Thembi Mtshali

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Thembi Mtshali (1949- ) is a South African actress, singer, storyteller and TV personality.

(Also known in later years by her married name: Thembi Mtshali-Jones).


Born in rural South Africa, she started out as a domestic worker, before becoming a singer and actress.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Began in theatre in 1972 in Durban performing in Umabatha follwed by Ipi Tombi and later became co-creator of Gcina Mhlope’s Have You Seen Zandile? (1986). joined the Market Theatre in 1987, first working with Janice Honeyman in Black And White Follies. She co-wrote with Gcina Mhlophe and Maralin Vanrenen and performed in Have You Seen Zandile, which won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival. She also co-wrote and performed in Eden and Other Places and Women of Africa (both with Barney Simon), and toured with Malcolm Purkey's musical Marabi in the UK and the US.

Other stage roles include Prophets in the Black Sky (1992), Tituba in The Crucible (1996), A Woman in Waiting (which she co-created with Yaël Farber, National Arts Festival, 1999), Truth in Translation (September 2006), Mother to Mother (Baxter Theatre, 2009), and before that In 2005 she participated in The Baxter Storytelling Festival at The Baxter Theatre Centre (in association with Sibikwa Community Theatre Project).

She played the lead in NAPAC's production of Mama in Australia and New Zealand.

Her stage career soon led to a successful career with the SABC as a popular and very competent newsreader and TV personality in the 1990s. She also made numerous appearances on national and international stages, on television and film.

On television she had roles in series such as Madam and Eve, Sgudi'Snayis, Backstage, Generations, Stokvel, Interrogation Room and Takalani Sesami amongst others. ** **

She is a patron of the STAND Foundation.

Awards, etc

She received an Edinburgh Festival Award for Have You Seen Zandile?.

ACT AWARDS (Arts &; Culture Trust Awards of the President) (Year?) Lifetime Achievement Award - Theatre: Thembi Mtshali-Jones.


Tucker, 1997. p. 442.

WCtheatre - Thembi Mtshali-Jones takes to Baxter stage - 25/09/2013 - News[1]

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