The Zungus - Isibaya

07 March 2022
Meet the Zungu family.
Mpiyakhe Zungu

If you’ve just started watching one of South Africa’s most beloved telenovelas, Isibaya, you might need an update on who’s who in the scheme of things! We look at eBhubesini’s rival families, the Zungus and Ndlovus.

Mpiyakhe Zungu - The Leader

Mpiyakhe is not only the leader of the Zungu family but a successful businessman, with interests mainly in the transportation industry. In the beginning, we see him embroiled in a bubbling war over taxi routes with a rival taxi-owning family. While he is a stern man, he is also a loving and kind husband and father.

1648769489 46 mpiyakhe   patriarch

Mkabayi Zungu – The Matriarch

Mkabayi is Mpiyakhe’s senior sister, a spinster who is well-respected and rules the Zungu homestead and business affairs with an iron fist. Some may perceive her as cold, but her walls help her navigate life in the taxi industry and eBhubesini quite well. She leads the family alongside her brother and is loved and feared alike.


1648769985 46 mkabayi   matriarch

Siphokazi Zungu

Mpiyakhe’s living first wife is funny, kind and has vices that wouldn’t typically be assigned to a rural wife, such as drinking and her smoking habits. She’s very helpful to the family but also aggrieved because of her inability to bear children.

1648770132 46 siphokazi wife

Phumelele Zungu

Mpiyakhe’s second wife is loving and exudes the humility and ‘dignity’ that is expected of rural wives. While she is all these things, her tongue can at times be sharp.

1648770262 46 phumelele wife

Iris Zungu

Mpiyakhe’s youngest, urban and glamorous wife. Unlike the other wives, Iris lives in the city, loves the finer things in life and couldn’t be bothered with village life. She often clashes with the rest of the family because she hasn’t embraced their way of life.

1648770402 46 screenshot 2022 03 07 at 16.44.38

Thandeka Zungu

Mpiyakhe’s beloved daughter, she is a beautiful young maiden who has been exposed to the best of both worlds. The village and the city. Her rebellious streak shows itself in her fated love story with the son of her father’s greatest rival.

1648770837 46 thandeka   daughter

Jabu Zungu

Son to Mpiyakhe, Jabu is a young man going through turbulant teens. He has a strained relationship with his father as they envision different things for his future. He also struggles with substance abuse.

1648770649 46 jabu   son

Keep a lookout for our breakdown of the Ndlovu family!

Watch Isibaya daily on Novela Magic, DStv channel 165. If you want to join our Novela Magic fam conversations on the shows, find Novela Magic on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using #NovelaMagic.