Thuso Mbedu is a South African actress who has garnered international acclaim for her exceptional talent and contributions to the world of entertainment.
Born on July 8, 1991, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Mbedu’s journey to stardom is marked by dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to breaking barriers.
Mbedu’s career took a significant leap when she was featured on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list in 2018. This recognition highlighted her as a rising star in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, she ventured into the global stage by moving to the United States in 2019, where she has continued to shine.
In the international scene, Thuso Mbedu has had the privilege of working with Hollywood A-lister Viola Davis in “The Woman King” and lent her voice to the animated series “Castlevania: Nocturne.” Beyond her acting prowess, she has made history as the first sub-Saharan Africa ambassador for the renowned beauty brand, L’Oréal Paris. Her association with L’Oréal signifies her commitment to promoting diversity and empowering women, further emphasizing the changing dynamics of beauty standards.
Mbedu’s career was catapulted into the limelight with her role as Winnie in the “Is’thunzi” TV series, which earned her two International Emmy Award nominations in 2016. This remarkable achievement not only showcased her acting finesse but also raised discussions about representation in the entertainment industry.
On Her Recent Interview With Forbes Africa
The last time Thuso Mbedu sat down with FORBES AFRICA for an interview, it was when the South African actor had made it on to the FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list, class of 2018.
“A lot has happened since,” she says now, as we meet her at the offices of L’Oréal, situated north of Johannesburg in South Africa. “Because right after that, in 2019, I got the opportunity to go to the United States, I got my first show there. And then I’ve been there since 2019; working, learning, growing, wanting to experience everything and adjusting and figuring out life outside of South Africa. But also building towards that, which I’ve always wanted to achieve.”
Since her big move to the global stage, Mbedu has worked with award-winning Hollywood A-lister Viola Davis (The Woman King) and joined the cast of the animated series, Castlevania: Nocturne. Recently, the internationally-acclaimed actor was also appointed the first sub-Saharan Africa ambassador for beauty brand, L’Oréal Paris.
Reflecting on her role as Winnie in the Is’thunzi TV series in 2016, which propelled her to stardom and garnered two International Emmy Award nominations, Mbedu discusses the prevailing beauty standards in the film and television industry.
“Growing up, one never saw oneself as beautiful – I could never have imagined that one day I would have the honor,” Mbedu says. “L’Oréal is a brand that stands for women’s empowerment, with a strong sense of diversity, sisterhood, and feminism… To find a brand that actively has gone out of their way to form relationships with people who look like me, and even selecting an ambassador of my particular shade, indicates positive change.”
Globally, discussions about beauty standards and representation have gained prominence in recent years. As a brand ambassador, Mbedu is committed to unraveling these standards and gaining a deeper understanding of them. She concludes, “reminding people that regardless of who you are, regardless of where you come from, you deserve the opportunities the world has to offer.”
By Elijah Christopher