Vusi Kunene biography, personal life, HoZ, Generations, children, net worth and more

Vusi Kunene (born 13 April 1966) is a South African actor best known for his roles in Generations and Generations: The Legacy, Funani Zwide in House of Zwide, Bhekifa in Isibaya (2012-2016), and Jefferson Sibeko in Isidingo (2009-2014). Read more about his life and career information below.

Biography of Vusi Kunene

A picture of Vusi Kunene who played Jack Mabaso on Generations (Source: instagram @vusikunene_official)
A picture of Vusi Kunene who played Jack Mabaso on Generations (Source: instagram @vusikunene_official)

Full name: Vusumuzi Michael Kunene
Date of birth: 13 April 1966 (57 years old as of 2023)
Place of birth: Meadowlands, Soweto, South Africa
Education: Wits University of Johannesburg
Height: 1.76m (5’9)
Occupation: Actor
Known for: Jack Mabaso on Generations, Funani Zwide on House of Zwide
Net worth: $5,000,000
Nationality: South African

Early life

Vusi Kunene will be 57 years old in 2023. Moreover, his official birth date is April 12, 1966, and his Zodiac sign is Aries. The actor was born on Friday, April 13, 1966. However, one of the nurses thought the day was unlucky.

Vusi Kunene as Jack Mabaso from Generations
Vusi Kunene as Jack Mabaso from Generations

So, she changed it to April 12th on his official documents. Meadowlands, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa is where the actor was born. Soweto is where he was born and raised. He is very private about his upbringing and family.

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The actor attended Shell Road to Fame School of the Arts, where he discovered his passion for the performing arts. He enrolled in the Wits School of Drama for an undergraduate degree in Dramatic Art in 1991.

Is Vusi Kunene a Pastor?

Kunene is a Christian who preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, many people refer to him as a pastor because several ministries in the country have asked him to speak. However, he is not at all an ordained pastor. So, if you were wondering if Vusi Kunene was a Pastor or not. He is in a way but he is not ordained for it.

Personal Life of Vusi Kunene

The actor is the father of two children from two different relationships. He is the father of a daughter by actress and screenwriter Grace Mahlaba. On Backstage, Mahlaba played the role of Ipeleng Theledi. The identity of the other child is unknown.

Is He in a relationship with Brenda Mhlongo?

For a time, it was assumed that Vusi Kunene’s wife was actress Brenda Mhlongo. Because of their on-air relationship, the assumption was made.

The actor currently plays Funani Zwide on House of Zwide (source: Instagram @vusikunene_official)
The actor currently plays Funani Zwide on House of Zwide (source: Instagram @vusikunene_official)

In Generations, Mhlongo portrayed Jack Mabaso’s wife. Because the two are not married in real life, the photos of Vusi Kunene’s wedding that circulated on the internet a while ago were taken during an acting scene.

Career after Wits

After earning his degree, he was cast in Itumeleng Motsikoe’s production of The Coloured Museum at the Market Theatre. So, his career in television also advanced. Moreover, he was cast in the 1996 SABC Television production of Homelands, directed by Neal Sundstrom. And, also had an appearance in the 1997 film Deafening Silence, also by Ettienne De Villiers.

Funani Zwide's real life full name is Vusumuzi Michael Kunene
Funani Zwide’s real life full name is Vusumuzi Michael Kunene

He was chosen to appear in three television movies as a student at Wits School of Drama: Drumbeats, directed by Jurgen Shaderburg. Furthermore, he was in The Line, directed by Brian Tilley for Channel Four; and Rhodes, a miniseries produced by the BBC and directed by David Drury.

In addition, he was chosen to play Reverend Msimango in Darryl Roodt’s feature film Cry the Beloved Country. For his performance as Reverend Msimango, he won the Best Performance prize at the Zimbabwe-Southern African Film Festival as well as the M-Net All Africa Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Later career feats

Aside from his most prominent roles. He is also well-known for the manner in which he speaks Zulu (IsiZulu). Since 1993, he has appeared in 25 films and television shows. In 2011, he won the Golden Horn Award for Best Actor for his performance in the drama Soul City.

In 2001, he appeared in Final Solution and the mini-series Diamond Hunters. He also appeared in the sci-fi television series Charlie Jade in 2005 and the youth drama series Yizo Yizo. Moreover, he played the role of Doctor Gulubane in the pilot episode of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in 2008.

2010 onwards

Thereafter, he starred in Soul City’s 10th season in 2010. He also starred as Bhekifa Ngubane in the Mzansi Magic telenovela-turned-soap-opera isiBaya. Moreover, in 2014, he played Major Owiti in Gavin Hood’s Eye in the Sky, later on Ayeye on Dstv.

In 2015, he played Boris Kodjoe as a lawyer in Cape Town. He then played Tshekedi Khama in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom. A 20th-century love story involving Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams.

In 2015, Craig Freimond’s Beyond the River It was based on the story of Piers Cruikshanks of the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club and Siseko Ntondini of the Soweto Canoe and Recreation Club. Furthermore, in 2016, he starred in the international film A United Kingdom. Which has won numerous awards and nominations.

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Vusi Kunene Net Worth

There is no official information available regarding the actor’s net worth. Despite this, he is thought to be one of South Africa’s wealthiest actors. Vusi Kunene’s monthly salary on House of Zwide ranges between R150 000 and R200 000.


According to his agency at MLSA, the actor has the average male South African height of 1.76m. Which in more relatable measurements would be around 176cm and in American standards 5 foot 9.

Social media

Vusi Kunene has an Instagram. He goes by the username @vusikunene_official. So, you can follow him there to keep up with him. The only way to ever get in touch with the legend is by contacting his agency at, which represents him.