Chiedza “Chi” Mhende is a critically acclaimed, award winning performance and voice artist with extensive experience performing leading roles on prestigious Johannesburg and Cape Town platforms.
She has a background in art therapy having worked as a drama practitioner for the Zakheni Arts Foundation and as an Improv(isation) artist with the Bonfire Theatre
Company. Woven into her repertoire are appearances on international television shows Mad Dogs, Homeland and Dominion.
In 2014, Chi was awarded the Best Actress award at the Durban International Film Festival for her leading role in the feature film LOVE THE ONE YOU LOVE, directed by the renowned Jenna Bass. This role also led to an African Movie Academy Award nomination for Promising Young Artist.
In July 2015, Chi accepted the controversial role of Wandile Radebe on SABC’s Generations: The Legacy. This role triggered nationwide debate around the producers’ casting of a female performer in a male role. In November 2016, the character was revealed as Transgender. Chi, who describes herself as a “full on method performer” underwent a gruelling transformation in order to portray anauthetically transgender character.
In addition to her work, Chi was named the Ambassador of Dramatic Need in February 2017. This is a charity organisation that provides an artistic outlet for children in the village of Rammulotsi in Free State, South Africa.
Art based workshops and stories from the young people under her mentorship inspired the internationally celebrated show The Children’s Monolgues.
This year the children’s stories will be honoured on the Carnegie Hall stage by Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron as well as Emmy Award winner Trevor Noah. These stories were previously performed at The Royal Court in London by international stars such as Nicole Kidman and Benedict Camberbatch, as well as the Market Theatre in a concert opened by the legendary Hugh Masekela. This production will be directed by Academy Award Winner Danny Boyle.