Soweto, South Africa
The eldest of three children, she was discovered at a bus stop on her way home from school by an actor's agent who cast her in her first job on a television series titled Viva Families. It was 1992, and Bonnie was just thirteen years old.
This was followed with cameo roles in international productions Born Free 2 and Cave Girls. Bonnie went on to present various magazine programs for television including Teleschool, Zapmag, Technics Heart of the Beat and Limits Unlimited.
In 2001, she landed a lead role in the hit television soap Backstage aimed at the South African youth. She was later cast in the role of Portia in the series Gazlam. This was followed by a role in the detective series Zero Tolerance.
Bonnie hosted a talk show in South Africa on SABC 1 entitled True-Life, won a role in the mini-series Homecoming, and appeared in two Canadian television series; Charlie Jade, a sci-fi epic and Scouts Safari - an adventure series set in the African wild. She completed a major role on Home Affairs for Penguin Films; a popular thirteen-part series that interlinked the lives of five very different women. Bonnie went on to appear in television series' Soul City and Hillside in which she played the lead on both, for SABC 1 and SABC 2. She was then cast in the ground-breaking series, The Philanthropist for NBC (later also on SABC 3) – a prime time American Action drama TV series.
In film, she has played the role of singer Dolly Radebe, in Drum, the lead role in the Danish film, Blinded Angels, directed by the acclaimed Jon Bang Carlsen and, starred opposite Tim Robbins and Derek Luke in the Phillip Noyce Universal Pictures blockbuster, Catch a Fire. She also played Zindzi Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s rugby picture, Invictus about Nelson Mandela, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Washington Post had this to say about Bonnie's performance in Catch a Fire - South Africa's Henna Is on 'Fire'
Bonnie is more than just a household name in South Africa, she was the child-star that won the hearts of South Africans and continues to blaze the torch as an inspiring role model for young professionals. Her influence spans across South African shores and has been said to possesses a "talent reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn" by the New York Times. Well-travelled and extremely well-spoken, Bonnie carries herself with a classic elegance that cannot go unnoticed. She has and continues to grace the covers of South Africa's glossiest magazines and continues to be featured on the most current and popular radio and television shows. This multi-talented performer is also skilled in MC work for high profile events and her sultry, sophisticated voice makes her a favoured voice-over artist. Bonnie Mbuli, a star in her own right, is undoubtedly amongst the most beautiful, experienced and loved South African stars. She is preceded by a solid and professional reputation in the entertainment industry.
Bonnie shone, taking third place on M-Net's popular television show, Survivor Maldives - "Celebs vs Plebs". On Survivor, this international film star was seen as the nurturing type, who is mentally, spiritually and physically strong with a positive outlook.
Bonnie has starred in e.tv’s Rhythm City in a recurring role, playing the intriguing, powerful and sometimes crazy Nozipho; on Mzansi Magic’s drama series Rockville as the feisty Dudu and on Etv’s ground-breaking crime investigation series Traffic; the first of its kind to star a female on South African television.
In 2015, Bonnie starred opposite Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh as police woman Grace Mthembu in the popular British series Wallander.
Community and social development is a theme that remains very close to Bonnie’s heart. Her work with abandoned children and orphanages has been influential in her having become a spokesperson for Adoption Voice S.A.
Very recently, Bonnie has added "Published Author" to her list of accomplishments, by penning a South African bestseller titled Eyebags and Dimples. This autobiography is available in all major bookstores nationwide.
- Invictus as Zindzi (2009)
- Catch A Fire as Precious Chamusso (2006)
- Drum as Dara Macala (2004)
- Gaz'lam as Portia (13 episodes, 2003–2004)
- Traffic! as Detective Lungi, 12 February (2014)
- South Africa's Henna Is on 'Fire', Washington Post, accessed July 2013
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