Connie Chiume: ‘Black Panther’ Star’s Journey From Dusty Welkom Streets to Glittering Hollywood Lights

Connie Chiume: ‘Black Panther’ Star’s Journey From Dusty Welkom Streets to Glittering Hollywood Lights

Connie Choume's journey from Welkom to being a megastar who stars in movies like Black Panther has been one of Mzansi's fave success stories. The actress' acting roles, including Rhythm City's Mamokete and Gomora's Mam Sonto, kept Mzansi entertained for years. Hence when Chiume won a Lifetime Achievetime Award at Hollywood African and Prestigious Awards, Mzansi was extremely proud of her.

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Connie Chiume starred in 'Zone 14' before 'Black Panther.'
Connie Chiume wanted to be a teacher, but her 'Black Panther' worthy talent drew her to showbiz. Image: Gilbert Flores
Source: Getty Images

Connie Chiume is one of South Africa's most well-known and respected actresses. The star's acting roles include her famous South African characters, such as Rhythm City's Mamokete and Gomora's Mam Sonto. She has also starred in worldwide films such as Black Panther.

However, every success story has a beginning, and Chiume's path has been fascinating to witness.

Where was Connie Chiume born?

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Chiume was born 0n 5 June 1952, making her 71 years old in 2023. Her hometown is Welkom, South Africa, where she completed her elementary and high school education.

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Buzz South Africa reports that her dad was Malawian, and her mom was of Mzansi descent. Chiume's dad Wright Tadeyo passed away in 1983, while she buried her mom in 2020 after lung cancer complications.

When did Connie's love for acting begin?

Interestingly, Connie had other passions and aspirations while she was a student. According to Buzz South Africa, she moved to the Eastern Cape after finishing her primary and high school education in Welkom.

Connie's decision to go to the Eastern Cape was driven by her desire to teach, which many will soon witness through her new acting workshops that will be held in the same province.

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After receiving her teaching degree in 1976, she began teaching. However, she decided to travel to Greece for greener pastures.

While in Greece, she became interested in performing arts and started acting in theatre plays. Connie's first big role in Mzansi following her return came in 1989 when she was cast as Thembi in the TV series Inkom' Edla Yodwa.

Since then, Connie has been unstoppable in showbiz, landing roles in local hit shows like Zone 14, Rhythm City, and Gomora.

Speaking to News24 about her 46-year-old career, Connie said she's forever reinventing herself to ensure she doesn't lose value in the ever-changing industry.

"In our industry, as we all know, we are freelancers, and freelancers are not employed by anyone. You are contractual, so you work for a bit here and there, and then you are out and have to look for another job. That's why I'm saying it has been a journey with different experiences."

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Connie Chiume takes over Hollywood

Not only is Connie a well-known actress in Mzansi, but she's also the country's pride. The actress is one of South Africa's most sought-after talent worldwide.

She starred in both Black Panther films as Zawavari. In a podcast interview with King David, Connie claimed when she auditioned for her role in the Marvel film; she had no idea it was for Black Panther.

Even when she received a call announcing she would go to the United States to shoot the film, she didn't realise how huge the show was until she informed her colleagues.

“They asked me when I was gonna shoot, and shyly I said Black Panther after that everybody stood up, they started running and screaming. One of them Googled it and they showed me and I was like what!!?.”

Check out the full interview below:

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Proving that her international stardom is unmatched, Connie also appeared in Beyoncé's version of Lion King titled Black Is King. E News reported that Connie played Simba's mother, Sarabi.

Connie Chiume's prestigious trophies

On top of appearing on global hit shows, the talented star has also bagged international gongs. TshisaLIVE reported that in 2022, Connie walked away with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hollywood African Prestigious Award.

The amazing milestone came after she was the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for the SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas).

Connie also won a third award from GQ and Hennessy. Chiume became the first female star to be awarded the prize. Previous winners include jazz legend Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse and John Kani.

Minnie and Connie Chiume dazzle on the cover of The Plug for contributions to Film and Television industry

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In other stories, Briefly News reported that Minnie Dlamini and Connie Chiume are powerhouses in the entertainment industry and the online magazine The Plug duly recognised their talents by splashing them on their cover.

The two stars went on social media to post pictures from their photoshoot dressed in all black, and their fans were stunned by the impactful pairing.

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Source: Briefly News

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