Two-time Emmy-nominated actress Thuso Mbedu has reflected on the times her heritage has been questioned, and reminded us of the cultural complexities within us all.
The “rainbow nation” is a melting pot of cultures, and the Is’thunzi star took to Instagram recently to share stories about her identity and proudly wearing her culture on her sleeve.
Thuso explained that her name is multicultural: Thuso (Sesotho), Nokwanda (Zulu) and Mbedu (isiXhosa), and it had taken her years to fully learn about her identity.
She recounted how she couldn’t speak Sotho but had to deal with people assuming she could speak the language.
“Being in Joburg and people immediately communicating in Sesotho was always awkwardly funny because I had no clue what they were saying! It would only be when they stopped to catch their breath that I’d say ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying’ that they’d then snap and say ‘What kind of Thuso are you?’
“(They) would want to call me ‘Nokwanda’ because, to them, that’s more fitting. I always declined because Nokwanda is reserved strictly for my family.”
The star also shared how she recently learnt more about her Sotho roots.
“This year I learnt that my grandfather was from Lesotho and that we still have living relatives in Lesotho. You learn something every day!” she explained.
In other news – Twitter gives thumbs up to Zama’s beautiful performance on #IdolsSA