Tongayi Chirisa

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Tongayi Chirisa
Tongayi Arnold Chirisa
BornTongayi Arnold Chirisa
(1981-08-08)August 8, 1981
EducationLomagundi College
Alma materAFDA, The School for the Creative Economy
  • Actor
Years active2003 to present

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 as Hekule. 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 at Lomagundi College, Chirisa graduated with a Diploma in Hotel Management.[1] He graduated also with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Live Performance at AFDA, The School for the Creative Economy.

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 for which he won the Best Actor for Film and Television Award. 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 Good Doctor as Kerrys Husband (2020)
  2. The Guest Book as Kwame (2018)
  3. Hawaii Five-O as Don (2018)
  4. iZombie as Justin Bell (2017-19)
  5. Mars Project as Neil Cormack (2016)
  6. The Jim Gaffigan Show as Father Nicholas (2015-16)
  7. Whitney as Gary Houston (2015)
  8. Gaffigan as Father Nicholas Ngungumbane (2013)
  9. Sleepy Hollow as Arthur Bernard (2013)
  10. H+: The Digital Series as African Soldier (2012)
  11. American Horror Story: Asylum as Miles (2012)
  12. NCIS: Los Angeles as Interrogator (2011)
  13. Barack Obama's Cousin as Barack Obama's Cousin (2010)
  14. Mrs Mandela as Arguing Husband (2010)
  15. Diamonds as Oba Sewele (2009)
  16. Crusoe as Friday (2008-9)
  17. Studio 263 (2003–2005)


  1. Antebellum as Eli Stokes/Professor (2020)
  2. Palm Springs as Jerry (2020)
  3. The Zim as William Zimunya (2017)
  4. Happiness Is A Four-letter Word as Thomas (2016)
  5. Whipping Boy as Olly 'Napalm' Harris (2014)
  6. Standby as Dee (2013)
  7. Geezas as Sammy the Mouth (2011)
  8. Gargoyle as Themba (2009)
  9. Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past as Hekule (2008)
  10. Zimbabwe as Charles (2008)
  11. Skin as Township Priest (2008)
  12. Ace of Hearts as Tebsane Masa (2008)
  13. Tanyaradzwa (2005)

Picture Gallery



Tongayi Chirisa on Top Billing
Archery Training for Crusoe TV Series Actor
The Jim Gaffigan Show: Father To Father
Barack Obama's Cousin: Episode 4 - The Butt Grab (Comedy)


One of Chirisa's friends in Hollywood is Djimon Hounsou.[2] Chirisa is also a singer and he featured in Tia's musical 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"