Things fall into place for lovely Pheto

CityPress - - News - RHODÉ MAR­SHALL rhode.mar­shall@city­press.co.za

Ac­tor Terry Pheto is liv­ing her best life – all the stars are align­ing, tak­ing her to­wards her ul­ti­mate dream af­ter a decade of hard work.

This week, as Pheto and her fans were cel­e­brat­ing her Black Reel Awards for Tele­vi­sion nom­i­na­tion, she was an­nounced as the most nom­i­nated ac­tor at the 4th In­ter­na­tional Achieve­ment Recog­ni­tion Awards, which recog­nise the work of ex­tra­or­di­nary pos­i­tive role mod­els who have ex­celled within their re­spec­tive in­dus­tries. The event takes place in Lon­don on Septem­ber 2.

Pheto re­ceived three nom­i­na­tions: best ac­tress; best in­ter­na­tional ac­tress for her role in A United King­dom; and best ac­tress – TV or drama for her role in Black En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion’s Madiba minis­eries. She was also nom­i­nated for her role in Madiba at the Black Reel Awards in the out­stand­ing ac­tress cat­e­gory, which will take place in Au­gust.

The Tsotsi star will be up against the likes of Sanaa Lathan, Loretta Devine, Oprah Win­frey and Nia Long. She said the nom­i­na­tions felt sur­real. “Be­ing nom­i­nated along­side women I grew up watch­ing – and who I still watch to­day – is amaz­ing. For my name to even be men­tioned along­side Oprah’s is amaz­ing. But it’s all God’s plan,” she said.

She de­scribed this year as “a whirl­wind ex­pe­ri­ence”. She is also cel­e­brat­ing be­ing home with her fam­ily.

“My mum and my sis­ters are so proud of all my ac­com­plish­ments, and have the same amount of ex­cite­ment ev­ery sin­gle time. Mostly, they are just happy to see that I’m happy.”

This has been a year of in­ter­na­tional ac­knowl­edge­ment for Pheto. Ear­lier this year, she won the best sup­port­ing ac­tress award at the Na­tional Film Awards UK for her role in A United King­dom, and also joined Swiss lux­ury watch com­pany Longines as a brand am­bas­sador.

“From day one, the plan was to do what I love and find mean­ing­ful roles that are chal­leng­ing yet re­ward­ing. All these nom­i­na­tions that I’m re­ceiv­ing give me a great feel­ing – it’s val­i­dat­ing,” said Pheto from her home in Johannesburg.

She said be­ing part of an in­dus­try that can be chock-full of re­jec­tion was dif­fi­cult, but the test was in the pa­tience that one had be­cause the highs could be very high – like she’s ex­pe­ri­enc­ing now – and the lows ex­tremely low.

“When the judges at these awards watched the films, you need to re­alise that those peo­ple had no clue who I was. The name Terry Pheto doesn’t mean any­thing to them – as Nia Long or Oprah Win­frey would. In no way could my name pos­si­bly in­flu­ence them to add me to their list of nom­i­nees. They saw some­thing and, to me, that is over­whelm­ing and very hum­bling.

“Who would have thought that a girl from the Vaal would one day be nom­i­nated in the same cat­e­gory as the likes of Oprah Win­frey, and lead with the most nom­i­na­tions on in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised award plat­forms like the In­ter­na­tional Achieve­ment Recog­ni­tion Awards?” asked an ex­cited Pheto.

When I asked what her ul­ti­mate dream is, she im­me­di­ately said: “To be part of the process and work with these ac­tors I’m up against, and even­tu­ally be able to co­pro­duce with Oprah … I’m putting it out into the uni­verse!”

YES GAL Terry Pheto takes her in­creas­ing level of fame in her stride

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