Somizi Buyani Mhlongo (born 23 December 1972) is a South African media personality, television presenter, actor, choreographer and socialite. In 1992, he appeared on the musical and political film, Sarafina! which gained him prominence.[2] Mhlongo became lead choreographer for numerous shows and events, including the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[3][4]

Somizi Mhlongo
Somizi Buyani Mhlongo

(1972-12-23) 23 December 1972 (age 51)[1]
Other namesSomgaga
  • Choreographer

  • actor
  • singer

  • media personality
  • television presenter
  • businessman
  • socialite
Years active1978–present
Known forIdols South Africa (judge), Sarafina
Political partyAfrican National Congress
PartnerMohale Motaung (2017–2021)
Parent(s)Ndaba Mhlongo (father)
Mary Twala (mother)

After starring and taking part in the choreography of Sarafina!, Mhlongo also appeared in several films including drama film Cry, the Beloved Country (1995) as well as various television shows, including Idols South Africa and V Entertainment.[5]

Early life


Somizi Buyani Mhlongo was born on 23 December 1972, in Soweto, the largest township in Johannesburg, to South African actress Mary Twala and actor and comedian Ndaba Mhlongo.[6] Through the influence of his parents, he became exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age. He had one sibling, a brother named Archie, who was fatally stabbed in 1985.[7]



Film and television


Mhlongo's acting career began when he was 13, appearing on the film Scavengers in 1987.[8] In 1992, he then joined the musical and political film, Sarafina! in which he played a character by the name of Fire, but nicknamed "Whacko". He also appeared in films including Kein Himmel über Afrika (1993) and Cry, the Beloved Country (1995).

Mhlongo was featured on the television series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures in 1996.[9] His biggest judging duty was when he was appointed as the new judge for the eleventh season of Idols South Africa.[10] He was also a lead judge on the former SABC 1 competition show Dance Your Butt Off alongside actress and dancer Khabonina Qubeka. In 2016, Mhlongo premiered his reality show Living the Dream with Somizi which aired on Mzansi Magic.[11] Other TV credits include City Ses'la, Ayeye and 10 Over 10.

Mhlongo hosted various award shows notably being the South African Music Awards where he co-hosted for 3 consecutive years (2016, 2017 and 2018).[12] On 26 April 2018, Mhlongo was the featured roastee in Comedy Central's annual roast special.[13]

He co-hosted KZN Entertainment Awards on 15 December 2020 with Pearl Thusi.[14][15] [16]



Mhlongo's debut choreography work was on the musical film Sarafina![17] He choreographed many prominent events including the opening and closing ceremonies for the huge international football association FIFA for the 2010 hosting in his home country South Africa. Mhlongo choreographed various award shows and events including Miss South Africa, Metro FM Music Awards, South African Music Awards and the Channel O Music Video Awards.[18] He also danced, and was a choreographer for the gospel choir Joyous Celebration.

In 2017, Mhlongo released the dance workout DVD Grind! With Somizi, which was available at Verimark.[19] The workout choreography had many elements of South African dance moves. Mhlongo also did several YouTube workout videos under the name Kwaitone Dance Fitness with Somizi.



Starting on 3 April 2017, Mhlongo was one of the co-hosts of Metro FM breakfast show The Fresh Breakfast Show alongside the lead host DJ Fresh and soccer presenter Mpho Letsholonyane.[20] On 30 March 2019, it was announced that he would be replaced by Relebogile Mabotja as the station reshuffled. Mhlongo was then moved to co-host #TheBridge – the show after the set and airing of The Fresh Breakfast Show timeslot.[21]

Other ventures




In 2017, Mhlongo was named the ambassador for the satellite service DStv as for his notability on Idols South Africa which airs on two of their channels – M-Net and Mzansi Magic.[22] He then endorsed with the Department of Water and Sanitation later that year.[23] He also endorsed McDonald's South Africa in being the face of McCafé Coach Sessions.[24]



On 29 June 2017, Mhlongo released his autobiographical book named Dominoes, Unbreakable Spirit.[25] He co-wrote the book along with journalist and author Lesley Mofokeng. The book shares his life in showbiz, childhood, entertainment business, parents' roles, sexuality and friendship.[26]



Mhlongo incorporated in Kwaito and gospel for his song releases in the 2000s, which critically and commercially failed.

In 2017, he released his house-focused and gqom-influenced revival song "Ngibonile" featuring DJ and record producer Heavy K.[27]

In 2021, Mhlongo recorded as a featured artist in Vusi Nova’s song “Ntandane”, from his Gospel-influenced album, “Ngumama”.

Personal life


Mhlongo dated actress Palesa Madisakwane while in a relationship with an unnamed man.[28] This led him to come out as bisexual.[29] Madisakwane and Mhlongo welcomed their first child, Bahumi Madisakwane, on 19 February 1995. Mhlongo later described himself as gay, and the relationship with Madisakwane ended.[30]

Mhlongo has kept his relationships private. However, in 2017 rumors surfaced that he was dating South African model and entrepreneur Mohale Tebogo Motaung. The two confirmed these rumors in 2018. Mhlongo proposed to Motaung while on their vacation in Paris, France. The two were married in a traditional wedding on 28 September 2019, and they had a white wedding on 30 January 2020.[31][32] They later separated in 2021. In March 2023, Mhlongo withdrew his divorce from Motaung, because it was revealed that their marriage was not legal in the eyes of the law, despite having a public wedding.[33][34]




Year Title Role Notes
1986 Scavengers Jeffrey
1992 Sarafina! Fire Credited as Somizi "Whacko" Mhlongo
1994 Kien Hiüber Afrika Himself Cameo appearance
1995 Cry, the Beloved Country Young Thief
2006 Black Beulahs Himself Television film


Year Title Role Notes
1993 African Skies Juice 1 episode
1996 Tarzan: The Epic Adventures 1 episode
2004 Zero Tolerance Danielle
2007 City Ses'la Madam Gigi Guest
2010–2012 Dance Your Butt Off Himself Judge; all episodes
2013 and 2016 10 Over 10 Himself Commentator; Season 1 and 4
2013 Zaziwa Himself Guest
2014 The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene Himself Roaster
2014 Reality Check Himself 1 episode
2015 aYeYe Baps 1 episode
2015–present Idols South Africa Himself Judge
2015 All That BS Himself 1 episode
2016–2018 South African Film and Television Awards Himself Red carpet host; performer in 2018
2016–present Living the Dream with Somizi Himself Main role
2016 22nd South African Music Awards Himself Co-host
2017 23rd South African Music Awards Himself Co-host
2017–present V Entertainment Himself Co-host
2018 The Comedy Central Roast of Somizi Himself Roastee
2018 24th South African Music Awards Himself Co-host
2018 Tropika Smooth Fan Himself Contestant
2018 Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 Himself Red carpet host
2020 1st KZN Entertainment Awards[14] Co-host
2023 The Masked Singer SA Himself judge


  • Miss South Africa
  • Metro FM awards
  • Afcon 2013 Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • South African Music Award (SAMAs)
  • Fifa World Cup 2010 Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • Joyous Celebration

See also



  1. ^ Tech Inc (3 December 2015). "Somizi Mhlongo reveals his age". The Citizen. Archived from the original on 28 November 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  2. ^ Zulu, Thembalethu (11 December 2017). "Gaga over Somizi". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  3. ^ "How Somizi won South Africa's heart". Channel24. 5 January 2016. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  4. ^ Mbele, Gabi (13 January 2013). "Spectacular ceremony to kick off Afcon". Sunday Times. Johannesburg. Retrieved 21 April 2019 – via Press Reader.
  5. ^ TSHISALIVE (31 July 2017). "Somizi and Nomuzi score gig on revamped V- Entertainment". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  6. ^ Msiza, Temba (18 March 2018). "Somizi On His Parents' Love". People Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 November 2022. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  7. ^ TSHISALIVE (8 August 2017). "'I could've warned him if I had spoken out' - Somizi on brother's death". Times Live. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo". Famous Faces. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  9. ^ Tiwane, Bonginkosi (13 January 2013). "Celebrating Somizi the idol". Sowetan. Johannesburg. Retrieved 21 April 2019 – via Press Reader.
  10. ^ "Somizi is Idols SA's newest judge". eNCA. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  11. ^ Maako, Keitumetse (4 May 2022). "Somizi launches season 5 of Living the Dream with an intimate pyjama party". Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  12. ^ Nkosi, Comfort; Modise, Hloni. "Somizi leads the SAMA24 host team". SABC. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  13. ^ Sekhu, Michael (9 May 2018). "Who Passed And Who Failed At The Roast of Somizi". People Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  14. ^ a b Bukola (8 December 2020). "Somizi Mhlongo and Pearl Thusi to host KZN Entertainment Awards". Fakaza News. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Somizi and Pearl Thusi to co-host the Kwazulu Natal Entertainment Awards". Entertainment SA. 8 December 2020. Archived from the original on 8 December 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  16. ^ Mpembe Read, Thando (9 December 2020). "Pearl Thusi and Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung score a dope new hosting gig". Briefly. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  17. ^ Mathebula, Kwanele (24 May 2018). "Watch: Somizi shows off Sarafina! choreography". Bona Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  18. ^ Morkel, Graye (26 July 2013). "Somizi Steps Up". Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  19. ^ "You have to watch Somizi's Verimark ad". Channel24. 21 November 2016. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  20. ^ "DJ Fresh teams up with Somizi on The Fresh Breakfast Show". 3 April 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  21. ^ Keteyi, Oluthando (1 April 2019). "Somizi 'Grateful' as he joins #TheBridge on Metro FM". SA Breaking News. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  22. ^ "Somizi Mhlongo is a living legend". 8 September 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  23. ^ "WATCH: Somizi's hilarious water campaign video". eNCA. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  24. ^ "Somizi announced as the face of McCafé Couch Sessions". Channel24. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Dominoes: Unbreakable Spirit – The Somizi Mhlongo Story – Signed Pre-order Edition". Exclusive Books.
  26. ^ "Somizi's new book 'Dominoes: Unbreakable Spirit' will release this week". YoMzansi. 25 June 2017.
  27. ^ "You can download Somizi's new single with Heavy K here". Channel24.
  28. ^ "Palesa speaks on co-parenting with somizi!". Daily Sun.
  29. ^ "When my daughter was conceived I thought I was bisexual, says Somizi". The Citizen. 8 September 2017.
  30. ^ "Somizi reflects on finding out he was going to be a father". TimesLIVE.
  31. ^ "Somizi asked & Mohale said yes! #Somhale are engaged". TimesLIVE.
  32. ^ "IN PICTURES: Somizi and Mohale tie the knot". eNCA.
  33. ^ Maako, Keitumetse. "'I can focus on the future' - Somizi Mhlongo on amicable 'divorce' from Mohale Motaung". Life. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  34. ^ "Somizi withdraws 'divorce' and pays Mohale's legal fees as it turns out they were never married". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 22 October 2023.