30 January 1949|
Durban, South Africa
|Died||2 November 2007
Durban, South Africa
Henry Cele (Zulu pronunciation: [hɛnˈri ˈkǀɛːle]; 30 January 1949–2 November 2007) was an acclaimed South African actor famous for his chilling, world-wide televised performance as Zulu King Shaka kaSenzangakhona in Shaka Zulu - The Miniseries.
Henry Cele was born on 30 January 1949 in KwaMashu, Durban, South Africa. As a member of the Cele family he was referred to by his clan name Ndosi (Bavela KwaMthetwa), or Magaye. His last name is pronounced [ˈkǀɛːle] with a dental click.
Cele, nicknamed "Black Cat” for his prowess as a goalkeeper, played for Zulu Royals (AmaZulu) in Lamontville Township and coached a professional soccer club in South Africa until his death. In the 1960s he worked at the Durban City Corporation. He played for Aces United in the old South African Soccer League (SASL) in the 1960s. On Saturdays, he played for Durity Football Club in the Commercial Football League in Durban.
As an actor, Henry was an acclaimed international star, performing in his native South African and in the United States as well. Cele landed the role of Shaka in the miniseries after performing the same role in a South African stage production of Shaka Zulu. Cele was highlighted in the prestigious "Jet Magazine" (November 3, 1986 issue page 57) regarding his role as the legendary Zulu king Shaka Zulu. After Shaka Zulu, he performed in other roles in such action films as Hold My Hand, I'm dying and The Last Samurai. He appeared in major roles in South African movies and television series programs. In later years, Cele moved from his suburban home in Glenmore, South of Durban and returned to his hometown in Kwamashu township.
Henry Cele passed away on November 2, 2007 and is buried at the Stellawood Cemetery in Durban eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Henry Cele Filmography/Acting Credits (Note: Characters played in ())
2001 Shaka Zulu: The Citadel (Shaka Zulu)
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness (Mahina)
1994 Ipi Tombi (Duke)
1993 Point of Impact (Titus)
1993 Sweating Bullets (Mosoeu)
1993 Deal of a Lifetime (Mosoeu)
1991 Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (Mletch)
1990 Schweitzer (Oganga)
1990 The Rutanga Tapes (Samaani)
1990 Killer Instinct (Samaani)
1989 In the Name of Blood (Pheto)
1986-1989 Shaka Zulu (TV Mini-Series) Episodes #1-10 (Shaka)
1989 The Tangent Affair (B.J. Rickson)
1988 Bush Shrink (Catambilo)
1988 Blind Justice (Kamisu)
1988 Rage to Kill (Wally Arn)
1988 Mercenary Fighters (Jaunde)
1988 The Last Samurai (General Zohani)
Golden Plumes Award
Henry Cele - Find A Grave http://www.findagrave.com/
South Africa History Online: http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/henry-black-cat-cele
- Henry Cele - Wikipedia page edits by Lynn Rucker, Genealogist/Historian
- Jet Magazine November 3, 1986 Edition
- Henry Cele at the Internet Movie Database
- http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/king-shaka-zulu King Shaka Zulu - South Africa History Online
- Memorial Tribute