Thuso Mbedu wins Outstanding Breakthrough Actress honours at 23rd Black Reel Awards

South African actress Thuso Mbedu in New York City. Picture: Twitter

South African actress Thuso Mbedu in New York City. Picture: Twitter

Published Feb 8, 2023


Thuso Mbedu is off to a flying start in 2023, with another international award under her belt.

The Black Reel Awards, also known as The Bolts, recognises the excellence of African Americans and the cinematic achievements of the African diaspora in the global film industry.

The KwaZulu-Natal-born star was named Outstanding Breakthrough Actress winner for her stellar performance as Nawi in “The Woman King” at the 23rd Annual Black Reel Awards

Mbedu was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress but lost to Angela Bassett for her role as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”.

“The Woman King” emerged as the big winner at the Black Reel Awards on Monday night, leading the pack with six awards including “Best Picture”. Gina Prince-Bythewood won the Best Director, Viola Davis scooped the Best Actress award.

Inspired by true events, “The Woman King” tells the remarkable story of the trials and tribulations of the fierce Agojie warriors and Dahomey.

The film was shot in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, using locations that strongly resemble West Africa.

Mbedu has won the Independent Spirit Award, a Gotham Award and a Hollywood Critics Award for her breakout international starring role in “The Underground Railroad”.

Mbedu made her international debut in 2021 with the Amazon Video limited series “The Underground Railroad,” making her the first South African actress to lead an American TV series.

The role earned which earned her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series and Outstanding Performance in a New Series at the Gotham Awards.

She was recognised in the New York Times’ list of top 10 best actors of 2022.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that “The Woman King” will be available for streaming.

“The Woman King” is making its much-anticipated debut on DStv Box Office, Apple TV, Google Play and other platforms from February 10.