In 1985 she auditioned for the Mbongeni Ngema musical which was to become the international blockbuster Sarafina!; Ngema wrote the lead character of Sarafina for Khumalo. She was formerly married to Mbongeni Ngema.
Khumalo performed the role of Sarafina! on stages in South Africa and on Broadway, where she received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Sarafina!had a Broadway run lasting two years, after which the production embarked on a worldwide tour. In 1987 Khumalo received a NAACP Image Award for Best Stage Actress.
In 1992, she starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Miriam Makeba and John Kani in Darrell James Roodt’s film version of Sarafina!, which had a worldwide distribution, and became the biggest film production to be released on the African continent. Khumalo was nominated for an Image Award, together with Angela Bassett, Whoopi Goldberg andJanet Jackson. MORE DETAILS IN NEXT PAGE 3 BELOW>>>