For South African actress, humanitarian, producer and spokesmodel, Nomzamo Mbatha, the pursuit of happiness is everything. What she loves most about her job (or many jobs, rather) is knowing that she is following her true passions, which are storytelling and assisting those in need. Mbatha studied accounting at the University of Cape Town, but it was her ability to convey stories and naturally speak to and connect with people who would listen, that propelled her to the main stage she occupies today.
Aside from South African TV roles in soap opera IsiBaya and drama series Umlilo, she won big at the African Pride Awards 2017 for Outstanding Achievement in Film and received a nomination for Best Actress In Leading Role at the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Awards for the film, Tell Me Sweet Something. Most recently, she co-hosted the 2017 BET International Awards stage alongside model/actress Eva Marcille and hosted the second annual ESSENCE Festival Durban.
The 27-year-old hails from Durban and lives in Johannesburg, but her face has reached millions within her country and across the globe thanks to major ad campaigns and partnerships with Neutrogena, PUMA, Audi, L’Oreal Paris and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. As important as it is for her to prioritize her happiness, she is equally committed to spreading that joy to those who watch and listen to her. Her primary projects for 2018 include producing short films and working hand-in-hand with the UNHCR towards the empowerment of refugees around the world. Her long term goal, she says, is to be an integral part of millions of young women realizing their fullest potential.
Mbatha, who moves to the tune of Lizz Wright’s “Hit The Ground,” counts Oprah, Winnie Mandela, Yara Shahidi and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as inspirations, and considers Ava Hall, Vice President of Viacom/BET International, and TV/film producer Desireè Markgraaff mentors—women who’ve all hit the ground running. Moving forward, she intends to do the same.