Zenande Mfenyana is one of the leading South African actresses and models best known for playing the role of Noluntu Memela in Generations, SABC1’s leading TV series. She has also modeled for leading brands like Pampers and doubles as an MC, a voice-over artist, and a style muse.
She has been able to amass a lot of following and a large fan base with her beauty, outstanding talent, over-the-top hairstyles, and unique fashion sense. A lot of fashion enthusiasts follow Zenande to see her hairstyles and outfits. Although she tries to keep her life private, we have been able to gather enough information about her.
Zenande Mfenyana Was Born In Kagiso But Grew up In Queenstown
The actress was born on the 11th of October 1985 in Kagiso, East Rand of Johannesburg, and is originally from the Xhosa tribe. Being very well attuned to the culture of the Xhosa tribe, you will often see her dressed up to show off her pride as a Xhosa woman. She also speaks her native language fluently every chance she gets. This is just one of the many things Zenande’s fans love about her. She spent a good lot of her early life in Queenstown Eastern Cape where her family moved to shortly after she was born.
While we know her ethnicity for sure, not much has been revealed about her parents, their recent whereabouts, and what they did for a living. This is thought to be her way of protecting them from the glare of the spotlight on her. However, speculations are that she must have had hard-working and caring parents, seeing that they were able to train her through school.
Besides herself, Zenande’s parents also have another famous daughter, and that is her sister and actress Akhe Mfenyana. These two seem to have totally different personalities even though they were raised together. Zenande is older than Akhe by a few years but the sisters have certainly done well in building themselves up to be good forces to reckon with in fashion and entertainment. There are no details of any other siblings the actress has.
She Has A Degree In Drama
Zenande is yet to reveal the name of the elementary school she attended. To continue her secondary school after elementary school, she moved to Eastern Cape in Queenstown where she attended Queenstown Girls’ High School and earned her secondary school leaving certificate. This was where she first developed her love for acting, especially because she was often involved in school dramas that streamlined her activities so that by the time she was graduating, she was certain what her course of study would be for a degree.
After completing her secondary school education and already sure that she wanted to pursue a career in drama, she got accepted into the University of Pretoria. Upon successfully completing the required years of study, she earned a bachelor’s degree in drama and has since put it to proper use as an actress and a voice-over artist.
Her Journey To Fame Began With Children’s Productions and Voice Overs
The journey to fame was not easy for Zenande, especially because even though she graduated with honors from school, actually getting acting roles was not as easy as she had anticipated. According to her, when she started out and the roles were proving to be a difficulty, she got involved in some children’s productions to keep herself afloat and take care of her needs.
Beyond the above, she also took to backstage duties and casting assistant jobs to help her make the right connections she needed to score an actual role. The little jobs she took helped her learn a lot about the entertainment industry and although they did not pay so much, they helped her position herself for her target kind of roles.
Soon enough, her backstage duties gave way to some good voice-over gigs that paid her bills and exposed her skills to directors and producers in the industry. During this period also, she got the opportunity to go on a music tour around different secondary schools in Gauteng.
Her Role as Noluntu In Generations Made Her a Household Name
After some time experimenting with different endeavors to keep herself afloat and relevant, her method of trying her hands on different off-scene jobs eventually yielded fruit. Zenande Mfenyana landed her first breakthrough role as Noluntu Memela on SABC1’s leading soapie Generations in 2011. Noluntu Memela is an influential but spoiled lady who had narcissistic behavior and Mfenyana slew the role to perfection.
Her appearance in the series made her the most famous she had been in her career at the time and made her one of the actresses to watch in the South African entertainment scene. This signaled the beginning of her rise to fame. Unfortunately, her time in Generations did not last as long as many of her fans wanted.
Why Did Zenande Mfenyana Leave Generations?
Producers of Generations the soapie created quite a scandal back in 2014 when they sacked the entire main cast of the show over a strike. Apparently, the stars had embarked on a strike to protest the low pay and long working hours they put in on the set. Being that the issue had been a long-standing one, the producers took a rather rash action and chose to fire the entire cast and recruit a new set of actors.
Although she had not spent so much time on the show at the time, Zenande Mfenyana was among the actors that got fired. Other actors that also got axed include Connie Ferguson, Sophia Ndaba, and Nambitha Mpumlwana amongst others.
Many had thought she voluntarily left the show but she would eventually clarify that she did not leave because she wanted to, but rather because she got fired. She may have been fired but her little time on the show had already announced her to fans and producers all over South Africa.
Zenande Mfenyana’s Next Major Role Was In The Queen
After losing her role on Generations in August 2014, it did not take too long for the budding actress to land another acting role. By January 2015, Zenande scored an interesting role when she got featured in the e.tv series Ashes to Ashes alongside legendary actors and actresses like Tina Jaxa and Menzi Ngubane.
Since then, her acting credits have grown and fans are just loving the kind of vibe she brings to the roles she plays. Zenande featured in other series like the first two seasons of Ferguson film’s soap series Igazi.
Featuring in Igazi gave her the chance to connect with other leading actors and actresses also. On the set of Igazi, she worked with stars like; Jet Novuka, Nomhle Nkonyeni and Vatiswa Ndara.
In 2017, she landed a major role in one of the leading and most viewed South Africa soap operas, The Queen. Her work here soon became the biggest of her career.
Full List of Zenande Mfenyana’s Filmography
- Ashes to Ashes
- MTV Shuga (Down Town)
- The Queen
Zenande Mfenyana Is Also A Model
Acting has not only brought fame and money to Zenande Mfenyana, but it has also opened doors for other income streams for her. Aside from acting, her beautiful and amazing charisma has put her in the face of brands and earned her some interesting modeling gigs.
Among the brands, she is known to have worked with or modeled for are the likes of Pampers, Geisha Lotion, and Neutro Gen SA. It is interesting to note that some of her video ads have received positive feedback from people who testify that they have used the brands and got exactly what was advertised.
Zenande Mfenyana’s Hairstyle Is A Major Point Of Attraction
One of the other things that have attracted fans to Zenande Mfenyana is her love for unique hairstyles. She is best known for her signature dreadlocks and long variety of natural protective hairstyles. Being that the natural hairstyle made a comeback recently, she is one of the stars making people appreciate it in SA. Over time, she has also become the go-to person for fans who are in search of the next dreadlock hairstyle to make.
There are reports that fans watch her movies and follow her on social media just to keep track of her hairstyles. While she changes her hairstyle to suit the needs of the character she is playing, you will find that she also wears her dreads in some movies.
Her style is also one of the reasons her social media page followership is growing in leaps and bounds. The actress currently has well over a million followers on Instagram.
She Keeps Her Relationship Private
Zenande Mfenyana is not one of those celebrities who is comfortable sharing details of her personal life and relationships with fans and the general public. However, on different occasions, she has shared little details about her love life with fans.
Some time ago on Twitter, she told fans about a relationship she was in and how unhappy she was at the time. According to her, her then-boyfriend did not like a lot of things about her life, including her friends. It was gathered from what she shared that she didn’t continue with the relationship as it was toxic. This notwithstanding, she did not reveal the name of the man or even how long the relationship went on before she called it off.
On another occasion after, she told fans that she was in a relationship with an amazing person and is much happier than she has been in a long time. But again, she chose not to reveal who the person is.
When Was Zenande Mfenyana Pregnant For Her Baby?
When it first hit the rumor waves that Zenande Mfenyana was pregnant, she stayed quiet and did not corroborate or denounce the news. Many months later and just when fans were beginning to think it was just a rumor, after all, the actress confirmed it. Mfenyana shared her first baby bump picture on social media on the 10th of May 2020 and used it to wish herself a happy mother’s day.
Prior to that, there was no evidence on her social media platforms about being pregnant. This means that she got pregnant with her baby sometime in 2019. It was probably easy to hide her pregnancy seeing that 2020 came with a lot of movement restrictions and lockdown. As is her style, she has also not shared information about the baby’s date of birth and has worked really hard at keeping the child’s face well away from the pictures she shares on her Insta handle.
Who Is Zenande Mfenyana’s Baby Daddy?
Zenande Mfenyana has not revealed the identity of her baby daddy. This is not surprising considering the fact that she is notorious for keeping her relationships lowkey and facts about her child even quieter. However, there are reports that Zenande Mfenyana is in a relationship with Tino Chinyani and he may also be her baby daddy.
Neither Zenande nor Tino Have confirmed this rumor, as such, we can’t say for sure whether or not it is true. Tino however has another child with his well-known baby mama Simphiwe Ngema who has acknowledged him in every way possible. Being that he is not one to keep details of his personal life hidden, many think he might not be Mfenyana’s true baby daddy.
Other people who are suspected to be possibly involved with the actress are Dr. Goodwill Masinga and Warren Masemola. There are no real facts to substantiate this though.
What To Know About Zenande Mfenyana’s Baby
Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of Zenande Mfenyana’s baby, because she is yet to reveal it. However, Zenande’s baby is a happy girl who she modeled for Pampers with. Her child is just about a year old and is already toeing in her mother’s footsteps. While she was very well involved in her first modeling gig for pampers, her full face was carefully kept away from the camera.