Tongayi Chirisa

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Tongayi Chirisa
Tongayi Arnold Chirisa
BornTongayi Arnold Chirisa
(1981-08-08)August 8, 1981
  • Actor
Years active2003 to present
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front

Tongayi Chirisa who is affectionately known as 'Detective Trevor Davies' (his role in the first soap that was produced in the country, Studio 263) is a Hollywood based Zimbabwean actor who rose to fame when he starred in Leon Schuster's Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past in 2008. Since then, Chirisa has been a force to reckon with.


Chirisa was born Tongayi Arnold Chirisa on 8 August 1981. After finishing his secondary education, Chirisa graduated with a Diploma in Hotel Management.[1]. He graduated also with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Live Performance at AFDA.

Acting Career

Although Chirisa was poised to work in the hospitality sector, he was determined to be an actor. He thus decided to pursue a career in acting and he braved his way to the top. He switched into theatre, playing the leading role in Crossroads, Upside Down, The Island and Harry as well as The Brother from the Older Mother.[1].

From 2003 to 2005, he starred in Studio 263 as Detective Trevor Davies. Opportunities began to open up for Chirisa and he had his first film debut in 2003 when he starred in the movie in Blood Covenant.[1] From then onwards, he featured in Cousin Brother,Evil in Our Midst amongst other films.

In 2004, he starred in the film Tanyaradzwa. In 2006, he left Zimbabwe for South Africa in search of greener pastures. Chirisa however stated that he was obliged to relocate to South Africa because he was awarded a scholarship to pursue his studies in acting.[2] Whilst in South Africa, he worked in various film projects such as Diamonds, Skin, Robinson and Mrs Mandela. [3]

In 2008, Chirisa became a household name when he starred in Leon Schuster's Mr Bones 2 : Back form The Past as Hekule The King of Kuvikiland. In an interview that was conducted in 2012, Chirisa professed that he nearly lost his role in the film. He stated that,

... In 2007, l tried out for Mr Bones 2 but l almost lost it because they said l was too thin. Just as they were about to hire someone else a couple of weeks later l emerged from the gym all pumped up and the rest is history. [2]

In 2009, he left South Africa for Hollywood, where is currently based. He has so far featured in NCIS -Los Angeles, NBC International television series Crusoe and few other commercials.[3] On 20 January 2015, it was reported that, Chirisa had landed another role in an American comedy, The Jim Gaffian Show which is set to make its debut appearance on Comedy Central.[4] It has been reported that Chirisa is to be Father Nicholas Ngungumbane, a Catholic Priest from Zimbabwe who tries to convince Jim a father of five to regularly come to church.[4]


  1. Best Actor for Film and Television Award conferred by the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) in 2005 for his role in the film, Tanyaradzwa.


Television Series

  1. The Jim Gaffian Show (2015)
  2. Sleepy Hollow (2013)
  3. American Horror Story (2012)
  4. NCIS Los Angeles (2011)
  5. Crouse (2008)
  6. Rough
  7. Redemption
  8. Studio 263 (2003-2005)


  1. Whitney (2015)
  1. Asylum (2012)
  2. Mr Bones 2 : Back from the Past (2008)
  3. Zimbabwe (2008)
  4. Skin (2008)
  5. Tanyaradzwa (2004)
  6. Blood Covenant (2003)


One of Chirisa's friends in Hollywood is Djimon Hounsou.[2] Chirisa is also a singer and he featured in Tia's video for her song 'Boy You Got to Know'.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tongayi Chirisa, TV.COM, published:2012,retrieved:21 January 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Brenda Phiri, I’m single, ready to mingle: Chirisa, Nehanda Radion, published:24 Dec 2012,retrieved:21 January 2015"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Silence Charumbira, Spruce up the country’s image: Chirisa, The Standard, published:23 Dec 2012,retrieved:1 January 2015"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sharon Muguyu, Chirisa stars in top American comedy, Daily News, published:21 Jan 2015,retrieved:21 January 2015"