nomzamo Mbatha

Actress and human rights activist Nomzamo Mbatha. Image via Instagram @nomzamo_m

This is what’s next for Nomzamo Mbatha after ‘Isibaya’ exit

The UNHCR Global Goodwill Ambassador has her sights firmly set on the bright lights of Hollywood.

nomzamo Mbatha

Actress and human rights activist Nomzamo Mbatha. Image via Instagram @nomzamo_m

Having skillfully branded herself not only as an actress but a budding philanthropist aligned to organisations which focus on women empowerment and education, KwaMashu-born Nomzamo Mbatha’s exit from Isibaya wouldn’t be the last that viewers have seen of her. 

Reports over the weekend that her character, Thandeka, would be killed off, were not that surprising as Mbatha had moved to the United States (US) a year ago to begin filming Coming to America 2 alongside Hollywood greats Eddie Murphy and Garcelle Beauvais. 

More ambassadorships, less ‘Isibaya’

Her tight schedule which included doing appearances and shoots for her ambassadorships with Neutrogena, L’Oreal and the UN Goodwill programme meant she scarcely had time to continue filming for the award-winning Mzansi Magic drama.

As part of the principal cast of Isibaya, Mbatha’s role had dwindled down to a short story arc which saw her primarily star alongside Sdumo Mtshali’s Sbu character. Viewers last saw Thandeka in April 2019 as she decided to take up a job in Namibia.      

With confirmation that Mbatha is leaving Isibaya, she had previously spoken about how the role had changed her life. 

“I remember knowing that as an actress I had the responsibility to portray a young, black, woman in the most authentic way possible and the kind of conversations I wanted her to challenge in today’s society.”

The 29-year old also said the most memorable storyline was when her character was involved in a polygamous marriage. 

“I know the one that truly made an impact was when her husband, Sbu, wanted a second wife and made another woman pregnant. Infidelity is always a strong and continuous conversation among women and men and I was being stopped everywhere by couples, by men, by women… I received e-mails from people telling their story. It was huge,” she told TimesLIVE

Video: Isibaya’s Thandeka and Sbu end their marriage over polygamy

Mbatha also has the blessing of Mzansi Magic who said they were proud of her international projects and achievements.  

On the cards for Mbatha is full immersion into the Hollywood scene as she embarks on setting up a life for herself in the US. Plans are already in place for the star to acquire property in the US which she will use as her base as she attends castings for Hollywood roles. 

Among her many projects, Mbatha is also set to focus on:

  • Workshops and panel discussions – such as the one she recently hosted with esteemed media visionary Alex Okosi, managing director of YouTube’s Europe, Middle East and Africa markets.  
  • Raising funds for South African students to study and finish their degrees and university courses through her Lighthouse Foundation. Mbatha has collaborated with Hollywood Bets to offer funding worth R1 million to students.
  •  Through a partnership with the Cotton On Foundation, the Audi brand ambassador will work on improving the lives of school children by offering them quality education. 
  • Appointed the face of Puma South Africa, the actress will continue in her role with the sportswear brand.
  • Appearances at influential gatherings such as the annual Grammy brunch hosted by hip-hop veteran and businessman Jay Z’s Rocnation record label.
  • Mbatha has also been invited to host the Veuve Clicquot Polo series in Cape Town in March: “Nomzamo Mbatha will be hosting the first Veuve Clicquot Polo Series Invitational and is no stranger to the world-renowned champagne brand. The acclaimed actress and philanthropist is a long-standing friend of the Veuve Clicquot brand,” the luxury champagne brand said in a statement.