Nondumiso Tembe was Born in Durban, South Africa, multi-award winning Actress/Singer-Songwriter/Dancer Nondumiso Tembe is well on her way to becoming one of Africa’s brightest international stars. Raised in New York City, where her parents were the first black South Africans to study Music at the Juilliard School, Tembe is the daughter of two of Africa’s most successful Opera singers but has forged a unique and extraordinary path of her own. A trailblazer, the artist has a string of impressive qualifications that have laid the foundation for what continues to be a meaningful, international and diverse career in the Performing Arts. It is believed that Tembe is the first South African actress to hold a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the famed Yale School of Drama. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Political Science with a focus on Africa from New York’s New School University and spent a summer studying Classical Theatre at the British American Dramatic Academy at the illustrious Oxford University in England. She has studied Ballet and African dance for 18 years, namely at the distinguished Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Djoniba African Dance and Drum Center in New York City.
The multiple award-winning actress/singer gained wide recognition and acclaim for her emotionally intense portrayal of tragic Creole maid, Mavis, in the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning hit HBO show “TRUE BLOOD” and the feisty and scandalous Miss Mya, on Africa’s most popular television show, “GENERATIONS.” But it is her ferocious and nuanced portrayal of women’s rights and girls’ education activist, Na’omi Ajimuda, on History’s Channel, A+E Studios and the Weinstein’s Company’s new breakout military drama, “SIX,” which many consider to be the strongest, most compelling performance of her career. Playing one of the female leads opposite multi-award winning actor, Walton Goggins, on one of the best new television shows of 2017, Tembe brings heart, grit, intelligence, passion and profound courage to the physically and emotionally challenging role. In 2016, Tembe played the lead role – the feisty and ambitious dancer/choreographer with a complicated past, Lungile Sabata, in the new Romantic Comedy feature film, “ZULU WEDDING,” opposite popular American actor/choreographer Darrin Dewitt Henson. The role was a dream come true for Tembe, as she got the opportunity to merge two of her greatest loves; Acting and Dance, in the role. “ZULU WEDDING” will be in movie theatres in 2017. Tembe is currently filming a fascinating new A+E Studios and Lifetime project – a new film intimately chronicling the last few years of Michael Jackson’s life. In the film, titled “MICHAEL JACKSON: SEARCHING FOR NEVERLAND,” starring Navi, Chad Coleman and Sam Adekoge, Tembe plays one of Jackson’s closest friends and confidantes and nanny to his three children, Grace Rwaramba. The film will also be released in 2017. Some other notable credits include a cameo role in Marvel’s “AVENGERS II” and the fierce Fanta, in the epic 6-part international mini-series, “BOOK OF NEGROES.” She has also appeared on popular CBS series “NCIS: LA” with LL Cool J as well as America’s number 1 hit TV show “NCIS” with Mark Harmon and in 2016, the actress made a special guest starring appearance on ABC hit detective drama “CASTLE”. Tembe’s Theatre resume is varied and extensive, having performed in noted productions at some of America’s most prestigious theatres, including the McCarter Theater at Princeton, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Miller Theatre at Columbia and the Boston Court Theatre and Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles, to name a few.
An accomplished Singer/Songwriter, the multi-talented artist’s critically-acclaimed debut album “IZWI LAMI; My Voice” made waves in the Southern African music industry, winning a 2011 MetroFM Music Award for Best Music Video (“Just A Guy”), also receiving a nomination for Best Female Album as well as a nomination for a South African Traditional Music Award (SATMA) in the Best EthnoSoul Artist category. Other career highlights include singing for Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration at his home in Qunu, South Africa as well as two powerful tribute performances at the UNITED NATIONS UNESCO in Paris, France at the 2012 International Africa Day celebrations and at the 2013 50th anniversary celebrations of South Africa’s historic Rivonia Trials. Tembe won the 2012 Mercury Theatre award for Best Lead Actress In A Musical for her tour-de-force performance in the title role in a South African revival of Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s beloved classical musical “Cinderella” and won the 2014 Best Actress In A Supporting Role Naledi Theatre Award for her razor-sharp portrayal of ferocious young lawyer, Susan, in David Mamet’s provocative play, “RACE” in a successful South African tour and a triumphant run at the 2014 world-renowned Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Nondumiso is based in Los Angeles. She is fluent in English, Zulu and French and semi-fluent in Spanish, Xhosa and Afrikaans.