Raphael Griffiths: age, child, girlfriend, parents, origin, career, profile

Raphael Griffiths: age, child, girlfriend, parents, origin, career, profile

This South African talent has been gracing our screens as a presenter and actor since 2009. Raphael Griffiths managed to steal our hearts with no previous acting training in his portrayal of Vusi in Muvhango. He has recently opened up about his mixed heritage, which he previously kept secret due to fears of xenophobic criticism. Find out more about his relationship with DJ and actress Thulisile Phongolo, and the humorous tale of Raphael was 'discovered' by SABC 2.

Raphael Griffiths
Raphael Griffiths is a true child of Africa with a vast mixture of cultures within his family. Photo: @raphaelgriffithsiii/Instagram
Source: Instagram

The young actor has been quite private about his personal life, only recently opening up about his Zambian roots. His early struggles with social media and cyber-bullying are likely the reason behind his insistence on privacy. Briefly.co.za has all you need to know about your favourite South African soapie actor.

Raphael Griffiths's profile

  • Full name: Raphael Griffiths
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Date of birth: 3 January 1992
  • Zodiac: Capricorn
  • Raphael Griffiths' age: 29
  • Current residence: South Africa
  • Nationality: Zambian-South African
  • Ethnicity: African
  • School: Hoërskool Die Fakkel
  • Education: Television Production at AFDA
  • Raphael Griffiths' girlfriend: Thulisile Phongolo (on-off)
  • Raphael Griffiths' child: none
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Hair colour: Dark brown
  • Occupation: Actor and TV personality
  • Net worth: $300 000
  • Instagram: @raphaelgriffithsiii
  • Facebook: @Raphael Griffiths III
  • Twitter: @el_raffael

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Raphael Griffiths
The photograph titled "Ancestry II" is from Raphael Griffiths' performance art project, "Nightmares", 2020. Photo: @raphaelgriffithsiii/Instagram
Source: Instagram

Is Raphael Griffiths South African?

Raphael Griffiths' origin story has been previously kept secret, as he was apprehensive about discussing the mixed heritage due to the xenophobic issues in South Africa. Between 2000 and 2008, South Africa saw a rise in violence as "foreigners" were attacked and killed by xenophobic racists. However, the conflict has since subsided in severity, and Raphael Griffiths' parents' nationality no longer needs to be kept secret.

Is Raphael Griffiths coloured? Well, he is a "rainbow child" with a mix of ethnicity in his heritage. Raphael Griffiths' mother is half-Zambian and Zulu, whilst his coloured father is from Dundee, KZN.

“My great-grandma from my father's side was originally Portuguese. She had a bit of Angolan descent. They moved to Zambia, and that’s how my grandma came about. She married a Zambian man, and that’s how my Dad came about. My Dad married a Zulu woman and that’s how I came about. I am an African. It’s a nice mix.”

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Is Raphael Griffiths Zimbabwean? No, the young actor was born in Johannesburg in 1992. Raphael was awarded the title of head boy, the first black boy to receive this honour in the Afrikaans school.

Raphael Griffiths
Raphael Griffiths celebrates the local artist, Thabiso Dakamela, at his recent exhibition in April 2021. Photo: @raphaelgriffithsiii/Instagram
Source: Instagram

Raphael Griffiths's biography

His on-screen debut was in 2009 when he presented on the show, Qbase28. Unfortunately, the young talent nearly missed his opportunity to present the show, but luckily enough, Griffiths has made such an impression that SABC 2 advertised a search for the young presenter.

"To my surprise, I saw an advert on SABC 2; ‘Have You Seen Raphael?’ I didn’t have an Agent so there was no other way they could have located me at the time because I had lost my phone."

He continued to host various shows until he landed his role in Muvhango in 2013 which took him on the path towards acting.

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How old is Raphael Griffiths?

Raphael Griffiths' real age is 29 years old in 2021. His best-known character was Vusi Muvhevho on SA's favourite local drama, Muvhango, which he played for five years. In 2018, the young actor moved to Imbewu: The Seed, where he currently plays the role of Zithulele.

Raphael Griffiths' television appearances:

  • Imbewu (Zithulele Bhengu)
  • Muvhango (Vusi Mukwevho)
  • The Comedy Central Roast (Himself)
  • The South African Film and Television Awards (Presenter)
  • Qbase28 (Presenter)
  • Music Moves Me (Host)
Raphael Griffiths
Thulisile Phongolo and Raphael Griffiths started dating before their acting careers took off. Photo: @thuliphongolo/Instagram
Source: Instagram

'It's complicated'

Raphael Griffiths' wedding does not seem to be in the plans any time soon, as his rocky relationship with his girlfriend and fellow actress, Thulisile Phongolo, is not the most stable.

According to reports, the couple split in 2015 at Thulisile's request, as she allegedly sought after a more supportive, wealthier Zulu husband. The couple had re-united since then but seem to be living separate lives in 2021. Thulisile is apparently hoping to date Murdah Bongz in the not-so-distant future.

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Interesting facts about Raphael Griffiths:

  • He is obsessed with sneakers, owning over 40 pairs of Nike at a stage
  • He hopes to create a fashion brand some day
  • He is passionate about African Literature and writes poetry
  • He wanted to study Political Science after high school
  • He hosts his own radio show, “The Playground”, on iGagasi FM
  • He has been rapping and singing since he was twelve
Raphael Griffiths
Raphael Griffiths' project celebrates various forms of art focusing on creating awareness for mental health. Photo: @raphaelgriffithsiii/Instagram
Source: Instagram

Raphael Griffiths' battle with depression

As an untrained actor, Griffiths had many challenges when breaking into the television industry, but nothing prepared him for the backlash of critics on social media. The young, inexperienced actor was a victim of cyber-bullying following his breakout role of Vusi, and the hateful comments led him into a dark depression.

“I was a young actor, and yes I admit I wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio, but social media was brutal and that took its toll on my confidence and self-esteem.”

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Since then, he has re-balanced his mindset and also started and personally funded a project called "Nightmares", which focuses on mental health issues expressed through dance, music, photography and other art forms.

Raphael Griffiths
Raphael Griffiths claims that the combination of therapy and his relationship with God got his through his depression. Photo: @raphaelgriffithsiii/Instagram
Source: Instagram

Raphael Griffiths is self-made in an industry that usually requires extensive training and networking, but this young star managed to make a name for himself through sheer determination. With his theatrical debut of "Nightmares", a recurring role on Imbewu and hopes of starting a fashion line, the sky is the limit for Griffiths.

READ ALSO: Thulisile Phongolo biography: boyfriend, education, career and cutest photos

Since before the two earned their celebrity status, Griffiths and Phongolo have been involved in a tangled love affair. While her partner was working on Muvhango, the young actress earned her recognition as Namhala Diale in Generations The Legacy.

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Thulisile is multi-talented as she shares her boyfriend's passion for music. This entertainer has skills as an actress, presenter, DJ and more. Find out what else this South African beauty has to offer with Briefly.co.za.

Source: Briefly News

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Levana Chester-Londt Levana started writing about art history in 2009 at the University of Johannesburg, where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art. She now writes about a range of topics, including news, lifestyle hacks, anime, celebrities and more. You will usually find a paintbrush in her hand during her spare time as she creates artworks for Levana Jane Studios.

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