Vusi Kunene
Vusi Kunene.jpeg
Born (1966-04-12) April 12, 1966 (age 55)
Meadowlands, South Africa
EducationWits School of Drama
  • Actress

Vusi Kunene is an award-winning South African actor known for playing the role of villain Jack Mabaso in Generations. Kunene has extensive years in the television industry and most of his roles have been villains.


He was born in Meadowlands, north of Soweto in Johannesburg.


Vusi Kunene was born on 12 April 1966. He was actually born on Friday the 13th, but one of the nurses thought this was bad luck and changed it to the 12th.[1]


He holds a Degree in Dramatic Art from Wits School of Drama.[1]


Vusi discovered his acting abilities at the Shell Road to Fame School of the Arts, which was set up to assist contestants in preparation for the auditions.

In 1991 he decided to pursue acting as a career and registered at the Wits School of Drama, for a Degree in Dramatic Art. He got the opportunity to perform in numerous student stage dramas, including The Hill, where he was spotted by his future agent Moonyeenn Lee.

During his student career at Wits School of Drama, he was cast in three television films namely: Drumbeats, directed by Jurgen Shaderburg; The Line, directed by Brian Tilley for Channel Four; and the mini-series Rhodes, directed by David Drury for the BBC.

He was also cast in three feature films including the role of Reverend Msimango in Cry the Beloved Country, directed by Darryl Roodt.

After graduating, Kunene landed a role in The Coloured Museum directed by Itumeleng Motsikoe for the Market Theatre.

In 1996 he was cast in Homelands directed by Neal Sundstrom and in 1997 he appeared in Deafening Silence directed by Ettienne De Villiers, both for SABC Television.

In 1998 he was cast in the drama series Justice for All directed by Peter Goldsmid.

In 1996 he was cast in two feature films: Fools directed by Ramadan Suleman, and Kini and Adams (in which he played the lead role of Kini), directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo for Framework, Zimbabwe.

In 1998 he was cast in A Reasonable Man directed by Gavin Hood and then The King is Alive, a Dogma production that was directed by Kristian Levring and filmed in Namibia in 1999.

Later film roles included Final Solution (2001) and the made-for-TV movie/mini-series Diamond Hunters, also in 2001.

He made a guest appearance in an episode of the sci-fi television series Charlie Jade in the 2005 episode entitled "Dirty Laundry" (Season 1, Episode 6).

He also had a lead role in the second season of the SABC1 youth drama series Yizo Yizo as Vuyani.

In 2008 he played the role of Doctor Gulubane in the pilot episode of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, directed by the late Anthony Minghella.

He has a starring role in the 10th season of the SABC1 drama series Soul City, in 2010 as Tifo Miya.[1]


Kunene returned to popular SABC1 soapie Generations: The Legacy in 2015 to revive his role as a villain Jack Mabaso. In March 2021, Generations publicist, Nandipha Pantsi, confirmed the news Kunene had resigned to pursue other ventures. Pantsi said Kunene's last and final episodes would air in May 2021.

Entertainment commenter Phil Mphela said Vusi Kunene would be joining e.TV’s brand new soapie that would be replacing the canned Rhythm City.[2]


He played the role of businessman Jefferson Sibeko on the canned soapie Isidingo. He was manipulative, ambitious and very aggressive.[2]


Kunene also played the notorious Bekifa Ngubane on the now canned soapie Isibaya. He was a scrap metal mogul and night club owner.

He was witty, charming but dangerous at the same time. He took pleasure in seeing other people’s demise.[2]


In May 2020, Kunene joined Gomora as the wealthy, confident and well-read Rodney "Uncle Rod" Sibeko.[3]


He was awarded an M-Net All Africa Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Zimbabwe-Southern African Film Festival award for Best Performance for his role as Reverend Msimango. Kunene won an Avanti award for Best Actor for his role in Justice for All. He was nominated for an NTVA award for Best Actor for his role of Daniel Mofokeng in Homelands, and was nominated for the same award three years in a row (2002-2004) for his role as Jack Mabaso in Generations.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Vusi Kunene, TVSA, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: March 17, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Quincy Mahlangu, JACK MABASO DUMPS GENERATIONS: THE LEGACY, Daily Sun, Published: March 10, 2021, Retrieved: March 17, 2021
  3. Nonkululeko Mazibuko, Vusi Kunene joins 'Gomora' – here are 3 villainous roles he’s nailed!, Drum Magazine, Published: May 29, 2020, Retrieved: March 17, 2021