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Local star Maitisa thrives in New York

Refilwe Maitisa making it in the ’Big Apple’. Image: Supplied

Refilwe Maitisa making it in the ’Big Apple’. Image: Supplied

Published Mar 16, 2022


Her hopes to be part of big projects in South Africa and around the world have pushed her to roll up her sleeves and do justice to her studies in New York City.

When Refilwe Maitisa, who is an actress, singer and model, jetted off to the Big Apple she knew she wanted to thrive, and with the many accolades she has collected, she believes she is on the right path.

The talented 24-year-old is raising the South African flag high in New York after recently graduating top of her class, summa cum laude, from the prestigious New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama and minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media & Technology.

Maitisa also proved her acting aptitude when she appeared in several films.

In 2019, she made her off-Broadway debut in the original musical Humanity's Child staged in New York. Refilwe can be seen in the South African blockbuster film Zulu Wedding, which won the Pan African Film & Arts Festival 2020 award for best narrative feature. She played the role of Young Lungile Sabata.

She shared how she feels to have amassed these accolades.

“I feel great, encouraged and motivated. To go to a school such as NYU Tisch and finish with the top awards gives me hope and affirms me that I am on the right path.”

She spoke about what inspires her to be the best at what she does.

“Often we, artists, work to make order and sense out of chaos – a plethora of emotions can be encapsulated in one song or one scene. What inspires me to move forward is trying to understand the complexity of the world and then serve people from that place. Art lets me do that freely. I want to be part of something like that.

“I hope to act and sing internationally. I want to be part of projects in South Africa and around the world. I want to be in films, television shows and songs that stand the test of time.”