Charlene Chiedza Kudzai Mhende popularly known as Chi Mhende is a Zimbabwean-born South African actress, singer and voice artist best known for the role she played as Wandile on the SABC1 soapie Generations: The Legacy.
Chi Mhende to star in upcoming Netflix Series alongside Pearl Thusi. The crime-themed series will also star popular South African actress and media personality Pearl Thusi. The much-anticipated series has already created a buzz on social media with a lot of fans looking forward to authentic African content on the media service which usually focuses on Hollywood material.
Zimbabwean actress Chi Mhende is set to star in the upcoming Netflix original African series Queen Sono.
Having achieved a BA in Live Performance from AFDA Cape Town (2006-2009), she went on to perform in numerous theatre productions, films and television series.
Chi’s fame rose In mid-December 2015 when she made her debut on the SABC1 soapie Generations: The legacy where she took up a role as Wandile Radebe, the son to an elite businessman. Later Wandile transitioned into a female, completing a transformation that marked as one of the South African small screen’s most captivating talents.
Chi Mhende made history on South African television as the first actress to take on a male role on the soapie, which sparked a debate as people began questioning her sexuality.
It was difficult to many people that she is indeed a woman because of her male voice, but Chi is also voice artiste, no wonder why she pulled her male role on Generations quite well and deceived many with voice artistry.
Before she got her big TV break as Wandile, she auditioned unsuccessfully for Generations for three times.
The actress left the longstanding soapie last year after three of playing a transgender role after her character was written off the show.
Chi has starred in theatre productions such as K. Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams as the only female character, Mmabatho; she played the abused and compassionate Zoe in J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians; and played the role of Calf in Howard Barker’s Slowly.
Other theatre productions she has appeared in include Volpone, Aladdin, Private Lives, Armageddon, Romeo & Juliet (directed by Roy Sargeant for Artscape); another Roy Sargeant show The Taming of the Shrew, this time at Maynardville open-air theatre in Cape Town; and the role of Emilia in Othello, directed by Mary Dreyer.
Other Shakespearean plays she has acted in include The Comedy of Errors (directed by Matthew Wild), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Fred Abrahamse) and Richard III, directed by Lara Bye.
Chi has guest-starred in a number of television series including the SABC1 sitcom Stokvel, the Sky 1 black comedy Mad Dogs, the Showtime thriller Homeland, the CBeebies children’s adventure series Jamillah and Aladdin, and Syfy’s apocalyptic supernatural action series Dominion.
In addition, she narrated the miniseries Bridging Waters, a docudrama that explores the lives of those who reside along Southern Africa’s rivers; the Al Jazeera health series Lifelines; and the children’s wildlife documentary series Siyaya: Come Wild with Us.
In 2014, Chi starred in the Jenna Cato Bass comedy-drama film Love the One You Love. Set in Cape Town, the film follows a sex-line operator, a dog handler and a computer technician who begins to suspect that their romantic relationships are the subject of a bizarre conspiracy. She won the Best Actress award at the 2014 Durban Film Festival for her role as Terri in the film.
She has acted in several short films as well, including The Tunnel, Scribblings and Lazy Susan. She also played a receptionist in the indie film Detour, written and directed by Christopher Smith, about a young law student who, while grieving for his dying mother, struggles to decide whether he should kill his unfaithful step-father.
The actress recently lost her Grandmother whom she referred to as gogo Mhende.