Leleti Khumalo Biography
Leleti Khumalo was born on 30th March 1970 in KwaMashu, South Africa. She is a South African actress popularly known for her leading role in the movie and stage play Sarafina! She is also a musician and a radio presenter.
Her career in music began when she joined a youth backyard dance group called Amajika where she met Tu Nokwe, who became her mentor. In 1993, she released her debut album titled “Leleti and Sarafina”.
At the age of 15 when she was practicing with Amajika, the dance group, Mbogena Ngema was was looking for new talent for a musical he was developing, he came to the garage in which her youth group was rehearsing to scout for performers. After seeing what Khumalo could do, Ngema simply asked if she wanted to do a play. She said yes. The musical eventually evolved into the international blockbuster Sarafina!
She was the host of the breakfast show on Vuma FM, a KwaZulu-Natal radio station which broadcasts in IsiZulu language.
She is the founder of Leleti Khumalo’s School Ground Project in association with Sukuma Sakhe. The programme is aimed at dealing with problems faced by teenagers in a school setting.
Leleti Khumalo Age
She was born on 30th March 1970 in KwaMashu, South Africa. She is 48 years as of 2018.
Leleti Khumalo Vitiligo – Leleti Khumalo Skin Condition
She has vitiligo ( a disease that destroys skin pigment cells, causing the loss of skin color in blotches) and says that she was about 24 years when she found out about the disease. In an interview with True Love magazine she said that she was content with her looks.
“It has taken over my looks, but I am content. I don’t want my life to be about the condition. I have it- so what? I am still an actress, a mother and a wife”
“When I was trying to have children, the doctor told me after my pregnancy the vitiligo would spread. I was fine with that,” she added.
Leleti Khumalo Husband
She was married to Mbongeni Ngema since 1992 but they divorced in 2005. She later married businessman Skhutazo Winston Khanyile in 2012.
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Leleti Khumalo Wedding – Leleti Khumalo Marriage
Leleti got married to Mbongeni Ngema. Leleti who is now divorced from Ngema has shown regret over and over, calling the marriage a disgusting experience, and expressing remorse for having married an already married man.
Leleti is now married to a business man, Skhuthazo, he is two years her junior and together they have twins, totalling to three children for Leleti one from ex husband Mbongeni.
Leleti Khumalo Twins – Leleti Khumalo Kids
On 24th May 2013 she gave birth to twins, Ulwenzile Khanyile and Yamukelani Khanyile. Leleti had two miscarriages before she had her twins, totalling to three children for Leleti one from ex husband Mbongeni.
Leleti Khumalo Photo
Leleti Khumalo Net Worth
Information about her net worth will be updated.
Is Leleti Khumalo HIV Positive
She has not revealed her HIV status.
- Sarafina, 1985.
- Mama, 1996.
- Sarafina 2, 1997.
- The Zulu, 1999.
- Stimela SaseZola, 2003.
Leleti Khumalo Movies
- Sarafina!, 1991.
- Cry, the Beloved Country, 1995.
- Yesterday, 2004.
- Hotel Rwanda, 2004.
- African Skies, 1991.
- Generations, 2005.
- 1988: She received a Tony Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Sarafina!
- 1987: She received a NAACP Image Award for Best Stage Actress.
Leleti Khumalo News
Leleti Khumalo on her skin-condition: ‘I used to cover my white patches with make-up’
Updated on: 22 June 2018.
She’s one of the most familiar faces on Mzansi’s celebrity landscape, gracing magazine covers and appearing in hit films. But even fans who’ve followed her stellar career for years will see her now as never before. This time there’s no warpaint covering her gorgeous skin. Instead Leleti Khumalo is showing every white patch on her body in new e.tv drama series Imbewu: The Seed.
The actress, who shot to fame as a teenager in Sarafina!, is also trying her hand behind the scenes as a producer for the show. But it’s her role as MaZulu that’s bound to get the nation talking, partly because of the juicy role and also because Leleti’s has shown her skin condition for the first time onscreen.
She only has an hour to spare between filming, Leleti tells us as she steps off the set. She settles into a chair and gets straight to the point: after years of hiding her skin under layers of make-up to mask her vitiligo, she’s on a mission to educate people about the condition in which the skin loses its pigment.
“I used to cover my white patches with make-up but for Imbewu I did not be cover it. People get to see me without the make-up,” she says. “I had a long discussion with the creators of Imbewu and they actually allowed me to do it. My plan is to educate people about vitiligo but I also don’t want to do a half job. I’ll be doing educational talks on vitiligo and I’d obviously want the talks to have an impact.”
Leleti, who has openly spoken about her condition, started developing vitiligo at the age of 19 but as a young woman growing up in the township of KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal, she didn’t know what it was. “It was pure ignorance on my part,” she says. “In fact, I didn’t even know what it was until I became pregnant.”
She takes a deep breath then continues. “It’s deeper than what people see as it affects every aspect of your life – although it’s not painful, it is incurable. “My doctor warned me it’s going to be worse after giving birth, but at that point it didn’t bother me as I was too excited about the babies,” the mom of four-year-old twins Yamukelani and Ulwenzile says.
But her joy soon turned to despair, then depression. When she became pregnant in 2012, Leleti was expecting triplets and not twins – but tragically lost one baby at birth. “Losing my baby was one of the hardest moments i n my life,” she reveals. “I was left with too many questions – I cried, I prayed and I blamed myself. It was a double tragedy for me as I had to deal with my skin condition at the same time.
Her broken heart wouldn’t have healed were it not for the support of her husband, Skhuthazo Khanyile. “We dealt with the loss of the baby and he assured me he still loved me despite my skin condition. “These babies are the best thing that has ever happened to me,” she gushes. “In my previous marriage I tried everything to have babies, but nothing worked.”
Leleti was previously married to playwright Mbongeni Ngema, who created Sarafina!. “I’m not sure where I’d be had I not met Mbongeni,” she says of her ex. “Maybe I’d be far with my career or I wouldn’t have made it. What I know is he gave me a good platform.” A year after her 13-year-marriage to Mbongeni crumbled, Leleti met businessman Skhuthazo and “it was love at first sight.”
She credits her beloved husband for helping her love herself, flaws and all. Her skin condition, which had got progressively worse during pregnancy, paled in comparison to the loss of her baby but it also troubled the popular actress.
“My skin was changing every day and I went straight into depression. There were days I couldn’t cope and there were days I’d feel stronger. Suddenly, I was more conscious about my looks and I kept wondering how people would accept me,” she says.
She slowly learnt to live with her condition. “The more I researched vitiligo the more I became comfortable in my skin. I’ve accepted that this is part of me.” That’s the reason she chose to portray MaZulu as naturally as possible. Leleti’s eyes light up as she talks about her new role. “MaZulu is a rich but miserable woman. Her husband is infertile and the only person who knows about this is herself and her mother-in-law.”
The saucy storyline is bound to get people talking, she says. “MaZulu gets impregnated by her husband’s younger brother and her job is to keep the secret. “The story might be viewed as taboo but the reality is such practices exist in our African communities.” She landed the job after leaving Uzalo where she played the much-loved character MaNzuza.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity as it means growth and recognition for me. I believe the creators of Imbewu considered my experience and skill as well as the journey I’ve travelled.”
Producing has always been her dream.
“As an actress who’s been in the industry for a long time I didn’t want to be just an actress, I wanted to change the narrative,” Leleti says. “I wanted to tell women’s stories from behind the scenes and from a woman’s perspective. So when I was asked to join the production team I took the opportunity with both hands.”
With her hectic schedule as a mother, wife, actor and producer Leleti seems to have everything under control. But she’s quick to tell us one of her biggest challenges is time. “I have to divide my time between acting and producing. When I’m not on set I’m involved in planning, researching and doing other roles as a producer.”
Like any new job it’s daunting, but she’s in good hands with Imbewu creators Duma kaNdlovu and Anant Singh. “The advantage is I’m surrounded by people who’ve been doing this for decades. They didn’t just support me, they also allowed me to put my creativity in the storyline.”
As a black female producer in a male dominated industry, she’d love to see more transformation in showbiz. “The creative industry hasn’t transformed much. There’s still a lot of exploitation and gender stereotypes. It’s up to us as producers to change this.”
“One of the biggest challenges is the lack of recognition for black talent. In most cases those with real talent are overlooked and the ones with no talent get the roles. Seemingly, looks are more important than talent. This is wrong, it’s unfair and it is killing our industry.
“It’s actually one of the reasons I decided to become a producer. I know I can’t change the industry, but I want to be remembered as someone who introduced change,” she says.
She’s been blazing a path for more than 30 years after she starred as Sarafina! on stages from South Africa to New York, earning her a coveted Tony nomination and NAACP Image award for best actress. With such a track record, Leleti is likely to change Mzansi’s showbiz scene again – and this time she’s doing it freshfaced.
Adopted from: www.channel24.co.za