Thuso Mbedu

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Thuso Mbedu
Thuso Mbedu talking in 2019 01.png
Thuso Mbedu
Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu

(1991-07-08) 8 July 1991 (age 29)
Nationality South African
Education Pietermaritzburg Girls' High School
Alma mater Wits University
Occupation Actress
Years active2014–present

Thuso Mbedu (born 8 July 1991) is a South African actress. 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 . [1] [2] [3] She is also played Kitso Medupe in the Soap opera Scandal!, [4] Nosisa in Isibaya, and Boni Khumalo in Saints and Sinners. [5] [6] [7] She is set to star in the upcoming Amazon Video limited series The Underground Railroad .


Early life

Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu was born and raised in Pelham, a borough of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. [8] She was raised by her grandmother who was her legal guardian after the passing of both her parents at an early age. [9] When Mbedu was eighteen, she attended the University of Witwatersrand, where she studied Physical Theatre and Performing Arts Management, resulting her graduating with an honours. [10] In 2012, she attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York, USA. [11]


Thuso Mbedu as Ipeleng on MTV Shuga Thuso Mbedu as Ipeleng on MTV Shuga January 2019.png
Thuso Mbedu as Ipeleng on MTV Shuga

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. [6] [12] 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. [13] 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 [14] and was the only African to be nominated that year. [15] She is set to make her international debut in the upcoming Amazon Video historical limited series The Underground Railroad, based on the novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead. The series will be directed and executive produced by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. [16] [17]


2014–presentSaints and SinnersBoni KhumaloLead role
2014 Isibaya NosisaGuest role
2015– 2017 Scandal! Kitso MedupeSupporting role
2015Snake ParkKhethiGuest role
2016–2017 Is'Thunzi Winnie BhenguLead role
2017–2019 Shuga IpelengSupporting role [18]
2018 Generations: The Legacy Okuhle CeleSupporting role
2018Side DishPhiweLead role
TBA The Underground Railroad Cora RandallLead role

Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominated worksResult
2017DSTV Viewers Choice AwardsBest Actress Is'Thunzi Nominated
45th International Emmy Awards Best Performance by an ActressNominated
2018 12th South African Film and Television Awards Best Actress TV DramaWon
46th International Emmy Awards Best Performance by an ActressNominated

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  1. actress Thuso Mbedu gets International Emmy nomination
  2. "7 Questions With… Thuso Mbedu – Forbes Africa". Forbes Africa. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. Mthonti, Fezokuhle. "Thuso Mbedu: A kaleidoscope of dreams". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. Thuso Mbedu on how she made it against all odds
  5. "10 Things You Didn't Know About Scandal Actress Thuso Mbedu". Youth Village. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  6. 1 2 "Thuso Mbedu: From out of work to Emmy nominee". Channel24. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. Vieira, Genevieve. "Thuso Mbedu is truly blessed". The Citizen. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. "Thuso Mbedu". TVSA.
  9. "From PMB to the world's TVs". News24. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  10. "Meet the first South African actress to lead an American series!!!". Good Things Guy.
  11. "10 Things You Didn't Know About Scandal Actress Thuso Mbedu". Youth Village.
  12. "Here's 5 things you need to know about actress Thuso Mbedu". Times LIVE. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  13. "Thuso Mbedu Is Leaving For The International Emmys With Hope For South Africans". Huffington Post South Africa. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  14. "Thuso Mbedu on life after Emmy nod: 'The truth is we are very dispensable'". Times LIVE. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  15. "'Is'thunzi' star Thuso Mbedu nominated for #Emmy Award | IOL Entertainment" . Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  16. Ramos, Dino-Ray; Ramos, Dino-Ray (21 October 2020). "'The Underground Railroad' Teaser: Barry Jenkins Offers First Glimpse Of Thuso Mbedu As Cora In Amazon Limited Series". Deadline. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  17. "Thuso Mbedu can't wait for viewers to see her new series with Barry Jenkins". Channel. Retrieved 21 October 2020.