Xolani Khumalo Biography: Early Life | Education | TV career | Sizok’thola | Controversies
Xolani Khumalo is the frontman and presenter of one of Moja LOVE’s crime-busting reality show, Sizok’thola, which airs on the channel every Sunday. The show follows Khumalo and his team as they raid drug dens and confront drug dealers across the country with the help of community policing forums and law enforcement agencies.
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Early Life and Education
Khumalo was born and raised in Tembisa, a township in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. He attended Phomolong Secondary School, where he developed a passion for drama and music.
He joined a local theatre group called Tembisa Art Zone, where he honed his acting and singing skills. He also participated in several talent shows and competitions, such as Idols SA and SA’s Got Talent.
Xolani Khumalo TV Career
Khumalo’s breakthrough came in 2019 when he landed a role in the popular soapie Generations: The Legacy. He played the character of Thabo, a young man who was involved in a drug syndicate.
His performance earned him praise from critics and fans alike, and he soon became a household name.
The Birth of Sizok’thola
In 2021, Khumalo was approached by Moja LOVE’s CEO, Aubrey Tau, who had an idea for a new reality show that would expose the drug problem in South Africa. Tau was impressed by Khumalo’s acting skills and charisma, and he believed that he would be the perfect host for the show.
The idea of Sizok’thola, which means “we will find you” in isiZulu, was sparked during the July 2021 riots when Khumalo and a group of his friends had to protect their community in Tembisa from looters and criminals. They also discovered several drug dens and dealers operating in their area and decided to take action against them.
Khumalo agreed to join the show, and he formed a team of volunteers who were willing to risk their lives to fight against drugs. They received training from former police officers and private investigators, who taught them how to conduct raids, interrogations, and arrests. They also collaborated with community policing forums and law enforcement agencies, who provided them with intelligence and backup.
The show premiered on Moja LOVE in February 2022, and it quickly became a hit among viewers. The show has exposed hundreds of drug dealers and users across the country, and it has also helped many addicts to seek rehabilitation and recovery. The show has also raised awareness about the dangers of drugs and the impact they have on society.
Challenges and Controversies
However, not everyone is happy with Khumalo and his team’s work. The show has faced criticism from some human rights activists and lawyers, who have accused them of violating the rights of the suspects and using excessive force during their operations. They have also questioned the legality and ethics of filming people without their consent and broadcasting their personal information on national television.
Moreover, Khumalo and his team have received death threats from unknown drug dealers who want them to stop the show. They have also been attacked by some of the suspects and their associates, who have tried to prevent them from doing their job.
In June 2022, Khumalo and his crew were attacked in Rustenburg, where they were shooting the arrest of a “drug dealer” for the show. They were blocked by security guards at a lounge where the suspect was spotted, and they had to break out after being locked inside. They were also pelted with bottles by some people outside the lounge, which damaged one of their vehicles.
In July 2023, Khumalo and his team faced another tragedy when one of their suspects died after they interrogated him. The man, identified as Robert “Kicks” Varrie, was a suspected drug dealer who was raided by Khumalo’s team in Katlehong.
He allegedly resisted cooperating with them, and he later collapsed and died at a hospital. His partner accused Khumalo and his team of killing him, and she demanded that they be arrested. Moja LOVE issued a statement saying they were investigating the incident and would cooperate with any official inquiries.
The Support and Recognition For Xolani Khumalo
Despite these challenges and controversies, Khumalo and his team have received overwhelming support from many South Africans, who have praised them for their courage and dedication to fighting drugs. They have also received recognition from various organisations and institutions, who have honoured them for their contribution to social justice.
In May 2022, Khumalo received the Humanitarian Award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) for his role in Sizok’thola. He dedicated the award to his team and to the victims of drugs, and he vowed to continue his mission until drugs are eradicated from the country1.
In June 2022, Khumalo was invited to speak at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria, where he shared his experience and insights on combating drugs in South Africa.
Xolani Khumalo Personal Life
Khumalo is married to Nokuthula Khumalo, a nurse who works at Tembisa Hospital. They have two children, a son named Thabo and a daughter named Nokwanda. Khumalo said his family is his source of strength and motivation and that he always puts them first in everything he does.
Khumalo is passionate about music and plans to release his debut album soon. He said that music is his way of expressing himself and inspiring others and that he hopes to use his talent to spread positive messages and values.