By Elizabeth D.T. Taderera
Popularly known for her role as “Wandile Radebe” in the South African soap opera called Generations where she plays a male. She is a Zimbabwean actress and voice artist, born Charlene Chiedza Kudzai Mhende in Harare, Zimbabwe. She went to an all-girls Catholic school. Growing up she was part of a school drama club. She wanted to be a doctor but discovered at eleven that she liked theatre more. Nicknamed “Chi”, the talented actress studied at AFDA (the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) when she moved to Cape Town, South Africa in 2006. Mhende’s training extended into Drama Therapy and she has been involved with organizations like Bonfire Improv Theatre Company and the Zakheni Arts Therapy Foundation since.
In 2010 she played the role of Lady Capulet in an Artscape production of “Romeo and Juliet” as her professional debut. She has also featured in other theatre productions like K. Sello Duiker’s “The Quiet Violence of Dreams”, J.M. Coetzee’s “Waiting for the Barbarians”. She was also “Titania” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” which was performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in July 2012. She also played in “Taming of the Shrew”, “The Comedy of Errors” and “Richard III”.
As a voice over artist Mhende‘s amazing voice is on Al Jazeera’s global health series called “Lifelines”. The stunning 5ft 9in. actress has made film and television appearance on “Evil In Our Midst”, “The Tunnel”, “Stokvel 6”, “Mad Dogs 3” and in “Love The One You Love”. The last film debuted at the 2014 Durban international Film Festival.
She was given the Wallbridge Award Best Shakespearean Item at the National Allied Arts in 2003 and 2004 held in Harare. In 2008 she was named Best Actress at the AFDA and again at the 2014 Durban International Film Festival. In 2015 she was nominated for Promising Young Artist award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
- Generations (TV series 2009)
- The Tunnel (short film 2010)
- Love The One You Love (film 2014)
- Bridging Waters (TV mini-series documentary 2014)
- Homeland (TV series 2014)
- Scribblings (short film 2014)
- Siyaya Come Wild With Us (TV series documentary 2015)
- Lazy Susan (short film 2015)
- Jamillah and Aladdin (TV series 2015)
- Detour (TV series 2016)
- Queen Sono (TV series 2020)