Thuso Mbedu a name synonymous with excellence in the world of acting

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Gati Jesse

Published on June 23, 2024

Thuso Mbedu, born on July 8, 1991, in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, is a name linked with acting success. From her breakout role in the South African adolescent drama series Is’Thunzi to her lauded performances on international stages, Mbedu has established herself as a powerful force in the entertainment industry.

Mbedu’s journey began at Midlands Medical Centre, born to a Zulu mother and a father of Sotho and Xhosa descent. Raised by her grandmother in the Pelham area after losing both parents at a young age, Mbedu attended Pelham Primary School and Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School. Her passion for the arts led her to study Physical Theatre and Performing Arts Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), graduating with honors in 2013. She further polished her craft at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City in 2012.

Mbedu’s career took off in 2014 with a role in the second season of the Mzansi Magic soapie Isibaya. She soon gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of journalism student Kitso on Scandal!. Her big break came in 2016 with the Mzansi Magic teen drama series Is’Thunzi, where she played Winnie, a character that earned her consecutive International Emmy nominations in 2017 and 2018. This role showcased her exceptional talent and marked her as a standout performer in South Africa.

Thuso Mbedu

In 2021, Thuso Mbedu made history as the first South African actress to lead an American television series with her role as Cora in Amazon Video’s The Underground Railroad, directed by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. Her performance earned her numerous accolades, including the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series, solidifying her status as an international star.

Thuso Mbedu continued to impress with her feature film debut in the 2022 historical epic The Woman King, where she starred opposite Viola Davis. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film highlighted her versatility and depth as an actress.

Accolades and Recognition

Mbedu’s talent has not gone unnoticed. Her awards and nominations include:

DSTV Viewers Choice Awards: Best Actress for Is’Thunzi (Won, 2017)

South African Film and Television Awards: Best Actress TV Drama (Won, 2018)

Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards: TV Breakout Star (Won, 2021)

Gotham Awards: Outstanding Performance in New Series (Won, 2021)

Independent Spirit Awards: Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series (Won, 2022)

Black Reel Awards: Best Breakthrough Performance by Female for The Woman King (Won, 2023)

Thuso Mbedu

Beyond acting, Mbedu is a vocal advocate for women’s rights and has been involved in various initiatives to uplift and empower women. In 2023, she became the ambassador and spokesperson for L’Oréal in Sub-Saharan Africa, further amplifying her influence and commitment to positive change.

Source: Wikipedia

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