What you see is what you get. Grounded, humble and unequivocally real. Thuli Thabethe, actress, mother and the girl-next-door.
This hangout was certainly one that we were very excited to have. We joined Thuli at one of her photo shoots on a very cold day in May and got to know the Real Thuli Thabethe.
One of her best known television roles was that of Phumzile, in a SABC1 Sitcom called, City Ses’la. She is now, on one of the biggest shows on South African Television, Isibaya.
From the moment we sat down with her, I recall how captivated I was with her beauty. Her reception was undoubtedly one to write home about. If you base your opinions about her solely on what you have seen on Tv, you would be making a gross misjudgment.
Thuli grew up in the South of Johannesburg as an “incredibly insecure teenager.” Her parents divorced when she was 16 and this added to the insecurities she had to deal with. Being herself was not an easy undertaking and she had to find some way of redirecting the negative energy that was building up.
Being at an art school, she listened to artists like Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and the likes. She says that they kept her grounded for the longest time. Through this she found acting to be an outlet that allowed her a freedom of expression and gave her a voice.
Thuli recalls being teased about her nostrils and her bum throughout high school and how that destroyed her confidence.
“I didn’t fell sexy at all for the longest time…”
We spoke to her about the representation of beauty in the media, specifically of black women
Her sentiments on this particular subject were closely aligned with our own. We may be seeing more black women on traditional media but they are generally not a representation of the majority of black women. You tend to see more of the stereotypical representations of black women instead.
“When Viola came on, How to Get Away With Murder, she gave me permission to be 100% myself.”
A very Kafkaesque period in her life was when she was pregnant. Trying to manage her body and self-esteem issues was an insurmountable task. What made it more difficult was the fact that she was unable to book any work because of her new body. The birth of her son saved her though, she explained.
“Ruri gave me strength to Soldier on…”
Who Is Thuli Thabethe Now?
At the core of who she is, is a creative. More than anything else, I am a creative first she said. She is a confident and powerful woman who knows her worth and is always on a journey of self-discovery and improvement.
“I am comfortable with making you uncomfortable…”
She expresses her Afrocentricity with the way she wears her hair and being real. The entertainment industry is a tough place for female actors. There is an incredible amount of pressure to look and behave a certain way.
Finding her own feet and Acknowledging, accepting and loving who she really is, has given her power and opened up doors of success.
If you don’t already know who this woman of wonder is, you will surely know soon enough.
“…not everyone is ready for the cup of tea that I’m serving…”