- Category: PA 2006
Jessica Mbangeni was born and raised in Nqamakhwe, Eastern Cape. It was her grandmother's storytelling which was always fused with traditional Xhosa singing, that played an important role in her career as a praise-poet.
In 1999, she moved to Johannesburg and attended a School of Performing Arts headed by Gibson Kente. She made her mark as a praise-singer when she joined Soweto Gospel Choir in 2002, touring the world in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and performing in 37 North American cities in 2005 alone.
Some of Mbangeni’s career highlights include performing at the prestigious 46664 concert in Cape Town and the South African President, Thabo Mbeki's second inauguration in 2004.
When not making music, Mbangeni writes and performs poetry in her native Xhosa language throughout the country. She has also showcased her acting at the Grahamstown Arts Festival, has performed in Edinburgh Festival in Scotland celebrating South Africa 10 years of democracy, sharing a stage with Letta Mbuli and Caiphus Semenya in a musical called Once We’re Free.
In 2006, Mbangeni founded KwaNtu Entertainment & Designs agency, which is focused on getting local South African talent exposed through international television shows, local and international television adverts, international theatre and corporate shows.
Mbangeni has featured as an actress in the television drama, Soul City, in the comedy series, Emzini Wezinsizwa, and has featured extensively in television commercials for international brands. In 2011, she featured as the lead actress in The Letter, staged at Joburg’s Windybrow Theatre.
In April 2012, Mbangeni released her debut solo album, IGoli.