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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!.

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