Thandiwe Newtown for Vogue. Picture: Mikael Jansson.
Thandiwe Newtown for Vogue. Picture: Mikael Jansson.

Thandiwe Newtown claims back her power and birth name as she graces cover of British Vogue

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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SUCCESSFUL British actress Thandiwe Newtown is back with a bang as she graces the cover of the May issue of British Vogue.

Photographed by Mikael Jansson wearing Fendi Couture and jewellery by Tifanny and Co, the Bafta-winning acttress sure looks like she is claiming back her power.

You can see it in her smokey purple eyes as painted by Ammy Drammeh that this is a woman who is ready to shake things up.

In an interview with Diana Evans, the Zimbabwean-British actress speaks about her eating disorders and how she almost gave up on her passion – acting.

As she returns to being the screen icon that she is, Newtown is adamant about using her full name, Thandiwe (meaning being loved) as opposed to Thandi, which she’s been using since primary school.

While she may have confused readers about her name being of Zulu origin, especially since she is Shona, Newtown took to Twitter to apologise.

She said: “Sincerest apologies from me, for error in @BritishVogue. My name ‘Thandiwe’ is Zulu, my mother’s tribe is Shona. That’s what happens when you’re separated from your identity for so long that you forget who you are #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.”

She added that although her name was stolen she’s now taking it back.

“The director of my first film asked to use my actual name for the character – because it was authentic and beautiful. I felt flattered and agreed.

“And then in the credits, they used my ‘nickname’ to differentiate from the character name. They stole my name. And I’m taking it back,” she said.

Newtown is the first black woman to play a prominent character in a Star Wars film.

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