His ex-wife is actress Leleti Khumalo. Leleti who received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Sarafina!; as well as starring as the leading role in South Africa's first Oscar-nominated film/move, Yesterday.
He co-wrote the multi-award winning Woza Albert!. In some sectors of South African society, Ngema is considered a racist because of his controversial song, "AmaNdiya" (about racism that Blacks in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered at the hands of Indians). It was banned in the country soon after it was released in 2002, and even Nelson Mandela had asked Ngema to apologize but Ngema refused.