A STAR IS BORN
Actress Thuso Mbedu in running for Emmy
When security guards responded to the sound of women screaming, they discovered it was screams of joy and celebration coming from Thuso Mbedu’s Johannesburg apartment.
She had found out via a congratulatory tweet that she’d been nominated for an International Emmy Award.
This week the 26-year-old South African actress got the nod for the best performance by an actress for her role in Mzansi Magic’s series Is’Thunzi.
The awards are for TV shows produced and aired outside the US. Others nominated in the category are Brazil’s Adriana Esteves, English actress Anna Friel and Germany’s Sonja Gerhardt.
Mbedu told the Sunday Times this week that she was already planning her trip to the awards ceremony in New York in November, and that her outfit would be designed by Gert-Johan Coetzee.
“It’s the weirdest thing. I was never expecting this nomination so I’m still processing what it means. I hope it will create more opportunities,” she said.
While Mbedu’s career has been an easy ride so far — she has landed every acting job she’s auditioned for — her childhood was less than rosy.
When she was four, her mother died of a brain tumour. She wasn’t close to her father and was raised by her grandmother in Pietermaritzburg.
After completing her honours degree in drama at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2013 she returned to KwaZulu-Natal, but in January 2014 she used the last of her money to move to Joburg to pursue her dream.
Her break came when she auditioned for the Mzansi Magic series Saints and Sinners.
Despite her success, she admits to being frustrated with playing young characters. “I’m not a kid, I’ve got bills to pay and I can do so much more than act like an 18-year-old.”
Is’Thunzi, set in KwaZulu-Natal, is a teen drama that follows four friends. It premiered last October.
Mbedu’s mentor, director and writer, Amanda Lane, said that when Mbedu walked in to audition for Is’Thunzi she showed extraordinary ability and emotional depth. The final episode of the second season of
Is’Thunzi will be broadcast tomorrow. Mbedu said she would return to screens early next year as the lead role in a new telenovela.
Thuso Mbedu has been nominated for an International Emmy for her role in the Mzansi Magic series ‘Is’Thunzi’.