Thami Mbongo is a South African actor, drama facilitator, educator, theatre writer and director best known for his role as Moses Gumede in the e.tv soccer drama series Shooting Stars, from 2007-2010.
Mbongo was born and grew up in Mbekweni, Paarl. He attended Langabuya Primary School and matriculated in 1997 at Desmond Mpilo Tutu High School.
Thami went to study at Community Arts Project (CAP) in 1998, now known as Arts and Media Access Centre (AMAC) in Cape Town. After that he studied a Performer's Diploma in Speech and Drama at the University of Cape Town, from 1999-2001.
He first appeared in a KFC ("Ayavaya Amafong Kong") commercial that aired on the SABC in 2001 and 2002. He has since had numerous guest roles on South African television shows beginning with productions including Madam & Eve, Khululeka, Interrogation Room, Stokvel (two different characters in two separate seasons) and Mazinyo Dot Q.
His television career continued with his three-season starring role in Shooting Stars and guest roles in Traffic!, When We Were Black, Chandies and Isikizi.
Outside of television has acted on film (Ingoma, Mad Dogs, Black Butterfiles, 30 Karat Liebe), theatre (Long Street Nights, Green Man Flashing, Lost in the Stars, Karoo Moose, Woyzeck, A Plague of Heroes, The Tempest, King Lear, The Trojan Women) and radio productions (Justice Prevails, Justice Prevails 2, Qina Kwedini, After Tears and many more).
Thami won the 2011 Best Solo Performance at the Durban Theatre Awards for his role in the one man show A Plague of Heroes, directed by Maurice Podbrey. He also won the 2007 Aardklop Best Actor in an Ensemble award for Karoo Moose and in 2008 he received the Brett Goldin Bursary Award; and spent a month with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
Thami has also worked for numerous corporate clients including Caltex, BP, AIDS Awareness, Bokomo, Media 24, Spar and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
In addition, he has acted in commercials for clients including the Arrive Alive campaign, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Topsport Half Time Bites and Hang Ten, as well as the Vuka award-winning commercial Ikamva Labantu.
In 2010 he became the artistic director of the Baxter's Zabalaza Theatre Festival (which received the 2016 Fleur du Cap Innovation in Theatre award) and received the 2016 Western Cape Cultural Affairs Ministerial Award for his contribution to the Arts.
Thami played the recurring role of Pastor Absolom in the Mzansi Magic soapie Isithembiso in the second and third seasons, making his first appearance in the role in Season 2, Episode 254, which aired on 21 March, 2019.