Lunga Shabalala Biography | Age | Qualifications | Career | Thando Thabethe | Past Relationships
Lunga Shabalala is a South African actor, TV presenter, and model renowned for his contributions to the entertainment industry. Born in Pietermaritzburg, he rose to prominence as a presenter on the prominent SABC 1 entertainment and variety TV show, Selimathunzi. His foray into acting began with a significant role in the soap opera The River.
Lunga Shabalala was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He received his education at Maritzburg College. During his time there, he shared classes with notable South African actor Zenzelisphesihle Xulu and singer Mario Ogle. After completing his schooling, he pursued a diploma in Town Planning, although he soon realized that this career path was not aligned with his aspirations. Lunga’s passion for the arts and entertainment industry led him to embark on a journey to pursue his dreams, which began in 2011.
After making the move to Johannesburg, Lunga Shabalala initiated his career within the television industry, starting with a Coca-Cola commercial. His talents extended beyond modelling, demonstrated when he triumphed in the 2010 Calvin Klein competition, Represent South Africa, gaining widespread recognition. He transitioned from modelling to television work, capturing the spotlight.
In 2011, Lunga participated in the nationwide search to find the next host for Selimathunzi, ultimately emerging victorious as the chosen presenter. This achievement solidified his celebrity status, which was further confirmed when he was featured in Cosmopolitan’s 2011 list of sexiest hunks.
Throughout his career, Lunga showcased his versatile skills. He co-hosted the entertainment countdown show 10 over 10 in 2013 and took on the role of co-presenter for SABC 1’s official New Year’s Eve show, Come Duze. His dynamic on-screen presence secured him the role of co-presenter for the reality TV show Man Cave, where male participants engaged in adventurous tasks. This collaboration continued for six seasons, concluding in 2017.
In 2015, Lunga demonstrated his culinary abilities on the South African version of Celebrity Masterchef South Africa. His hosting capabilities expanded to include the 2016 South African Music Awards, where he co-hosted the red-carpet event alongside fellow hosts Bonang Matheba and Pearl Modiadie.
A defining moment in his career arrived in 2018 when he made his acting debut as Lindani in the M-net original production The River, broadcast on DStv‘s 1Magic channel. His acting prowess continued to shine in his role as Sims Zulu on the M-Net original production Legacy, from early 2021 until the show’s conclusion in September 2022.
In 2014, Lunga Shabalala addressed rumours about his sexual orientation, asserting that he was straight while advocating for acceptance of diverse sexual orientations. He later entered a romantic relationship with model and Channel O presenter K Naomi Noinyane. This relationship garnered attention, yet eventually faced challenges leading to its dissolution, partly due to Lunga’s affair with actress Omuhle Gela. Lunga publicly acknowledged his infidelity, attributing it to the pressures of fame and success within the media industry.