Somizi (Somizi Mhlongo) is a South African actor, celebrity choreographer, singer, and television personality who is best known as one of the judges on M-Net’s Idols SA alongside Unathi Msengana, Randall Abrahams and Gareth Ciff. He is the son of actress Marry Twala.

Born Somizi Mhlongo
December 23, 1972
Orlando, Soweto
South Africa
Also Known As somGAGA
Occupation Actor, Radio DJ
TV Personality
Since 1984 – to date
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Somizi Mhlongo was born on December 23, 1972 to actress Marry Twala and actor/ comedian Ndaba Mhlongo †. He is the youngest of five children, this is according to February 07, 2015 article published by the Sowetan website.

Somizi Mhlongo’s mother, Marry Twala is a veteran South African actress who appeared on numerous feature films including Sarafina! (1992) , Beat the Drum (2003), Lucky (2011) and Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014).

His father Ndaba Mhlongo † is best known for his portrayal of Mshefana on the famed television comedy series, Inyakanyaka. Ndaba Mhlongo was nominated for the for Broadway’s 42nd Tony Awards for Best Choreography for Sarafina! alongside playwright Mbongeni Ngema.

Somizi Mhlongo entered the entertainment industry at the age of 13 as part of the popular Mbongeni Ngema play, Sarafina!, which was later turned into a film of the same name starring Whoopi Goldberg ans Leleti Khumalo. In that play Somizi Mhlongo’s father, Ndaba Mhlongo, served as a choreographer and was nominated for the Tony Award.

Somizi Mhlongo’s dancing took off in 1993 when he returned from a tour with Sarafina! with stops in the US, Australia and Europe. He was encouraged to be a better dancer by playwright Mbongeni Ngema, who saw his potential while he was a teen. Other productions he was cast in were Cry The Beloved Country, Scavengers and Tarzan: The Epic Adventures.

In 1997 Somizi Mhlongo was cast in the Eric Miyeni fronted mini-series, Molo Fish. In 2004 he portrayed the character of Danielle in the SABC 1 drama series, Zero Tolerance. In 2006 Somizi Mhlongo played the character of Madam GIGI on SABC 1’s sitcom, City Ses’la. In 2010 he served as the head judge on SABC 1’s Dance Your Butt Off and returned for the same role in the second and final season of that show.

In May 2013 Somizi Mhlongo appeared in the second season Vuzu’s 10 over 10 as a commentator. In June 2013 he was the subject of Pearl Modiadie‘s Zaziwa. In April 2014 he appeared as one of the roasters on the Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene. In August 2014 Somizi Mhlongo starred in a reality show, Reality Check. Also in August 2014 he appeared on Nicky Greenwall‘s The Close Up. In January 2015 Somizi Mhlongo portrayed the character of Baps on the first season of aYeye.

In March 2015 Somizi Mhlongo appeared in All That BS, a Vuzu talk show. In March 2016 he was the red carpet host of the 10th Annual South African Film and Television Awards and in June 2016 he co-hosted the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards. In June 2016 Somizi Mhlongo appeared on Vuzu’s season 4 of 10 over 10 as a commentator. In July 2016 he starred in his reality show, Living the Dream with Somizi.


Idols SA, July 2015 – to date

In July 2015 Somizi Mhlongo was added as the fourth judge on the Idols SA which was starting it’s 11th season. He joined Unathi Msengana, Gareth Cliff and Randall Abrahams as well as Proverb who serves as host. “I’ve never had a wedding but I imagine it feels a little like this. I’ve known about this for about two months already and I didn’t tell a soul, not even Unathi, and we’ve been working on her music video together every day!” Somizi Mhlongo was quoted by the Sowetan.

Somizi Mhlongo’s addition to the Idols SA team was the subject of great publicity and positive feedback. The move was generally, and to some extent overwhelmingly welcomed by the viewers. “It’s not only that he’s talented, but he’s a great person to work with. He deserves the Idols job, it’s not like he’s up-and-coming. We’re talking about someone who’s paid his dues” Lorcia Cooper was quoted.

“He will give the show character because of his brutal honesty with the contestants; the show will be hilarious. He will add ubuntu, in that people will be able to relate to him,” Bonang Matheba said. “Somizi is going to bring the flamboyance that Gareth and Randall lack. He’ll say things that other people are always afraid to say,” David Tlale was quoted saying.



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Molo Fish Unknown Unknown
2004 Zero Tolerance Danielle Minor Role
2006 City Ses’la Madam GIGI Guest Appearance
2010 – 2011 Dance Your Butt Off Himself Head Judge
2013, 2016 10 over 10 Himself Commentator
2013 Zaziwa Himself Guest
2014 Comedy Central Roast Himself Roaster
2014 The Close Up Himself Guest
2015 All That BS Himself Guest
2015 – to date Idols SA Himself Judge
2016 SAFTA 10 Himself Red Carpet Host
2016 SAMA 22 Himself Co-Host


Personal Life

Somizi Mhlongo is the son of famed actress Marry Twala and late actor/ comedian Ndaba Mhlongo †. He is the youngest of five children. Somizi Mhlongo is openly gay. He has a daughter named Lehlohonolo Bahumi who he shares with actress Palesa Madisakwane. Somizi Mhlongo was once quoted saying he knew he wasn’t a straight guy before he had a daughter.