After a stellar 2019, 2020 promises to be the year that black South African women cement their place on the global stage, with Bonang Matheba, Sho Madjozi, Zozibini Tunzi, Boity Thulo, DJ Zinhle, Nomzamo Mbatha and Thuso Mbedu among those leading the way for local talent.

SA’s female celebs are setting trends worldwide by sticking to their roots and encouraging the country’s children to do the same.

BONANG MATHEBA
The Mahikeng media mogul jetted off to New York last year to work on a TV reality show special.

Fresh from becoming the first-ever African Influencer of the Year at the E! People’s Choice Awards, Matheba announced that she is planning to move to the US.

Rumours abound that she will be taking up a job at E! Entertainment, possibly even replacing veteran E! News co-host Giuliana Rancic when the show moves to New York.

SHO MADJOZI
Madjozi’s star is on the verge of becoming a supernova this year. The 26-year-old artist, whose real name is Maya Wegerif, inspired women to embrace their roots when she accepted a BET award and performed in the US in her traditional Xitsonga xibelani attire.

The John Cena hitmaker has sparked a massive hair trend that has seen parents jokingly ask her to change it before her young fans, who have been sporting multicoloured braids all holiday, return to school.

Madjozi has hinted at several big opportunities overseas.

NOMZAMO MBATHA

The actress, who hails from KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal, will play a lead in the follow-up to the 1988 cult classic film Coming to America.

Mbatha has spent the latter part of 2019 in the US on the set of Coming 2 America at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

The star-studded international cast includes Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones, Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, Rick Ross and Teyana.

THUSO MBEDU
The Pietermaritzburg-born actress will play the lead role this year in the much-anticipated The Underground Railroad.

Barry Jenkins’s TV series adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer prize–winning novel tells the story of three slaves who attempt to escape the plantations of the American South.

Mbedu has been nominated twice for an Emmy Award, for her role as Winnie in the TV series Is’thunzi, and will no doubt look to carve out a career in the US.

PEARL THUSI
The actress spent much of 2019 filming Queen Sono – Netflix’s first fully African original series – in 37 locations around SA.

Thusi isn’t just the star, she made it happen. Last month she told the Sunday Times: “I wanted to create and star as the African version of Tomb Raider and tell innately African stories.

“That’s when I approached Kagiso Lediga, who I had worked with on Catching Feelings. I knew what I wanted for the character and was confident that Kagiso could help me bring it to life.”

After selling the romantic comedy Catching Feelings to Netflix, director Lediga, Thusi and the Diprente Films team pitched Queen Sono to Netflix.

From February 28, the series will be available to 160-million people in 190 countries.

DJ ZINHLE
The music star is ready to explode on the global stage.

She recently won the song of the year award on Metro FM and Gagasi FM.

The star captivated audiences during a UK tour last year and is expected to perform more overseas.

BOITY THULO
The former TV presenter and model surprised many when she announced that she was going to start a hip-hop career last year.

She threw herself into rap and in a few short months went from a one-hit wonder to the first female rapper to go platinum, with her single Wuz Dat.

Thulo has her eye on dominating the airwaves both in SA and abroad.

Don’t be surprised if you see tour posters with her name on them popping up in the US or the UK this year.

ZOZIBINI TUNZI
Tunzi won hearts when she won the Miss Universe title last year, sporting her natural hair.

She sparked a trend of “wearing your natural crown” that spread from the streets of New York to Nairobi, Kenya.

Tunzi has often spoken of her desire to help young women around the world embrace their beauty within.

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