should visit home at least twice every month. However, even this did not help as the gulf kept widening between them and things finally crashed in 2017.
The actress was really sad about the divorce and often talked about her sadness in interviews she granted after the collapse of the marriage. According to her, she felt like she was widowed when she parted ways with her husband. She explained that she tried to save the situation but her efforts were not enough. However, she also revealed that she has no regrets about the situation because it is the right thing to do.
They Share 5 Kids
The marriage between Dawn Thandeka King and Jabulani Msomi was very fruitful and produced 5 children. While the couple was together, they tried to raise the kids in the best way possible. After they parted ways, they have also decided to come together and join hands to raise the kids despite their divorce.
The couple’s five children are Jadazia, Jaedon, Jayda, Jaydeen, and Jaedon.
Jadazia is the first child and daughter of Dawn Thandeka King and Jabulani Msomi. Very little is known about her. However, we know that she was born on November 5th, 2000 before her parents got married. The young lady is fondly called Deenie by her mother.
Information about her educational background is not known, neither are details about her life generally. However, her mother often flaunts Jazazia and the other kids online.
Jaedon is the second child of the couple and is also a girl. Details about her date of birth are not known. However, she appears to be close behind her older sister from the look of things. She features a lot in the photos her mother posts.
Jayda is the third child of the couple and is also a girl. Just like her older sisters, not much is known about her however, in 2020, her mother made a post on Instagram that apparently revealed that she turned 16 years old that year. It appears that she may be interested in taking after her mother’s career in acting.
Jaydeen is the fourth child of the couple and the last girl. Like the others, not much is known about her. She appears to be in her early teenage years and features heavily in the photos her mother posts of her siblings.
Jaedon is the last child of the couple and their only son. According to some reports, the boy was born a year before his mother landed her life-changing role in the Uzalo TV series. What many people have failed to understand is why the boy would be named Jaedon which is the same name that the couple’s daughter is called.
Who Is The Man In Her Life Now?
After her divorce, Dawn Thadeka King remained single for some time before she made a move to find love again. In 2019, the actress got into another relationship with a fellow actor called Mlungisi Duncan. The couple was spotted at different events and engaged in public displays of affection for each other.
So far, the actress appears to be head over heels in love with her lover and has frequently shared photos of herself and the man on Instagram to the huge admiration of her many followers who monitor her every move.