Mzansi Actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwi Shines at Essence Film Festival

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, who just premiered season two of Netflix’s ‘Savage Beauty’, will chair Cultural Connections Saturday workshops at the 2024 Essence Film Festival.

The leading South African actress captivated the audience at the famous Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ben-Mazwi donned a BAM Collective blue tube dress for her big occasion.

“I am deeply honoured to represent South Africa and the broader African diaspora as the official host for the Cultural Connections sessions at the Essence Film Festival,” said the ‘Savage Beauty’ lead cast member, who plays the part of Linda.

“This platform is not only a celebration of our cultural heritage but also a critical space for forging new paths in global storytelling and collaboration.”

While at the Essence Festival Ben-Mazwi also participated in Essence’s “Hollywood House x EFOC” on Friday, July 5 as a mentor in “Laser Networking-The Actor’s Den”, where attendees had the opportunity to have brief, targeted business chats with industry insiders.

Being in New Orleans the birthplace of jazz is a bucket list destination ticked off for the actress.

“Reconnecting with the obsession of my soul, who is Nina Simone, through this culturally rich and spiritual city,” has been a highlight for Ben-Mazwi.

Ben-Mazwi during her trip has enjoyed tasting the food; gumbo soup, fresh seafood and flavorful Southern food.

“Visiting Bourbon Street, and experiencing the culture of America’s South which for someone who lived in NYC and frequents LA, has been a culture I was yet to experience firsthand.”


Her first Essence Festival was filled with amazing moments, such as the affection she received on the convention floor, the explosive excitement at the concerts, particularly Usher’s 20th anniversary of the record ‘Confessions’, and meeting performers she has long adored.

Ben-Mazwi has appeared on Mzansi televisions. She has not only reprised her part in ‘Savage Beauty’, but she has also made her debut as the lead in Showmax’s ‘Empini’.

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