Zazi Kunene (born May 17, 1999) is a South African actress and dancer. She is best known for playing Nolwazi in the Netflix African original production Jiva!.
More of her television credits are roles in the SAFTA award-winning films Moya and Pinky Pinky on Showmax.
|May 17, 1999 (age 24 years old)
|University of Witwatersrand
|Nolwazi in Jiva
|English, isiXhosa, isiZulu
Zazi Kunene was born on May 17, 1999, in South Africa. She grew up in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. She stuttered as a child, which made her shy, while many bullied her at school.
In grade 11, the talented actress found her talent as a performer. She was a part of the production Sarafina by UKZN Pietermaritzburg. She had appeared in many other drama performances.
Her mother showed great support, especially after seeing Zazi loved acting. Enrolling at a drama school helped improve her confidence.
Her mother enrolled her at the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. Zazi studied drama at the University of Witwatersrand. She paused her final year in school to pursue her dream. She chose to be in a Netflix dance production and does not regret it.
Zazi Kunene made her acting debut in the Mzansi Magic movie Emlanjeni. She played a young girl from a disadvantaged family who worked as a maid but wanted to study at the university.
In 2007, the actress landed her first role as King Duncan in Macbeth. She has played many roles since her days in high school.
In 2016, she performed in a re-enactment of the Mbongeni Ngema production Sarafina!, done by the University of Kwazulu-Natal. She landed a role in a Wits School of the Arts Open Forum production, Ukuvuna, at the Soweto Theatre.
Zazi performed in the Joburg Theatre production History. She played a role in the production of Vuselela at the National Arts Festival in 2018.
The actress landed her first lead role in a short film, Moya, in 2019. It received the Best Student Film award at the 2020 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).
Next on her acting credit is a role in the made-for-television film Emlanjeni. She also displayed an unmatched acting performance in the horror Pinky Pinky.
The actress hopes to venture into other genres in the future, including a romantic comedy. She received a call for an audition for the role of Nolwazi in the Netflix African original production Jiva.
Zazi Kunene is single and is a Christian. She fought and overcame 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.
- Ukuvuna at Wits University (2018)
- Hisstory at Soweto Theatre (2018)
- Vuselela at Grahamstown National Arts festival (2018)
- Sarafina at UKZN Pietermaritzburg (2016)
Movies and TV Shows
- Jiva! as Nolwazi
- Pinky Pinky
- Smoke and Mirrors as Sindi