Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
1 Oct 2020
4:05 pm

‘I don’t feel qualified’- Thuso Mbedu on E! 2020 People’s Choice Awards nomination

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Bonang Matheba won the coveted title of African Influencer of 2019, this year however the category will be called African Social Star 2020, and there is some stiff competition.

Actress: Thuso Mbedu. Photo: Noa Grayevsky

Global and multi-platform channel dedicated to all things pop culture E! Entertainment Television  announced on Thursday that it’s voting for the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards has officially opened.

In 2019 branching out and trying to connect with its huge African audience, the entertainment network had its first-ever category solely dedicated to African stars. Bonang Matheba won the coveted title of African Influencer of 2019.

This year, however, the category will be called African Social Star 2020.

Nominees for African Social Star 2020 are:

  • Model Karl Kugelmann
  • Rapper and poet Sho Madjozi
  • International Emmy Award nominee and actress Thuso Mbedu
  • Magician and TikTok star Wian van den Berg
  • Reigning Miss Universe Zozi Tunzi
  • Nigerian YouTube phenomenon Dimma Umeh
  • Kenyan comedian and internet sensation Elsa Majimbo
  • African Movie Academy Award-winning actress Lydia Forson from Ghana

Thuso Mbedu, two times international Emmy nominated actress, was modest on the nomination and speaking to The Citizen, said it came as a complete surprise.

Mbedu has been outspoken on the Black Lives Matter movement, how actors should be treated right on set during Covid-19, and has also shared how colourism has affected her personally.

“I don’t feel qualified, I have been very much been under the radar this year, only lending my voice here and there. It is humbling and it is a thumbs up that voicing your opinion on social ills doesn’t go unnoticed.”

She was Cast in Barry Jenkins adaption of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground RailRoad as lead character Cora, but production had to be halted due to the pandemic.

The limited series tells the story of a slave, Cora, in America’s deep south who escapes and makes a desperate bid for freedom through the famed “Underground railroad”. The series will be released on Amazon, but no official release date has been given.

When production was halted in March, it was a no brainer for Thuso to leave Atlanta, Georgia in the United States (US) and come back home.

“We only had about three days of shooting left, when we had to leave production. No one knew how long lockdown was going to be. I know a lot of my friends who stayed alone did not cope. I was lucky enough to go back home and be with my family. I even tutored for my nephew. It was amazing. I’m so grateful to be back in the US and working again.”

Mbedu said she had to be focused on the character during the 10-months on set, and couldn’t afford to be distracted. The star said she chose not binge on series during this time, rather deciding to read a lot of books.

“We have officially wrapped shooting, a lot had changed after we came back, pre-production and following Covid-19 protocols. We got tested every day but it felt amazing after we wrapped up.” Adding she would love any suggestions on shows she must watch.

The official voting window for E! People’s Choice Awards is from 1 October to 23 October. Fans can vote up to 25 times per day, per category, per method on the voting website and on Twitter.

On 15 October, the votes will count as double, equalling up to a maximum of 50 votes per category, per voting method.

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