Wendy Gumede continues to shine from, Zulu voice-overs to writing, and now her first long-term ambassadorship

Dark and Lovely has proudly announced Wendy Gumede as the new face and voice of their Relaxed Hair Care Range. Picture: Supplied

Dark and Lovely has proudly announced Wendy Gumede as the new face and voice of their Relaxed Hair Care Range. Picture: Supplied

Published May 21, 2024


South African creative Wendy Gumede star keeps on shining as she continues to grow within the entertainment industry, from writing to acting and now her first long-term partnership with haircare giant Dark and Lovely.

Gumede has been seen on shows like ‘Isibaya’ and ‘Scandal!’ and now she is the new face and voice of Dark and Lovely’s Relaxed Hair Care Range.

“It’s so meaningful, with film and TV I feel we make up worlds, this is something very real. It’s connected to exactly who I am and my values. It’s big and different to anything that I’ve done so far.”

Gumede and Dark and Lovely joining forces could be described as the perfect alignment, she is the “black Wendy” after all, a woman who is proud of who she is and stands firm in her voice, something the brand represents.

“To be able to work with the brand feels like the perfect time. I feel like Dark and Lovely, like myself is a brand that believes in self-expression and self celebration and that’s what I’ve always valued myself.

“As a plus size girl and being an actress, there are a lot of things we bump up against and there are very few brands that are inclusive and make you feel at home.

“For my first ambassadorship to be with a brand that makes me feel at home, the way that I am is incredible.”

Gumede’s Zulu voice-over videos were the ones that put a spotlight on her. Her clip of her doing a voice-over in Zulu of Beyoncé and Jay Z meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went viral.

“My Zulu voice-overs were kind of my surprise to myself because I didn't think that’s what I wanted to do. I had a clear kind of idea of what my career would look like in TV and film, voice was never really an aspect I thought would factor in and it did.

“I was quite surprised by the response from the country, I enjoyed creating that kind of material and it opened up quite a few doors for me voice-wise. I’ve done ads for TV and radio and was the voice of Trace for a bit.

“My voice opened doors for me that I wasn't even looking to open. So it was really interesting when Dark and Lovely made that kind of package.”

As the face and voice of Dark and Lovely’s Relaxed Hair Care Range, Gumede will be curating experiences, and relevant conversations aimed at black women, working hand in hand with the brand.

Gumede credits her upbringing for helping develop her strong voice and goal-driven personality. The multi-talented personality says that it’s important to have a strong voice in today’s society to not lose your voice in the noise of the world.

“It’s really important to not forget our values, to understand your stance and voice and be able to interrogate it and learn from it.

“As part of the human experience, it’s important to voice our opinions and have them challenged and learn from other people’s opinions. It’s important to find ourselves in safe spaces where we can communicate our opinions and have them challenged.”

At the announcement event, former Dark and Lovely ambassador Nonhle Thema passed the baton on to Gumede, was quite the moment.

Gumede shared that people like Thema who have walked the journey, made mistakes and continue to do so, help shape her understanding of being a role model.

“People have walked this path, they have collected a lot of wisdom, they’ve made mistakes that I can learn from. I think the idea of being a role model can never be separate from being yourself, I can only be myself.”

Gumede may have acted in a few productions but at the moment she is very focused on her first love, script writing. She has four shows with Netflix which are in different levels of production; two films and two TV shows.

She co-wrote the two films which she notes as a growth moment in her career having written with others in a writing room, for these two she wrote with someone else.

“That was incredible. It’s hard to see growth when you are a writer, but when you get trusted with projects with one other person, it’s quite a big deal.”

Gumede has aspirations to have her own production house and create her shows, which she hints are very much on the horizon.

IOL Entertainment