Zola Zee Lovin’ on being a Jane of all trades and master of many in the entertainment industry

Zola Mhlongo aka Zola Zee Lovin’. Picture: Supplied

Zola Mhlongo aka Zola Zee Lovin’. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 15, 2024


Mother, singer, actress, television and radio presenter, Zola Mhlongo, has firmly cemented a place as one of South Africa’s most loved personalities.

Born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal, Zola Zee Lovin’, as she is known in the entertainment industry, has loved acting and singing since she was a child.

In primary school, Mhlongo enjoyed drama and chose it as one of her subjects in high school, excelling at it.

After high school, Mhlongo studied for a Bachelor of Arts in drama at UCT through the ACT DALRO Nedbank Scholarships Programme to fulfil her dream of entering the arts industry.

When she was younger, she said she was inspired by watching actors on television.

“I enjoyed some of the comedic scenes in ‘Big Momma’s House’. I would also watch movies like ‘Step Up’ and just be glued to how they make the story seem so real.

“When you watch it you feel like you are a part of it. The older I got the more I was into ‘Mean Girls’. I do not know how many times I have watched the movie. Instead of heroes, it is certain moments that resonated with and moved me,” said Mhlongo.

Zola Mhlongo aka Zola Zee Lovin’. Picture: Supplied

Now a Johannesburg resident, she has worked in shows such as “Uzalo”, “Ifalakhe”, “uMakoti”, “365 Days”, “Adulting” and “How to Manifest a Man”.

She has also hosted “Shay'iRound”, a travel show that celebrates the beauty of relationships between friends, family, or colleagues – while taking you on a journey through South Africa.

In the show, Mhlongo injected her brand of energy into every episode.

While at university, her radio career also began.

Mhlongo said radio was not something she had ever thought she would do but after people pushed her to try it, she enjoyed it and wanted to make a career out of it.

“Radio to me is like the theatre of the mind. I believe in that concept statement and it is something that I didn't even know that I would do, but it kept getting suggested to me in varsity and I finally took the leap of faith.

“I started as a newsreader at the campus radio station, UCT Radio. From there I never looked back. I knew that when I graduated, radio was something I wanted to get into.

“When I was done with school, I positioned myself with the radio station back home, which was Gagasi FM.

“Before joining the station I made sure that I knocked on all the doors. I was just sliding on people’s DMs, knocking on doors asking them to listen to my demo until by the grace of God, King Sfiso gave me a chance and listened to my demo,” she said.

“I worked at Gagasi FM for a year voluntarily. I just wanted to hone the skill and at the same time, I was trying to make sure that they saw my talent.

“The very next year I was offered a contract and that began my journey to my dreams. In the six years that I was with the station I did music shows which I enjoyed very much.”

After three years off the radio, she is grateful to go back to her first love, having recently joined Metro FM.

Mhlongo said joining the national radio station had to be her greatest career highlight to date and she still couldn’t believe it.

She has joined as co-host (with Somizi Mhlongo) of the Saturday weekend breakfast show, “Weekend Breakfast Sounds Good”.

Mhlongo said she loved that radio was interpersonal.

“You get to connect with the listeners. You can make someone smile, and change someone's bad day into a good day. And those moments are moving for me – that this platform can one way or another help someone, relieve them from stress, and provide a solution to their problems.

“The fact that this platform provides the opportunity to help the next person is absolutely what I love about it,” she said.

“This is an opportunity that I am bewildered by. I am getting familiar with the family and I am excited for the growth and everything that is coming.

“I am finally on a national radio station, one of my dreams. My slot is amazing and is the perfect way to get the weekend on the go,” she said.

Besides being on the airwaves and television, Mhlongo is an entrepreneur and owns a shape-wear brand called Undefined Shapes.

“Undefined Shapes is a company that provides shape-wear that is inclusive and comfortable for everyone. Our products are specifically designed to help shape, smooth, and sculpt your body for a smooth, contoured look.

“We are focused on making shape-wear an extension of your skin by providing seamless and breathable materials that are both functional and stylish,” she said.

“I believe that shape-wear should not be seen as something to be hidden or a source of shame, but rather embraced and celebrated as a tool to enhance comfort and confidence.

“I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue this journey of creating shape-wear that made people who enjoy wearing it feel comfortable, sexy.”