Born in sunny Durban, South Africa and raised in New York City, multi-award-winning Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Dancer and Writer Nondumiso Tembe is well on her way to becoming one of Africa’s brightest international stars. The proud daughter of two of Africa’s most successful Opera singers and trailblazers, artistic expression is deeply embedded in her DNA, though she has forged a unique path of her own, enjoying a diverse, international career in the Performing Arts.
Nondumiso is believed to have been the first South African actress to obtain a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the famed Yale School of Drama. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and Political Science from New York’s New School University, as well as certificates in Classical Theatre from the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford University, England and Musical Theatre from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. The multi-disciplinary artist has studied Classical Ballet for over 20 years and is also a certified Copy Editor and Proofreader.
In addition, she is a dynamic voice over artist with extensive experience.
Some notable career highlights include ferocious women’s rights activist, Na’omi Ajimuda, on History Channel and A+E Studios’ breakout military drama, “Six”; tragic Creole maid, Mavis, in the massive hit HBO show, “True Blood,” and the feisty Miss Mya, on one of Africa’s most popular television shows, “Generations.”
She lead a sparkling cast in romantic comedy feature film, “Zulu Wedding,” played Grace Rwaramba in Lifetime’s “Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland” as well as the fierce Fanta in the epic mini-series, “The Book of Negroes.” Her film and tv career is littered with a string of gritty guest starring roles on popular tv shows “NCIS,” “NCIS: LA” and “Castle” and she enjoyed a fun cameo in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Nondumiso’s theatre resumé is varied and extensive, having performed at many prestigious theatres, including the McCarter Theatre at Princeton, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Miller Theatre at Columbia, the Boston Court Theatre, Walt Disney Studios, the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the popular Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Some noteworthy theatre performances include a bold reimagining as Joyce in the first revival of the groundbreaking South African musical, “King Kong,” earning her a Best Lead Actress in a Musical South African Magazine Theatre Award win as well as Fleur du Cap and Naledi Theatre Award nominations. She took home the Best Lead Actress in a Musical Mercury Theatre Award for her tour-de-force performance in the title role in a celebrated revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical, “Cinderella,” and a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Naledi Theatre Award for her razor-sharp portrayal of Susan in David Mamet’s provocative play, “Race.”
Recently, Nondumiso took on the role of a lifetime as Cleopatra in Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s “Antony & Cleopatra” and then wowed critics in the title role in the illustrious Steppenwolf Theatre Company new musical, “Lindiwe,” featuring Grammy Award-winning World Music group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
An accomplished Singer-Songwriter, the multi-lingual artist’s critically-acclaimed debut album, “IZWI LAMI; My Voice,” made waves in the Southern African music industry, earning her a MetroFM Music Award win and Best Female Album and Best EthnoSoul Artist South African Traditional Music Award nominations. Some of her proudest live concert performances include singing for Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration, sharing the stage with her parents at a 2010 FIFA World Cup concert the year her country hosted and her powerful tribute performances at the United Nations UNESCO in Paris.
She can next be seen in Netflix’s upcoming romantic comedy, “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” and heard on the smash hit scripted supernatural thriller podcast, “Bridgewater.”
Nondumiso is based in Los Angeles, where she is creating and developing her own work, passionately engaged in social justice volunteer work and fighting for an Arts industry that is more inclusive and joyfully diverse!
As a writer, Nondumiso is passionate about creating exciting, new stories that center dynamic, diverse women in fantastical landscapes, like animation, fantasy and musicals. Her work explores a broader depth of humanity from under-represented characters' perspectives!
Her latest project – a delightful animated, fairytale, musical adventure feature film, for which she also composed eight original songs – is currently in early development.
• Winner Best Feature Script
2023 California Women's Film Festival
2023 Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards
• Honorable Mention
2023 Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards