Also known and often billed as Thoko Ntshinga.
Born Thokozile Ntshinga in Langa into a musically inclined family. She was a single parent with a twoyear-old daughter, working as nursing aide when she saw an audition notice for the Space Theatre. She hadn't thought that a career in theatre was something one could aspire to, but she got the part and went on to work with the Space. (That ultimately led her to a glittering film career and stage career: a Fleur du Cap award for Mies Julie and a masters degree in the US).
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
As stage actress
Started in theatre at the Space Theatre in the 1970s, performing in A Flea in her Ear, Four Twins, The Incredible Vanishing, Lysistrata S.A., Nongogo (Fugard, 197*), Patty Hearst, Rape – A Revue and The Sacrifice of Kreli (Fatima Dike – 197*).
Then worked with Barney Simon at the Market Theatre, helping to create and performing Cincinnati, Born in the RSA (1985), Panorama (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1987/8) * Auditioning Angels (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 2003) **. NTSHINGA, Thoko. Starred in Barney Simon’s production of Cincinatti – Scenes from City Life together with Marcel van Heerden, Danny Keogh, Lesley Nott, Barrie Shah, Vanessa Cooke, Bo Petersen, Sam Williams and Robin Smith for The Company at The Market, Upstairs at the Market, the Baxter and the Brooke in 1979. Together with Pieter-Dirk Uys and Tessa Uys she starred in Uyscreams with Hot Chocolate Sauce at the Laager in 1980. She starred in the PACT production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by William Egan, together with Sandra Prinsloo and Ron Smerczak in 1981. She starred in Athol Fugard’s Nongogo at the Laager in 1981. She starred in Pieter-Dirk Uys’ show Farce About Uys together with Uys and Chris Galloway at the Market in June 1983. Together with the cast comprising Vanessa Cooke, Timmy Kwebulana, Gcina Mhlophe, Terry Norton, Fiona Ramsay and Neil McCarthy, and in collaboration with its director Barney Simon, she helped write Born in the RSA which opened at Upstairs at the Market in August 1985 before moving to the main theatre.
As stage director
She directed the 2015 revival of Born in the RSA.
Film and TV
Founder and Director of Nants'ingqayi Arts Development Association, a community development project, based in Langa, Cape Town.
Saturday Argus, 4 July 2015.
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