South African celebrities, creatives and fashion designers have been putting us on the map in the most thrilling ways this year, as they keep adding to the list of international victories. South African-born comedian Trevor Noah started 2018 on a high note when he shared the stage with Oprah Winfrey at her SuperSoul Conversations live show at the Apollo Theater in New York, and ever since then, the likes of Laduma Ngxokolo, Trevor Stuurman, Black Coffee and Nakhane Toure have all earned worldwide acclaim.
Fast-forward to July, and black South African women have scored a hat trick in sports and entertainment thanks to the announcements of good news for Tumi Morake, Phumzile Sitole and Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane all in the same week.
Here’s how they’ve made us proud:
1. Tumi Morake’s historic Netflix deal
Award-winning comedian, actress and talk-show host Tumi Morake has made history as the first female African stand-up comedian to earn a set at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, set to be broadcast on Netflix in 2019, joining Loyiso Gola, Riaad Moosa and Loyiso Madinga in the line-up of acts representing Africa. This comedy event series will showcase a diverse array of comedians in terms of style, gender and ethnicity.
Tumi tweeted a very succinct expression of excitement at the news, saying ‘Mama I made it’, while also embracing all the love tweeted at her.
Mama I made it 😁 https://t.co/tQd0G2lVEn
— Tumi Morake✊🏾🇿🇦 (@tumi_morake) July 10, 2018
😊 ah man now you make me blush 🙈 Thank you https://t.co/u76S226Puy
— Tumi Morake✊🏾🇿🇦 (@tumi_morake) July 11, 2018
2. Phumzile Sitole bags OITNB role
In more Netflix news, their hit TV series Orange is the New Black is returning for a sixth season on 27 July, and this time with a South African actress Phumzile Sitole joining the incredible cast. Phumzile will play inmate Antoinetta ‘Akers’ Kerson, who will appear in nine episodes. The starlet has a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, which she obtained at Columbia University in New York after completing a BA in Theatre at UCT. Akers is the third major role Phumzile is adding to her filmography, having starred in local short film Rights of Passage and US show The Good Fight as Sharise. We can’t wait to see her join Taystee, Suzanne and Cindy in Litchfield.
— Phumzile Sitole (@phumzilesitole) July 9, 2018
It’s with great pride that we congratulate US-Based South African Actress, Phumzile Sitole, who has been cast to play a role in popular Netflix show, Orange is the New Black. Phumzile has also had a role in the American legal and political drama, The Good Fight. Siyakuhalalisela. pic.twitter.com/vgiM1Sbp18
— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) July 11, 2018
3. Kgothatso Montjane first SA black woman to play at Wimbledon
Wheelchair tennis champion Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane becomes the first black South African woman to compete in the Wimbledon tournament today. She will face her German doubles partner, Katharina Kruger, in the quarterfinals. The 32-year-old tennis player is ranked number eight in the world in singles and doubles tennis. According to Times Live, despite having won more than two dozen times on an international level, Montjane may have a tough round due to the fact that she has ‘never had success at a Grand Slam tournament‚ and her seven rivals all ranked higher than her’. But even so, we are still backing her 100% and celebrating her Wimbledon debut.
Look at this! The only two black women tennis players playing in today’s singles event at #wimbledon2018 are Serena Williams of the USA and South Africa’s wheelchair tennis player, Kgothatso Montjane. #SerenaWilliams is playing in the semi’finals and Kgothatso in her debut match pic.twitter.com/LsrHTDVJUB
— cheryl roberts (@cherylroberts00) July 12, 2018
A huge good luck to our star Kgothatso @Montjane_K ahead of her @Wimbledon opener against Katharina Kruger (GER) today. Keep it flat out KG, South Africa is supporting you. we will be cheering you on with the rest of the nation. #BackMontjane #Gr8Wheelie at #wimbledon pic.twitter.com/hZSlvyurCm
— Wheelchair Tennis SA (@WCTennis) July 12, 2018
You can’t help but absolutely beam with pride when black (African) women are given the credit they deserve. We’ll definitely be watching them intently.