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5 Celebs You Didn’t Know Had Ties to Zim

Written By Diona Stević Marinko Mar, 11 2020
5 Celebs You Didn’t Know Had Ties to Zim

When you think of Zimbabwe, you probably think of Victoria Falls, The Big 5, and lush greenery that’s home to over 85 000 elephants and almost 700 species of birds – many of which can only be found in Zim.

But beyond the fauna and flora, some of your favourite celebrities also have ties to Zim. Here are five that might surprise you.


Hollwood is over 16 000km from Zimbabwe, but some of your favourite celebrities hail from the African nation.


1. Thandie Newton

You’ll recognise the London-born actress (full name Thandiwe, which means “beloved”) from films that include The Pursuit of Happyness, Crash and Mission: Impossible ll, but did you know her mother, Nyasha Jombe, is Zimbabwean?

2. Chris Martin

The Coldplay frontman looks as English as a cup of tea, but he spent much of his youth in Zimbabwe – his mother’s birth country. In 2015, Martin discussed with Rolling Stone Magazine the cause Make Trade Fair, which aims to loosen foreign trade barriers so that developing countries can enter the foreign market.

3. Jamelia

This Superstar was born in Birmingham to a Jamaican mother and Zimbabwean father. Since her 2003 smash-hit, Jamelia has been a panelist on a UK talk show, a coach on The Voice and an ambassador for #YouAreNotAlone.

4. Alexander McCall Smith

If you’re a literary buff, you’ve definitely heard of Alexander McCall Smith. The British-Zimbabwean author was born in then Southern Rhodesia in 1948 and is best known for the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which was later turned into a BBC series.

5. Oskido

If you’ve got your ear on the ground of South African music, you may already know the South African hitmaker has a Zimbabwean father. Born in Brits, South Africa, he spent most of his early life in Bulawayo before moving to Johannesburg, where his music career flourished.

Are there any other celebrities with ties to Zimbabwe that might surprise us? Let us know on Twitter.

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