Top South African Actresses

From All-Time Greats to Up and Coming Stars

South Africa has birthed a range of talents that have blessed the global stage, especially in the world television and film through South African actresses. Showcasing their versatility and depth across various genres in the entertainment industry, whether on local television stations and Netflix series or on the big screen starring in international films. These women have not only captivated audiences with their performances but have also stood as icons of South Africa, breaking barriers and setting standards.

Top 21 South African Actresses

Ama Qamata

Ama Qamata is the young blood in the showbiz family, but she’s making her presence felt with the force of a vet. She came onto the scene as a new face in My Perfect Family but really caught eyes in Gomora. Then boom, Netflix’s Blood & Water happened and her star just skyrocketed. The girl’s not just about acting, but she’s about influence, inspiring the youth with her journey from small-screen gigs to streaming giant headliner. She’s that fresh face showing the world – this is what the next wave looks like.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Amanda Du-Pont

Amanda Du-Pont is that girl who’s got the glow on lock – actress, model, and television host, she’s been bringing her A-game since busting onto the scene in Life is Wild in 2007. But it’s her role as Lelo on Skeem Saam that really put her on the map. Amanda isn’t just a screen siren; she’s jet-setting between gigs and lighting up Instagram with her fashion sense and fitness goals. Blazing trails in the industry, she’s all about that camera-ready presence that keeps fans double-tapping for more.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Asavela Mngqithi

Asavela Mngqithi is that fresh face on the scene who’s quickly becoming a household name. She’s got that spark as Ntwenhle on Isibaya, showing she’s not just another newcomer – she’s the next big thing. With her dad being a famous soccer coach, you might think it’s all about sports in her world, but Asavela’s setting her own stage, proving she’s got the acting game on lock. And with her Instagram popping off with lifestyle and beauty inspo, Asavela is on that prime path to stardom, pushing the culture forward with every move.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Bonang Matheba

Bonang Matheba is basically South African entertainment’s MVP, being a TV host, presenter, businesswoman, and style icon. She got her big break back in the day on Live AMP and has been a fixture in the entertainment game ever since. From holding down radio shows to launching her own MCC brand, House of BNG, Bonang is a one-woman empire. And with her reality show Being Bonang, she gives fans a taste of the hustle that keeps her at the top.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Cindy Mahlangu

Since her acting debut in 2016, she’s been stealing the spotlight, especially with her breakout role as Siyanda from the hit soapie “The Queen.” Cindy’s raw talent and undeniable charisma have made her a favorite among fans, getting her name buzzing all over Mzansi. Her acting chops ain’t the only thing she’s got going for her; she’s also a fashion icon, serving looks on Instagram that got people double-tapping non-stop.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Fulu Mugovhani

Fulu Mugovhani is like that indie movie star who you know is about to blow up big time. Her breakout role in the film Ayanda in 2015 showcased her acting chops and snagged her the Best Actress award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. Fulu’s not your regular actress; she picks roles that resonate and speak volumes about her range.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Gail Nkoane Mabalane

Gail Nkoane Mabalane is the woman who’s perfected the art of slaying in every area of her life. Singer, actress, entrepreneur – she’s wearing all the hats. Since The Wild in 2011, Gail’s been showing off her acting chops in everything she does, especially as Vicky in Blood & Water.”

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Jessica Nkosi

Jessica Nkosi is like your favorite character from a fairy tale who came to life. Starting out strong in 2013 as Qondi in Isibaya, she’s been capturing hearts as the epitome of class and talent. Jessica’s stardom isn’t just about her time on the screen; she’s a brand ambassador for major names, meaning she gets to slay on the daily, making bank and looking flawless while doing it.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Khanya Mkangisa

Khanya Mkangisa is one of those stars who you’ve watched grow up on screen, and girl, she’s flourished. She started young, lighting up shows like YoTV, and has kept her star rising ever since. She’s been all about that actress and TV presenter life, leaving her mark on hit shows like Isidingo and The Queen.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Makgotso M

Makgotso M has been gracing television screens with her undeniable talent and infectious energy. She might be known to most for her dynamic roles in high-profile shows including Is’Thunzi, which premiered in 2016, and Muvhango. Makgotso doesn’t just act; she breathes life into her characters and has the range that’s had critics and audiences alike dropping their jaws. Though young, she’s built a body of work that reflects a seasoned artist committed to her craft,

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Mampho Brescia

Mampho Brescia is the definition of a screen siren in South African showbiz, with a career that’s been on the rise since her days on Jacob’s Cross. Remember her stint as Isabella in Isidingo? That’s when everyone knew she wasn’t just another actress, but she was a star in the making. But get this, Mampho’s talents aren’t confined within the borders of Mzansi; she’s also the brand ambassador for Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido, proving her star power shines beyond just acting.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Masali Baduza

Now, let’s talk about Masali Baduza, who’s been turning heads since she stepped into the limelight. This South African actress blasted onto the international scene with her lead role in the BBC series “Noughts + Crosses,” which premiered in 2020. Her portrayal of Sephy Hadley not only showcased her depth as an actress but also threw her into the global conversation on race and social injustice—talk about using art to spark real talk.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Minnie Dlamini

Minnie Dlamini is a name you can’t help but know if you’ve been tuned into South African TV. She debuted as a fresh-faced presenter on LIVE back in 2010 and has branched out into acting and producing. Mrs. Jones, as she’s fondly known, melts hearts whether she’s on a magazine cover or hosting major sports and entertainment events. With her winning smile and business savvy, Minnie’s built a brand that’s about glamour, grace, and grinding hard.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Nomzamo Mbatha

Nomzamo Mbatha, the girl-next-door turned superstar, has been turning heads since she stepped onto the scene in Isibaya back in 2013. She’s more than just a pretty face with a strong social media game, she’s taken her talents international with Coming 2 America, where she starred alongside Eddie Murphy. From the MTV Africa Music Awards to her activism work with the UNHCR, Nomzamo’s been mixing fame with a fierce commitment to making a difference.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Nthati Moshesh

Nthati Moshesh, where do we even start? This lady is like the Meryl Streep of South Africa, no joke. Her career’s been filled with heavy-hitting roles, and she’s got the accolades to show for it, like her SAFTA win for Best Actress. Nthati’s been in the business long enough to play a range of characters, from “Saints and Sinners” to “Scandal!”, proving she’s not just versatile – she’s iconic. She’s proof that talent and hard work make you a legend in the lights.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Pearl Thusi

Pearl Thusi, a versatile actress in the South African entertainment scene, is known for slaying roles both on-screen and behind the mic as a presenter. She jumped into the spotlight back in 2009 with her role on the TV series Zone 14 and hasn’t looked back since. International fame came knocking when she starred in Quantico alongside Priyanka Chopra. She’s also the lead in Queen Sono, Africa’s first original Netflix series, which proved she’s not just a local treasure.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Terry Pheto

Terry Pheto is South African royalty, having risen to fame with her stunning performance in the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi in 2005. Since then, she’s been bagging roles that show off her range, like playing Miriam in A United Kingdom. With international awards under her belt, like a British Independent Film Award, Terry’s more than just a name, but she’s a brand representing excellence in South African cinema.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Thando Thabethe

Thando Thabethe’s got that magic touch when it comes to entertainment, whether she’s got you tuned in on the radio with her sultry voice or you’re binge-watching her latest TV series. She’s been in the game since her debut on the SABC1 youth drama Tshisa back in the early 2010s, and she’s only been climbing higher since. Check her out as the lead in Housekeepers and you’ll see why she’s not just another actress but a legit star. Plus, she’s an entrepreneur with her own lingerie line, so you know she’s about that boss life.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Thembi Seete

Thembi Seete is the kind of star that’s been around, seen it all, and still keeps it fresh. A true OG in the game, she broke into the scene with the kwaito group Boom Shaka in the ’90s, and man, has she evolved. From music to acting, she slays. Remember her in “Zone 14” or “Gomora”? That’s her flexing her versatility and proving she’s evergreen in the biz. Thembi’s also about that fitness life – just scroll through her Insta and get ready to be gym-motivated.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Thuso Mbedu

Thuso Mbedu was hailed as one of Hollywood’s next big things. She broke hearts with her performance as Winnie in Is’thunzi, which got her an International Emmy nomination in 2017. But one of her best performances was her in The Underground Railroad on Amazon Prime, where she leads the cast. Thuso’s performances are intense, captivating, and have Hollywood buzzing about this South African sensation.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

Zenande Mfenyana

Zenande Mfenyana is like that cool sister in the entertainment family who’s been owning her space since she hit the scene as Noluntu on “Generations” back in 2011. With her acting chops, she’s kept Mzansi hooked, making waves as Goodness on “The Queen.” It’s not just her roles that make her stand out, though; it’s her vibe, and that relatable personality fans can’t get enough of. She’s definitely the one you’d wanna grab a coffee with and just chill, talking life and career moves.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

South African Actresses Related Topics:

1 Top 20 Nigerian Actresses

2 Top 10 Ghanaian Actresses

3 Top 20 Black Actresses of All-Time

Share Page with Friends:

Categorized in: