As he prepares for his new movie role in the upcoming Hollywood movie ‘Chappie’, we thought we would give support to our fellow Malawian by introducing him to those that have not heard of him yet.
Eugene Wanangwa Khumbanyiwa is a Malawian, South Africa- based stage, television, film and voice actor, popularly known for playing the role of Obesandjo in the 2009 Oscar- nominated sci-fi hit ‘District 9.’ Khumbanyiwa was born at Cobbe Barracks Hospital in Zomba, Malawi’s former capital. He has four siblings. His father is Major Stewart Khumbanyiwa, a retired soldier, and his mother Victoria (née Manda), a retired primary school teacher. He moved from Malawi to South Africa in the early 2000s and worked as an IT specialist before pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a professional actor. He started his acting career as an extra in the 2004 Oscar-nominated ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo, playing one of the hotel staff members. After that he worked sporadically, appearing in TV commercials and prime-time soaps like ‘Generations,’ ‘Scandal’and also had a role in South African independently produced hit film Jerusalema (Gangster’s Paradise) before landing a role as an underground war-lord in the Peter Jackson-produced and Neill Blomkamp-directed four-times Oscar-nominated sci-fi hit ‘District 9.’ Upon gaining critical acclaim for his performance in District 9, he appeared in an American TV commercial for a security product. In South Africa, he continued to sporadically appear on television in popular TV shows like, ‘ 7 de laan,’ ‘ Rhythm city,’ ‘ 4 Play,’ ‘Laugh Out Loud,’ and in independently produced South African films like: ‘Paradise Stop,’ ‘Algiers,’ ‘Cry For Love,’ and a number of film shorts. Khumbanyiwa does voices for both TV and radio. His voice work credits include the prestigious African Cup of Nations (AFCON2013) soccer tournament’s ‘hello’ radio ads campaign for the City of Johannesburg. In 2013 he appeared in the Universal Pictures production ‘Death Race: Inferno,’ a third installment of the Death Race film series franchise as the African racer Nero alongside Luke Goss and Danny Trejo. He is to re-unite with two directors: Neill Blomkamp and Roel Reine. With Blomkamp in “Chappie (2015),” starring Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Jose Pablo Cantillo, alongside the South African rappers Ninja and Yorandi of rap -rave band Die Artwoord and with Roel Reine in “Seal Team 8 (2014)” which also features “Black Hawk Down(2001)” star, Tom Sizemore.