Zazi Kunene Biography
Zazi Kunene, born on May 17, 1999, is a South African actress and dancer who has made a significant impact in the entertainment industry. She grew up in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. As a child, she stuttered, which made her shy and led to bullying at school. However, in grade 11, she discovered her talent as a performer when she participated in the production of Sarafina by UKZN Pietermaritzburg. This experience, coupled with her mother’s support and her enrollment at the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, helped improve her confidence and solidify her passion for acting.
Zazi furthered her education by studying drama at the University of Witwatersrand. However, she paused her final year in school to pursue her dream of being in a Netflix dance production, a decision she does not regret.
Zazi Kunene made her acting debut in the Mzansi Magic movie Emlanjeni, where she played a young girl from a disadvantaged family who worked as a maid but aspired to study at the university. In 2007, she landed her first role as King Duncan in Macbeth, marking the beginning of her journey in the acting world.
Over the years, she has played many roles and participated in numerous drama performances. In 2016, she performed in a re-enactment of the Mbongeni Ngema production Sarafina!, done by the University of Kwazulu-Natal. She also landed a role in a Wits School of the Arts Open Forum production, Ukuvuna, at the Soweto Theatre.
Zazi’s acting prowess earned her the Best Student Film award at the 2020 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) for her lead role in the short film, Moya. She also displayed an unmatched acting performance in the horror Pinky Pinky.
Her acting credits also include a role in the made-for-television film Emlanjeni and the Netflix African original production Jiva, where she played Nolwazi. She hopes to venture into other genres in the future, including romantic comedy.
Zazi Kunene is an all-rounder who can sing, dance, and act on stage without missing a beat. She is single and is a Christian. She has fought and overcome insecurities about her body and other people’s views of her. She worried about her weight and her looks in the past. Growing up, she was chubby, and after getting into the industry, Zazi wanted to get skinny. During her time off-screen, she spends time with friends or visits the gym.
Zazi’s filmography includes:
- Ukuvuna at Wits University (2018)
- Hisstory at Soweto Theatre (2018)
- Vuselela at Grahamstown National Arts festival (2018)
- Sarafina at UKZN Pietermaritzburg (2016)
Her television shows include:
- Jiva! as Nolwazi
- Pinky Pinky
- Smoke and Mirrors as Sindi