HomeSouth Africa News10 Things you don't know about Cynthia Shange

10 Things you don’t know about Cynthia Shange

Cynthia Shange as Ma Nkosi


  • Cynthia is 65 years old, born in 1949
  • First Black beauty queen to represent South Africa at Miss World pageant, veteran actress and model
  • Cynthia Shange was born in Lamontville, Durban, in Kwazulu Natal
  • She started modeling in 1970 and went on to win several titles. In 1972 she won the title Miss Natal, which qualified her to enter the Miss South Africa competition for Black beauty queens.
  • Her victory entitled her to represent South Africa at The Miss World competition in 1972
  • This opened many doors for Shange, resulting in her role in SA’s first black feature film, Udeliwe, alongside co-star Joe Mafela.
  • In 1986 Shange was cast as “Mkabi” in the five part mini-seriesShaka Zulu. She co-starred alongside the late Henry Cele.
  • Shaka Zuluwas well received in the USA. Shange became a household name in South Africa, and she became recognised as an actress, and not simply a beauty queen
  • Shange starred in several programmes in the 1990s

Shange has four children: Sihle, Archie, Banele and daughter Nonhle Thema, who has become an international brand

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