Mzansi Profiles! People Nomathemba ‘Thembsie’ Matu Biography| Early Life, Acting Career, Filmography, Awards, Personal Life

Nomathemba ‘Thembsie’ Matu Biography| Early Life, Acting Career, Filmography, Awards, Personal Life

Nomathemba ‘Thembsie’ Matu Biography| Early Life, Acting Career, Filmography, Awards, Personal Life post thumbnail image

Nomathemba ‘Thembisile’ Matu, better known as Thembsie Matu, is a accomplished South African actress and television presenter. She has captivated audiences with her diverse range of roles on both the small and silver screens.

Early Life

Born in 1966 in Katlehong, Gauteng, Matu had a challenging upbringing, being raised solely by her mother after her father abandoned the family. Despite these early difficulties, she pursued her passion for the performing arts.


Nomathemba 'Thembsie' Matu Biography

Nomathemba ‘Thembsie’ Matu Biography (Image Credit: Instagram @thembsiematu)

Acting Career

Matu made her professional stage debut in 1987, appearing in the play Sekunjalo. She went on to showcase her talents in other theater productions such as What A Shame (1989) and Give A Child (1989).

Matu’s transition to television came in 1994 when she landed her first television role in the serial Mama’s Love. This was followed by a part in the serial Lahliwe in 1999. However, it was her breakthrough role in the SABC1 drama series Tshisa in 2006, where she played the character of Nomathamsanqa, that truly propelled her to prominence. Matu’s captivating performance earned her critical acclaim and paved the way for a string of notable television roles.

Over the years, Matu has showcased her versatility by taking on diverse characters in numerous television series. Some of her most prominent roles include Novezake in Intsika, Mrs Vilakazi in Soul Buddyz, and Gertrude in The Wild. Her most acclaimed and long-running role to date has been that of Petronella in the Mzansi Magic telenovela ‘The Queen‘, which she has portrayed from 2017 to 2021.

Alongside her television work, Matu has also made forays into the world of film and commercials. She had a supporting role in the 2009 comedy film ‘Finding Lenny’ and has appeared in the popular Doom insecticide commercial.

Also Read: Tumi Morake Biography| Early Life, Career, Filmography, Awards, Authorship, Personal Life Infidelity

Awards and Recognition

Matu’s exceptional talent and dedication have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized with several accolades, including a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama at the 2014 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) for her performance in Rockville. In 2018, she was further honored with the Favourite Actress and Ultimate Viewers’ Choice awards at the DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards.


Nomathemba 'Thembsie' Matu Biography

Nomathemba ‘Thembsie’ Matu Biography (Image Credit: Instagram @thembsiematu)


2006 – Tshisa as Nomathamsanqa
” ”     – Zone 14 as Aunt Napho
” ”     – Gaz’lam as Woman 3
”  ”    – Home Affairs as Nolitha
“”      –  Zero Tolerance as Stella Hadebe
”  ”    –  The Lab as Zinhle
2007 –  Jacob’s Cross as Rebecca
” ”     – Nomzamo as Gladys
” ”     – Namibia: The Struggle For Liberation
2008 –  Rhythm City as Sis Bee
” ”      – uGugu no Andile as Teacher
” ”      – Izingane zoBaba as Rose
2009 – Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema as The Loan Shark
” ”    – Finding Lenny as Big Momma
2011 – Intsika as Novezake
” ”     –  Soul Buddyz as Mrs Vilakazi
” ”     –  The Wild as Gertrude
2012 – Moferefere Lenyalong as Boreng
2013 – Rockville as Sis Ribs
” ”     –  Zaziwa as Herself
2014 –  Skeem Saam as Ousie Tlaki
2015 – Abo Mzala as Zodwa
” ”     –  Thandeka’s Diary as Ntombi
2017 – MTV Shuga as Mama Chillaz
” ”     – The Queen as Petronella
” ”     –  Thuli noThulani as Mrs Zondiwe
2024 – Lobola Man

Personal Life

Matu’s personal life has also been marked by both joy and tragedy. She was married to Peter Sebotsa, an Anglican minister, until his untimely passing in 2019 after drowning in the family’s pool. Despite this heartbreak, Matu continues to draw strength from her one daughter and one son, who she cherishes deeply.


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