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Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu (born 8 July 1991) is a South African television and film actress and voice actress. She rose to prominence for her performance in the South African teen drama series Is'Thunzi, for which she was nominated consecutively for an International Emmy in 2017 and 2018. Mbedu later appeared on the 2018 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list.

In 2021, she starred in the Amazon Video limited series The Underground Railroad as Cora, which made her the first South African actress to lead an American television series, and earned her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series. She then made her feature film debut in the American historical epic The Woman King (2022) in the role of Nawi.

She voices Annette in Castlevania: Nocturne.


In late 2014, Mbedu 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, and a lead role as Boni Khumalo in the television series Saints and Sinners.

After being unemployed for six months, Mbedu landed her first starring role in television in the Mzansi Magic teen drama series Is'Thunzi, which premiered in October 2016. 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. While filming a rape scene for the show, she suffered a panic attack. 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 and was the only African to be nominated that year.

Mbedu made her international debut as Cora in the 2021 Amazon Video historical limited series The Underground Railroad, based on the novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead and directed and executive produced by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. Mbedu earned a Hollywood Critics Association Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and a Gotham Award for the series.

In April 2021, it was announced Mbedu would make her film debut as Nawi opposite Viola Davis in The Woman King, a historical epic film inspired by the true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The film was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, from a script by Fatherhood co-writer Dana Stevens.

In 2023, Mbedu became the ambassador and spokesperson of L'Oréal for Sub-Saharan Africa. In August 2023, Mbedu narrated 'The not-quite-redemption of South Africa's infamous ultra-marathon cheats' on Curio, an audio platform.


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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Thuso Mbedu. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Castlevania Wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.