THE CHILD STAR
Somizi was born on 23 December 1972 in Soweto, to veteran actress Mary Twala and the late actor/ comedian Ndaba Mhlongo.
With parents like these, Somizi was bound to live – and be comfortable – in the spotlight and he knew early on he wanted to be in the entertainment industry. He made his acting debut at the age of six in a play by Paul Rapetsoa, who was looking for a child to play a minor role.
Fast-forward a few years, and Somizi says of his first role, “Those five seconds on stage would be my debut appearance, and set me on the road to more theatre productions.”
Somizi spent much of his childhood on the road from one production set to the next with his entertainer parents. “This life is normal to me – my mother is an actress, my father was an actor, so they were always on the go,” Somizi said in an interview.
He added that because he was born and raised in the entertainment industry, he knows nothing else. “This has been my life – it’s in my genes.”
Somizi landed his first big job as a presenter on a kids’ TV show and at 14 he was cast as the narrator in Mbongeni Ngema’s world-famous stage production Sarafina!.
Now his daughter with TV personality Palesa Madisakwane, Bahumi (22), is following in his footsteps. She recently made her acting debut on Keeping Score on SABC2.
Bahumi has just the right mentor to take her to stardom. “She’s confident,” her proud father has said. “I think it’s a repeat of my life in a way. I had famous parents and it wasn’t easy, because the expectations are high. But I taught her never to compromise who she is, regardless of where she’s at in her life.”
FAR LEFT: Somizi hails from a line of talented entertainers. His mother Mary Twala and father Ndaba Mhlongo are acting legends. LEFT: He showed promise as an entertainer from young age. He was just six when he made his acting debut in a play. Here he is in a scene from Sarafina!.