THUSO Mbedu might possess all the traits of being an ‘it girl’ but the beautiful actress is not about to let industry standards dictate to her how life should be lived. Staying true to herself, Thuso tells Move! about the fickle and pretentious celebrity life and all that has kept her feet firmly grounded throughout all the praises that come with being a famous person.
KEEPING IT REAL
The star says, “Being transparent in my journey has been important to me and this has helped me avoid unnecessary pressures.” Thuso says she is deliberately selective about the places that she goes to and the reasons thereof. “You can’t be struggling to put food on the table just to attend an event and be seen as relevant,” she says. The instability of being in the entertainment industry constantly reminds Thuso of the important things that she should actually be spending money on and working towards. She is also selective when it comes to the friends she keeps in the industry.
BUYING A HOUSE
It is probably how she was raised that has made the former Scandal! actress value certain things more than others. Thuso was raised by her grandmother in Kwa-ZuluNatal.
“We struggled, but we got through it. In fact, people thought I was from a privileged home when I actually didn’t have parents and was raised by my grandmother,” she says.
Her grandmother passed away in 2014 when she started her first ever professional gig on Mzansi Magic’s Saints and Sinners. Life as she and her sister knew it was shaken up when the only person who took care of them passed on. The family house was sold by family and her sister, who lived there at the time, had to move out. Thuso was renting a place in Johannesburg at the time and lived there with her sister. They eventually had to buy a house in Johannesburg.
“We had no place to call home. We thought, what is the point of struggling to pay rent month after month when we can rather invest in our first-ever home?” says Thuso.
Fame will not exempt you from real-life issues, this is something the 27-year-old has a clear grasp on. Last year, Thuso was honoured with an internationally acclaimed Emmy nomination for her role on drama series, Isithunzi. Thuso struggled to get enough money to make sure that she attended the ceremony but she made it to the prestigious event and made an impression on the global red carpet. When she came back after not winning, there were no jobs for her.
Months after her big Emmy nomination, she bagged a role on SABC1 soapie, Generations – The Legacy, a role some felt she was too seasoned for. Her four-month contract ended although she hoped that it would be extended. As a result of not reaching a contractual agreement, it was not renewed.
She admits that the journey on the soapie has been a great experience for her. In a recent interview with Tbose Mokwele on Kaya FM, she said, “Our industry isn’t about talent. We cast according to followers on social media. It’s such a frustration. It’s an ongoing debate because people talk about opening up the industry, but what are we opening up the industry to?”
Thuso still has hopes that she will reach her goal of establishing a career in the entertainment industry abroad. In the meantime, she is working on writing a film, which she says is challenging her for the better.
ON LOVE AND DR MUSA
For a beautiful girl like Thuso, getting attention from men is an everyday thing. She finds herself trying to respectfully decline or answer inboxes from hopefuls.
“My manager ended up handling my DMs on Instagram. I remember, she told me that someone had even sent a picture of his penis – now that was creepy,” she says.
When former child-star, Dr Musa Mthombeni, posted pictures of himself with Thuso on social media taken at an event, insinuating that they are together, social media went abuzz.
“It was actually very funny and I honestly could not believe how much people were talking about it. Honestly, I know Musa since varsity. Yes, I almost had a crush on him once upon a time but he was into a friend,” she says with a laugh. When it comes to matters of the heart, Thuso made a decision not to be in a relationship years ago because she wants to focus on herself and building her career. “I am very single right now,” she laughs.