Top 10 South African Actors Of All Time

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Film, drama and media is a large and growing business in this day and age. We count on actors and script writers to take a story off the street and to portray it on a stage as best as they can for us. You can head to the Innovative Actor’s Studio site to see how these actors are made.

Without actors the story is just words on a few pages waiting to be told by a talented group of people. We’ve had quite a few great achievers in the media and acting space over the years. Here’s a list of Top 10 South African Actors Of All Time that have done a great job in their spaces!

10. Leleti Khumalo

She was born in KwaMashu township, north of Durban, South Africa. Showing an interest in performing from an early age, Khumalo joined a youth backyard dance group called Amajika, mentored by Tu Nokwe.

In 1985, she auditioned for Mbongeni Ngema’s musical, which later became the international blockbuster Sarafina!, Ngema wrote the lead character of Sarafina especially for Khumalo. She was formerly married to Mbongeni Ngema. But there have been recent speculations that he has had several affairs with different women, including the late Brenda Fassie.

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Khumalo performed the role of Sarafina! on stages in South Africa and on Broadway, where she received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Sarafina! had a Broadway run lasting two years, after which the production embarked on a worldwide tour. In 1987 Khumalo received a NAACP Image Award for Best Stage Actress.

In 1992, she starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Miriam Makeba and John Kani in Darrell James Roodt’s film version of Sarafina!, which had a worldwide distribution, and became the biggest film production to be released on the African continent. Again Khumalo was nominated for an Image Award, together with Angela Bassett, Whoopi Goldberg and Janet Jackson.

9. Sello Maake

Sello Maake Ka-Ncube is one of South Africa’s most esteemed actors and voice actors, having performed in theatre, film and television both in his native land, as well as in the USA, Britain, Canada, and Europe.

He narrated a 2008 natural history documentary Africa’s Outsiders about unusually pigmented (albino) wild animals, which was aired by Animal Planet.

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