Matu sweeps boards on awards night
She’s caused a stir as Petronella, the cheeky maid on Mzansi Magic’s The Queen, and now, veteran actress Thembsie Matu’s loyal fans have not only crowned her as their best actress but as the Ultimate Viewers’ Choice award winner at the annual DStv Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Though she has played several unforgettable characters since joining the TV industry in 1995, on the late Gibson Kente’s Mama’s Love, the actress won the hearts of Mzansi when she joined The Queen as Xhosaspeaking Petronella.
Viewers have relished her constant arguments with her boss for a pay raise and her pestering husband Mjekejeke to make enough money so they can live the high life.
Matu credits MamZangwa, her maternal grandmother, who hails from Ngcobo near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, for her ability to speak the language fluently while portraying many of her characters over the years.
While Matu was aware of the adoration her character on The Queen had received, claiming the biggest award as the most-voted-for nominee across all categories left her in disbelief.
“I knew [fans] wouldn’t let me down on the favourite actress category but [they] finished me with the Ultimate Viewers Choice award,” she said. Matu said she would continue to give her best on stage as a way of thanking her fans.
“I am so humbled by people’s love. I have no words. It still has not sunk in that I have received so much love, even from across the borders of Africa, from fans who tell me they love Petronella all the way from London.”
Matu won a Diva Extraordinaire award at the Feather Awards a week before her DStv win.
“These awards motivate me to continue to hustle as I have been doing all these years and show the world I love my craft and that it didn’t just happen overnight.”
The actress and comedienne is known for humorous roles but hopes to play a more serious character one day – a dream inspired by her mother’s experience with mental illness.
“I would like to play a woman who is so poor that it even affects her mental wellness and infuse that with my own humour so that, even though the story is sad, people still can’t help but laugh.
“My own mother once suffered mental illness but we didn’t notice for the longest time because she was always a funny person, even when she was OK,” she said.
Matu is the second winner of the DStv Ultimate Viewers Choice award after Mthathaborn former Our Perfect Wedding presenter Thembisa Mdoda took the first award in 2017.
VIEWERS’ PICK: Thembsie Matu scooped the Actress of the Year and Ultimate Viewers Choice awards at the DStv Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards last week