Keep an eye out for them as they soar in 2017

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MPILETSO MOTUMI

THE “OPEN up the in­dus­try” de­bate was a salient topic on so­cial me­dia for much of last year.

The con­ver­sa­tion be­gan when peo­ple started talk­ing about how the same peo­ple were get­ting all the op­por­tu­ni­ties across var­i­ous plat­forms within South Africa’s rel­a­tively small en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

Artists, in­clud­ing pre­sen­ters and ac­tors, also dis­cussed the chal­lenges they face and how it dif­fi­cult it is to make a liv­ing off just one job.

But, with the new surge in lo­cal pro­gram­ming, there seems to be bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for those in the cre­ative in­dus­try to thrive.

And, while there’s no doubt that South Africa has a vast ar­ray of tal­ent, some new faces mak­ing their way into the in­dus­try are help­ing to halt the de­bate – for now.

Below are some of our favourite ris­ing stars:


We first saw her on Mzansi Magic’s Saints and Sin­ners and’s Scan­dal.

She was fresh out of var­sity when she landed her gig on Saints and Sin­ners as Boni Khu­malo – an in­no­cent girl who has to deal with the se­crets of her fam­ily. She also had a stint on Isi­baya and an SABC drama, Snake Park. Now she has taken on the role of Win­nie in an­other Mzansi Magic show – Is’thunzi. Mbedu brought a nu­anced per­for­mance to her role as a girl who was gang-raped and is slowly piec­ing her life back to­gether. Her raw emo­tion and ded­i­ca­tion make her one of the faces to look out for.


Bali has been able to add a num­ber of shows to her grow­ing ca­reer. She starred in SABC1’s Mfolozi Street,’s Umlilo and eKasi Our Sto­ries: Thula Thula. She also starred in lo­cal sit­com Gaut­eng Mabo­neng and te­len­ov­ela Za­bal­aza. Bali landed her first star­ring role in Is’thunzi along­side Mbedu, and also played lead in the Mzansi Magic short movie The Per­fect Makoti. Bali is a nat­u­ral on screen and has a charm that will take her a long way.


Shandu’s progress in the in­dus­try shows he has gone from strength to strength.

He cur­rently plays the role of Nqobi in Mzansi Magic’s

It’s Com­pli­cated. His de­pic­tion of an ob­sessed, de­ranged man who will do any­thing to get the girl he loves was im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore. He played his role so well that he would trend on so­cial me­dia af­ter each episode for pay­ing so much at­ten­tion to the char­ac­ter. Shandu has also starred in Mfolozi Street along­side Bali, and in

In­ter­sex­ions and Soul City.


In a short space of time, Makgotso M has man­aged to star in two soapies and a drama se­ries that has stretched her act­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In Isidingo she por­trays Kamo­gelo – a re­bel­lious girl al­ways look­ing for trou­ble, and in Mu­vhango she plays the man steal­ing Onica. In Mzansi Magic’s

Is’thunzi she dives into a new char­ac­ter. Thishiwe is a shy yet strong girl who is try­ing to keep her­self and her brother alive un­der a cruel father and keep her mys­te­ri­ous mother away from a com­mu­nity that has ban­ished her.

Makgotso M has been hailed for her role as Thishiwe along­side her co-stars.


Ziqubu isn’t that new to the scene, but her tal­ent keeps her ahead of some of her peers. She re­cently bagged an award for her sup­port­ing role in the film Tell Me Sweet Some­thing and has had view­ers glued to their screens in her role as Ntando on Mzansi Magic’s It’s Com­pli­cated. She has also starred in Rhythm City and in

films like Man on Ground and Hard to Get. Ziqubu also adds di­rec­tor and scriptwriter to her many skills.


Kgaka started her act­ing ca­reer at the ten­der age of 10 with a role on kykNET’s Bin­nelanders. She has also starred in Soul Bud­dyz, in­ter­na­tional film At­tack on Dar­fur and MNet’s drama Ja­cob’s

Cross. She plays along­side Mbedu, Bali and Makgotso M in Is’thunzi as Nox­olo, a girl who is raped by her step­fa­ther.


He played the role of the spoilt Nkosi in Mzansi Magic’s Saints and Sin­ners, starred as Siso Led­waba in Zero Tol­er­ance and also had roles in Z’bondiwe and Soul Bud­dyz. Re­cently he starred as Neo, an up­com­ing boxer in the drama Ring of Lies. Sebeng has al­ready por­trayed a va­ri­ety of char­ac­ters at the young age of 23. Tal­ent shows such as Class Act and Top Ac­tor Africa have also opened doors for some new tal­ent, in­clud­ing Pal­lance Dladla, Al­to­vise Lawrence, Sdumo Mt­shali, Jesse Sun­tele, Shamilla Miller and Ab­dul Khoza.

With a host of new shows on the rise, we look for­ward to see­ing many more new faces on our screens.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Zikhona Bali, Austin Shandu, Makgotso M and Thuso Mbedu

LEFT TO RIGHT: Mpho Sebeng, Thishiwe Ziqubu and Yolanda Kgaka

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