Nomzamo Mbatha is a South African film and television actress, human rights activist, brand ambassador and business woman. In a short period of time, her journey has taken her from a contestant on a talent show to one of Africa’s most sought after stars. Her influence and mass appeal has led to several prestigious roles in film and television as well as ambassadorial appoints by world-renowned brands. Nomzamo was appointed as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in January 2019.
Nomzamo is a committed and tireless supporter of the UNHCR’s work. Since her appointment as an Advocate for our LuQULuQu campaign in 2017, she has fielded four missions to refugee camps in Malawi, Kenya, and South Sudan.
For her first project with UNHCR, Nomzamo visited Dzaleka, the largest refugee Camp in Malawi. A few months later, she visited Kakuma Refugee camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in North Eastern Kenya. Both trips focused on advocating for the protection of vulnerable persons in refugee camps, and Nomzamo met with members of the LGBTQ community and visited protection houses established to shelter endangered and vulnerable women and children. Reflecting on her experiences, Nomzamo said “for so long the image of the refugee has been that of despair and destitution, but when you come to the camps, you see the spirit of resilience, you see the spirit of rebuilding.”
Nomzamo's third trip with UNHCR took her to South Sudan, where she became the first African high profile supporter to visit IDP settlements in Juba and the remotely located Maban refugee camp. In Maban, widely regarded as the most isolated refugee camp in the world, Nomzamo focused on understanding the state of the healthcare and education systems in the area. South Sudan left a lasting and special impression on Nomzamo and she has since dedicated herself to the creation of powerful content to raise awareness and funds for the South Sudan situation.
Nomzamo was a speaker at the first ever TedX event to be hosted in a refugee camp – TEDxKakumaCamp. In a moving speech, she explained how her deep attachment to the refugee cause - and in particular her interest in issues affecting women and children, are rooted in her personal life story. Later in 2018 she took to the stage to host the Nansen Refugee Awards, joining a number of acclaimed international artists and performers, including Cate Blanchett and Sigrid, to honour the South Sudanese award winner, Dr. Evan Atar.
Nomzamo has carried her millions of social media followers on every step of her journey with the UNHCR, and has helped amplify the voices of refugees by using her offline and digital platforms as a lens to raise awareness of refugee situations and issues across Africa.