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African Actresses Taking Hollywood By Storm

African-born actresses who are making their names known in Hollywood while proudly representing their heritage.

written by Betti Halsell

These African jewels have been showcasing great acting skills on screen and deep soul ties to their homeland. In television and film, most recently, multi-faceted talents like Pearl Thusi and Nomzamo Mbatha have given mind-blowing performances, bringing African actors much-deserved attention. 

Pearl Thusi

Sithembile Xola Pearl Thusi is known for her portrayal of Patricia Kopong in the comedy-drama seriesThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and Dayana Mampasi in the ABC thriller Quantico . The South African star later landed a lead role in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Queen Sono. The streamer’s first African original series was renewed for a second season.

Thuso Mbedu 

Thuso Mbedu has been labeled ‘the first South African to lead an American series’. The 29 year old was cast as Nora in the upcoming Amazon Prime Video’s Underground Railroad, produced and written by Barry Jenkins. Mbedu was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in the telenovela Thunzi, “one of the most compelling television programmes on South African television”(The Guardian).

Yvonne Orji 

Yvonne Orji is a Nigeria-born American actress and comedian, known best for her performance in the hit television series Insecure on HBO, which earned her Emmy and NAACP Image Award nominations. Orji’s comedy special, Mama, I made it is currently streaming on HBO.  

Sibongile Mlambo

Sibongile Mlambo is best known for her role in Netflix’s series Lost in Space, Starz’s Historical thriller series Black Sails, MTV’s Teen Wolf , and Freeform’s series Siren. The Zimbabwean actress’ film credits include Honey 3 and The Last Face

Wunmi Mosaku 

Wunmi Mosaku is a force! The Nigerian-born British actress gave a fantastic performance as Ruby Baptiste in award winning HBO series Lovecraft Country. She was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Actress and also won the 2020 British Independent Film Awards for Best Actress for her role in His House.

Nomzamo Mbatha

Nomzamo Mbatha is another talent proudly representing South Africa. The human rights activist, TV personality, actress, and business woman is fresh on the nation’s mind as she played Mirembe, one of the major characters in Coming 2 America

Lupita Nyong’o 

Although Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico city, both of her parents are Kenyan. Her accomplishments expand all the way from winning an Academy Award for her debut performance in 12 Years a Slave (2013) to publishing a children’s book on self-love. Nyong’o has starred in several box office hits such as Queen of Katwe, Us, and Marvel’s record-breaking Black Panther.

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Film

‘The Man From Toronto’ Trailer: Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson Star In Action-Packed Comedy

Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson star in Netflix’s upcoming action-packed comedy dropping on Netflix on June 24.

A case of mistaken identity arises after a screw-up sales consultant and the world’s deadliest assassin—known only as The Man from Toronto— run into each other at a holiday rental.

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‘Bid For Love’: BET Announces Premiere Date and Releases Official Trailer

BET debuted the trailer for its upcoming original drama Bid For Love, set for a June release.

The cast includes Blue Kimble (Ruthless), Dawn Halfkenny (Saints & Sinners), Adrian Lockett (The Oval), Jermel Howard (BMF), Tami Roman (The Family Business), Nikki Dixon (First Christmas), Ptosha Storey (The Oval), Jayda Cheaves and Kwaylon Rogers.

‘Bid For Love’ cast

Directed by Arthur Muhammad (Carter High), the story follows Sasha (Halfkenny) as she navigates life following a prison release. After serving time for her former drug trafficking boyfriend Memphis (Kimble), Sasha falls in love with Malik (Lockett), a generous and successful real estate entrepreneur. The man’s motives for Sasha, however, are far from good. Malik slowly attempts to alienate her from family and friends as he secretly plots against her.

Bid For Love is produced by Lawainna Patterson, London Williams, Shauna D. Balfour, and Christina Cooper. The film will air on BET Her and BET+ on June 23. Watch the official trailer below.

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Hollywood Melanin

Martin Reunion First Look Trailer

Martin reunion

BET+ debuted the first look trailer for its highly-anticipated Martin reunion. Three decades later, the cast is reuniting for a special episode dropping on June 16.

Participating stars include Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, and Carl Anthony Payne II.

The trailer opens with a dedication to Thomas Mikal Ford, who played Tommy in the series. The actor sadly passed away in 2016 from an operation complication. He was 52.

Hosted by comedian Affion Crockett, the special will focus on the show’s origin and evolution. In addition, it will feature interviews with the surviving cast, original directors, special musical performances, and behind-the-scenes must-sees.

Martin, which premiered in 1992, starred Lawrence – who played various characters, Campbell as Martin’s girlfriend and later his wife, Gina; Arnold as Gina’s best friend, Pam; and Martin’s two best friends, Cole (Payne) and Tommy (played by the late Thomas Ford). The series concluded with season five due to the tensions between the two main cast members. People reported that Campbell sued Lawrence for “repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse, and related threats” in 1997. The two later reconciled, with Campbell announcing in 2020 that she was “so glad that we’re in a good place right now.”

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