Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu
8 July 1991
|Education||Pietermaritzburg Girls' High School|
|Alma mater||Wits University|
Thuso Mbedu (born 8 July 1991) is a South African actor. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the telenovela Is'Thunzi, which has been called "one of the most compelling television programmes on South African television" by Mail & Guardian .She has also played Kitso Medupe in the soap opera Scandal! , Nosisa in Isibaya , and Boni Khumalo in Saints and Sinners. In 2021, she starred as the main lead in the highly-anticipated Amazon Video limited series The Underground Railroad, and will also star alongside Viola Davis in the upcoming historical epic The Woman King, directed by Love & Basketball director Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu was born and raised in Pelham, a borough of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.She was raised by her grandmother who was her legal guardian after the passing of both her parents at an early age. When Mbedu was eighteen, she attended the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), where she studied Physical Theatre and Performing Arts Management, resulting her graduating with honours. In 2012, she attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, US.
In late 2014 she had a small role in the second season of the Mzansi Magic soapie Isibaya , before landing her role as journalism student and wild child Kitso on Scandal! . She then had a guest role as Kheti on the second season of the SABC 2 teen drama series Snake Park.
After being jobless for six months, Thuso landed her first starring role in television in the Mzansi Magic teen drama series Is'Thunzi , which premiered in October 2016.In the series she played Winnie, a sassy go-getter who dreams of marrying a rich and famous rugby player only to have her dreams dashed when she is exiled to go live with her strict aunt in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal. While filming a rape scene for the show, she suffered a panic attack. In September 2017 she was nominated for an International Emmy Award in the category Best Performance by an Actress for her role as Winnie in Is'Thunzi and was the only African to be nominated that year. She made her international debut in the Amazon Video historical limited series The Underground Railroad, based on the novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead. The series is directed and executive produced by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. In April 2021, it was announced that she would star alongside Viola Davis in The Woman King, a historical epic film inspired by the true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The film is set to be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, from a script by Fatherhood co-writer Dana Stevens. In August 2021 Thuso received a Hollywood Critics Association Award for TV Breakout Star for her role as Cora Randall in The Underground Railroad.
|2014–present||Saints and Sinners||Boni Khumalo||Lead role|
|2015– 2017||Scandal!||Kitso Medupe||Supporting role|
|2015||Snake Park||Khethi||Guest role|
|2016–2017||Is'Thunzi||Winnie Bhengu||Lead role|
|2018||Generations: The Legacy||Okuhle Cele||Supporting role|
|2018||Side Dish||Phiwe||Lead role|
|2021||The Underground Railroad||Cora Randall||Lead role|
|TBA||The Woman King||TBA||TBA|
|2017||DSTV Viewers Choice Awards||Best Actress||Is'Thunzi||Nominated|
|International Emmy Awards||Best Performance by an Actress||Nominated|
|2018||South African Film and Television Awards||Best Actress TV Drama||Won|
|International Emmy Awards||Best Performance by an Actress||Nominated|
|2019||South African Film and Television Awards||Best Actress TV Drama||Nominated|
|2021||TCA Awards||Individual Achievement in Drama||The Underground Railroad||Pending|
|Black Reel Awards||Outstanding Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series||Pending|
|Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards||Best Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Movie||Pending|
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