Vusi Kunene

Vusi Kunene Biography

Vusi Kunene is a renowned South African actor who has made significant contributions to the film and television industry. He is best known for his role as Jack Mabaso in the popular television shows, Generations and Generations: The Legacy.

Early Life and Education

Born on April 12, 1966, in Meadowlands, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, Vusi Kunene’s birth date was originally Friday the 13th. However, due to a nurse’s superstition about this being an unlucky date, it was changed to the 12th.

Growing up in a financially challenged family, Vusi developed a passion for acting at a tender age. His journey into the world of acting began at the Shell Road to Fame School of the Arts. It was here that he discovered his love for theatre arts.

In 1991, Vusi furthered his education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he studied Dramatic Art. During his time at the university, he starred in numerous stage productions, one of which was The Hill.

Acting Career

Vusi Kunene embarked on his professional acting career in 1993 while still a student. He featured in three television films, catching the attention of agent Moonyeenn Lee, who played a pivotal role in helping him secure more roles in the industry.

He made his film debut in 1995, appearing in Waati and Cry, the Beloved Country. Over the years, Vusi has starred in several other films, including Kini and Adams (1997), A Reasonable Man (1999), The King Is Alive (2000), Final Solution (2001), The First Grader (2010), Paradise Stop (2011), Elelwani (2012), and A United Kingdom (2016).

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However, Vusi’s prominence is largely attributed to his roles in television shows, particularly as a villain. He gained fame for his role as Jack Mabaso in Generations and its sequel, Generations: The Legacy. In these shows, he portrayed a ruthless and powerful businessman involved in numerous criminal activities and feuds with other characters. After five years of portraying this iconic character, Vusi left the show in 2021.

Vusi’s television roles also include Bhekifa in Isibaya (2012-2016), Jefferson Sibeko in Isidingo (2009-2014), and Chief Paul Lebone in Jacob’s Cross (2007-2013). Currently, he plays Funani Zwide in House of Zwide and joined Shaka Ilembe in 2023 as King of the Tsonga.


Vusi Kunene’s exceptional acting skills have earned him numerous accolades. In 2011, he won the Golden Horn Award for Best Actor for his role in Soul City. He has also been nominated for several other awards, including the Royalty Soapie Awards.

Personal Life

Vusi Kunene is known for being private about his personal life. He seldom reveals details about his family or relationships. Although there are rumors that he is married and has two children, he has neither confirmed nor denied these claims. In addition to his acting career, Vusi is a philanthropist who supports various causes, particularly in the fields of education and health.

Pastoral Calling

Would you believe that the actor who plays the mighty Funani Zwide is a pastor in real life? Yes, you read that right. Vusi Kunene, the man behind these formidable characters, is a man of faith off the screen.

Kunene himself has stated that the toughness and ruthlessness he portrays on screen are far removed from his real-life persona. He is not Jack Mabaso or any of the other characters he has played. In reality, he is a humble and devout Christian.

Kunene is not just a believer, but also a preacher of the Gospel. His on-screen antics should not deceive you into thinking otherwise. The unforgiving and cunning character, Jack Mabaso, is in stark contrast to the devoted Christian that Kunene is in real life.

He takes his pastoral work seriously, even though he does not have his own ministry. He often receives invitations from various churches to preach and motivate their congregants. His faith is an integral part of his life, and he is committed to spreading the word of God.

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Net Worth

As of the year 2024, the esteemed South African actor Vusi Kunene has amassed a net worth of R15 million. His primary source of income stems from his successful acting career, which spans several decades and includes numerous roles in both film and television.

Kunene’s acting career, marked by his remarkable performances and versatile roles, has been the main contributor to his wealth. His work in the entertainment industry has not only earned him recognition and awards but also financial success.

However, Kunene’s financial portfolio extends beyond the realm of acting. He is a man of many talents and has ventured into the world of business. Kunene is the CEO and founder of a sushi and wine bar-restaurant named Blackness Sushi. This establishment is located at 20 Kruger St, City and Suburban Johannesburg.

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By Shamiso Miracle

Shamiso Miracle completed her degree in journalism and media studies at the University of Zimbabwe before honing her skills at Savanna News. She then went on to work at iHarare News, becoming a voice for everyday SA citizens who wanted to share their stories. When she's not writing news that entertains and inspires ,Shamiso is an avid reader and a wellness bunny.

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