Film star Terry Pheto is the 'baddest' to ever do it. While this Soweto girl first made a name for herself playing Miriam in the hit 2005 film Tsotsi, the actress has gone on to prove she's no one-hit-wonder.
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Opening doors for so many of the local starlets that would come after her, Terry has always broken new ground in the South African entertainment industry with her work.
As the first South African face and spokesperson of L’Oreal Paris and the first African to star in The Bold and the Beautiful, the 41-year-old is a trendsetter who's not stopping anytime soon.
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Before making it big in Hollywood, Terry Pheto was just an ordinary township girl. She'd been raised in a shack in Soweto until the age of 21.
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Not much is known about these early years but it seems the young performer had dreams way bigger than her circumstances.
Going out on a whim, she decided to join a theatre group in her neighbourhood to pass the time, TVSA reports. As luck would have it, legendary casting director Moonyeenn Lee would spot the future superstar, giving Pheto her first leading role in the now-iconic film Tsotsi.
Pheto's impeccable performance as one of the feature film's lead characters would land Mzansi its first and only Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.
And while Terry shares her trailblazing win with the film's entire cast and crew, her success has definitely inspired a world of little girls from humble beginnings to believe in their big, gigantic dreams.
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The Bold and the Beautiful: Terry becomes the first African to land a permanent role on the iconic soapie
The Madiba actress had fans singing her praises back in 2011 after announcing her recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Miss Pheto played the part of a beautiful heart surgeon and was serving all the #blackgirlmagic the world needed. While her stint on the show lasted only about a month, South Africans were amazed to see Terry performing alongside some of the soapie's much-beloved characters.
She was definitely the pride and joy of Mzansi as the first-ever African to land a part in the soul-stirring soapie we all grew up loving. However, peeps were worried they might lose the blossoming starlet to the streets of Hollywood and for a while, it seemed likely.
Opening up about the possibility of moving to the US at the time, Terry told IOL she'd consider it but could never truly leave her home country behind:
“It is something I’m debating right now. Obviously, there are exciting opportunities for me right here shooting Bold. But there are also other things happening for me back home. You know, the world is 24 hours away from South Africa, so I can always catch a flight back if I have to," she told the publication.
The girl on fire would go on to juggle impressive projects both in the States and back home. In between her work on local soaps including the Shona Ferguson directed 'Rockville', Terry walked the red carpet alongside A-list UK actors Idris Elba and Naomi Harris.
It was a full-circle moment for Terry who'd bagged a major role in the feature film Madiba as Mandela's first wife.
Terry Pheto joins Beyoncé and Eva Longoria as the face of L'Oréal Paris
Once again, Terry Pheto proved she is the girl she thinks she is, becoming the first-ever South African actress to be the spokesperson and face of the gigantic cosmetic brand, ‘L’Oreal Paris’.
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The company had just created a range of new products targeted at African women. Back in 2008, many major brands were sadly still way behind in catering for dark-skinned beauties so Terry was glad to hop onboard.
She joined the ranks of international superstars including Beyoncé, Eva Longoria and Halle Berry as the worldwide ambassador for the iconic company.
The Madiba actress's face was plastered across billboards not just in Mzansi but all over the globe, securing her position as the country's first and forever "It Girl".
Opening up about her new role with the company, Terry shared her excitement:
"I will get to meet talented people like Beyoncé and Jane Fonda, and just to be associated with them is truly a dream come true for me.
"There aren't many companies that have developed a range, especially for African women," she told IOL.
A forever queen and trailblazer, Miss Terry Pheto will be immortalised as the greatest to ever do it. And while her time in the spotlight may have been traded in for her newfound role behind the camera, the blossoming starlets of today are forever indebted to this OG "It Girl."
Source: Briefly News