Somizi Mhlongo

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Somizi Mhlongo
Somizi Mhlongo 2018.jpg
Somizi Buyani Mhlongo

(1972-12-23) December 23, 1972 (age 47)[1]
NationalitySouth African
Other namesSomgaga
Years active1978-present
Known forIdols South Africa (judge) Sarafina
Tebogo Mohale Motaung (m. 2019)
ChildrenBahumi Madisakwane
Parent(s)Mary Mhlongo

Somizi Buyani Mhlongo (born 23 December 1972) is a South African television presenter, radio personality, choreographer, actor and singer. In 1992, he appeared on the musical and political film, Sarafina! which gained his prominence.[2] Mhlongo became lead choreographer for numerous shows and events, including the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[3][4]

After starring and taking part in the choreography of Sarafina!, Mhlongo also appeared in several films including drama film Cry, the Beloved Country (1995).[5]

He ventured into music, which was a critical and commercial failure. He then made a revival with his song Ngibonile (2017) featuring house producer Heavy K.

With numerous television appearances, Mhlongo became one of the notable and successful personalities in South African industry. He appeared in various television shows, including Idols South Africa (2015–present), V Entertainment (2018–present), and his reality show Living the Dream with Somizi (2016–present).[6]

Early life[edit]

Somizi Buyani Mhlongo was born on 23 December 1972, in Soweto, a borough of Johannesburg, to the late South African veteran actress, Mary Twala, and the late actor and comedian, Ndaba Mhlongo.[7] With the experience of both his parents, he became exposed to the entertainment industry at a very young age.


Film and television[edit]

Mhlongo's acting career began when he was 13, appearing on the film Scavengers in 1987.[8] In 1992, he then joined the musical and political film, Sarafina! in which he played his own name but was given the nickname "Whacko".[9] He also appeared in films including Kein Himmel über Afrika (1993) and Cry, the Beloved Country (1995).[10]

Mhlongo was featured on the television series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures in 1996.[11] His biggest judging duty was when he was appointed as the new judge for the eleventh season of Idols South Africa.[12] He was also a lead judge on the former SABC 1 competition show Dance Your Butt Off alongside actress and dancer Khabonina Qubeka.[13] In 2016, Mhlongo premiered his reality show Living the Dream with Somizi which aired on Mzansi Magic.[14] Other TV credits include City Ses'la, Ayeye and 10 Over 10.[15]

Mhlongo hosted various award shows notably being the South African Music Awards where he co-hosted for 3 consecutive years (2016, 2017 and 2018).[16] On April 26, 2018, Mhlongo was the featured roastee in Comedy Central's annual roast special.[17]


Mhlongo's debut choreography work was on the musical film Sarafina![18] He choreographed many prominent events including the opening and closing ceremonies for the huge international football association FIFA for the 2010 hosting in his home country South Africa. Mhlongo choreographed various award shows and events including Miss South Africa, Metro FM Music Awards, South African Music Awards and the Channel O Music Video Awards.[19] He also danced, and was a choreographer for the gospel choir Joyous Celebration.

In 2017, Mhlongo released the dance workout DVD Grind! With Somizi, which was available at Verimark.[20] The workout choreography had many elements of South African dance moves. Mhlongo also did several YouTube workout videos under the name Kwaitone Dance Fitness with Somizi.


Starting on 3 April 2017, Mhlongo was one of the co-hosts of Metro FM breakfast show The Fresh Breakfast Show alongside the lead host DJ Fresh and soccer presenter Mpho Letsholonyane.[21] On 30 March 2019, it was announced that he would be replaced by Relebogile Mabotja as the station reshuffled. Mhlongo was then moved to co-host #TheBridge – the show after the set and airing of The Fresh Breakfast Show timeslot.[22]

Other ventures[edit]


In 2017, Mhlongo was named the ambassador for the satellite service DStv as for his notability on Idols South Africa which airs on two of their channels – M-Net and Mzansi Magic.[23] He then endorsed with the Department of Water and Sanitation later that year.[24] He also endorsed McDonald's South Africa in being the face of McCafé Coach Sessions.[25]


On June 29, 2017, Mhlongo released his autobiographical book named Dominoes, Unbreakable Spirit.[26] He co-wrote the book alongside with journalist and author Lesley Mofokeng. The book shares his life in showbiz, childhood, entertainment business, parents' roles, sexuality and friendship.[27]


Mhlongo incorporated in Kwaito and gospel for his song releases in the 2000s, which critically and commercially failed. In 2017, he released his house-focused and gqom-influenced revival song "Ngibonile" featuring DJ and producer Heavy K.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Mhlongo dated actress Palesa Madisakwane while in a relationship with an anonymous man.[29] This led him to come out as bisexual.[30] Madisakwane and Mhlongo welcomed their first child, Bahumi Madisakwane, on 19 February 1995. Mhlongo later came out as gay, which resulted in him splitting with Madisakwane.[31]

Mhlongo has kept his relationships private. However, in 2017 rumors surfaced that he was dating South African model and entrepreneur Mohale Tebogo Motaung. The two confirmed these rumors in 2018. Mhlongo proposed to Motaung while on their vacation in Paris, France. The two were married in a traditional wedding on 28 September 2019, and they had a white wedding on 30 January 2020.[32] [33]

On 14 February 2020, the couple made a guest appearance on Metro FM-Morning Flava breakfast show. During the interview, Mhlongo said they were investing in a new home and they would jet off on their honeymoon to Coachella and Dubai in April. They also hinted at having a third wedding in Italy.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Scavengers Jeffrey
1992 Sarafina! Fire (as Somizi "Whacko" Mhlongo)
1994 Kien Hiüber Afrika Himself Cameo appearance
1995 Cry, the Beloved Country Young Thief
2006 Black Beulahs Himself Television film


Year Title Role Notes
1993 African Skies Juice 1 episode
1996 Tarzan: The Epic Adventures 1 episode
2004 Zero Tolerance Danielle
2007 City Ses'la Madam Gigi Guest
2010–2012 Dance Your Butt Off Himself Judge; all episodes
2013 and 2016 10 Over 10 Himself Commentator; Season 1 and 4
2013 Zaziwa Himself Guest
2014 The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene Himself Roaster
2014 Reality Check Himself 1 episode
2015 aYeYe Baps 1 episode
2015–present Idols South Africa Himself Judge
2015 All That BS Himself 1 episode
2016–2018 South African Film and Television Awards Himself Red carpet host; performer in 2018
2016–present Living the Dream with Somizi Himself Main role
2016 22nd South African Music Awards Himself Co-host
2017 23rd South African Music Awards Himself Co-host
2017–present V Entertainment Himself Co-host
2018 The Comedy Central Roast of Somizi Himself Roastee
2018 24th South African Music Awards Himself Co-host
2018 Tropika Smooth Fan Himself Contestant
2018 Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 Himself Red carpet host


  • Miss South Africa
  • Metro FM awards
  • Afcon 2013 Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • South African Music Award (SAMAs)
  • Fifa World Cup 2010 Opening and Closing Ceremonies


  1. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo reveals his age". The Citizen. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Gaga over Somizi". SowetanLIVE.
  3. ^ "How Somizi won South Africa's heart". Channel24.
  4. ^ Mbele, Gabi (13 January 2013). "Spectacular ceremony to kick off Afcon". Sunday Times. Johannesburg. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)". IMDb.
  6. ^ "Somizi and Nomuzi score gig on revamped V- Entertainment". TimesLIVE.
  7. ^ "Somizi On His Parents' Love". People Magazine.
  8. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo". Famous Faces.
  9. ^ "Sarafina! (1992". IMDb.
  10. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo". IMDb.
  11. ^ Tiwane, Bonginkosi (13 January 2013). "Celebrating Somizi the idol". Sowetan. Johannesburg. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Somizi is Idols SA's newest judge". eNCA.
  13. ^ "Dance Your Butt Off". TVSA.
  14. ^ "Living The Dream With Somizi". Mzansi Magic.
  15. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo". TVSA.
  16. ^ "Somizi leads the SAMA24 host team". SABC.
  17. ^ "Who Passed And Who Failed At The Roast of Somizi". People Magazine.
  18. ^ "Watch: Somizi shows off Sarafina! choreography". Bona Magazine.
  19. ^ "Somizi Steps Up".
  20. ^ "You have to watch Somizi's Verimark ad". Channel24.
  21. ^ "DJ Fresh teams up with Somizi on The Fresh Breakfast Show". News24.
  22. ^ "Somizi 'Grateful' as he joins #TheBridge on Metro FM". SA Breaking News.
  23. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo is a living legend". News24.
  24. ^ "WATCH: Somizi's hilarious water campaign video". eNCA.
  25. ^ "Somizi announced as the face of McCafé Couch Sessions". Channel24.
  26. ^ "Dominoes: Unbreakable Spirit - The Somizi Mhlongo Story - Signed Pre-order Edition". Exclusive Books.
  27. ^ "Somizi's new book 'Dominoes: Unbreakable Spirit' will release this week". YoMzansi.
  28. ^ "You can download Somizi's new single with Heavy K here". Channel24.
  29. ^ "Palesa speaks on co-parenting with somizi!". Daily Sun.
  30. ^ "When my daughter was conceived I thought I was bisexual, says Somizi". The Citizen.
  31. ^ "Somizi reflects on finding out he was going to be a father". TimesLIVE.
  32. ^ "Somizi asked & Mohale said yes! #Somhale are engaged". TimesLIVE.
  33. ^ "IN PICTURES: Somizi and Mohale tie the knot". eNCA.