KwaZulu Natal has produced some of the best artists in South Africa. Most of the stars who hail from the province have been successful in the local and international scenes.
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Stars like DJ Black Coffee, Nomzamo Mbatha, Thuso Mbedu and Pearl Thusi are among the many KZN natives who are killing it internationally.
Briefly News takes a look at some of the KZN artists who are flying the South African flag high.
1. DJ Black Coffee becomes first South African DJ to fill up the Madison Square Garden
DJ Black Coffee is undeniably one of the country's biggest exports. The star has been making waves on the international entertainment scene for decades.
He has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Drake. He also made the country proud when he bagged a Grammy Award. The music producer won in the category Best Dance/Electronic Album for Subconsciously.
In addition to winning the Grammy nod, DJ Black Coffee who hails from Umlazi recently made history by becoming the first South African DJ to fill up the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
DJ Black Coffee received massive praise from South Africans, including President Cyril Ramaphosa who wrote:
"Congratulations to Black Coffee for being the first South African DJ to perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City, USA to a sold-out show this past Saturday. South African artists continue to distinguish themselves and promoting our talents on the global stage. We thank you for flying the National Flag!"
2. Thuso Mbedu acts alongside Viola Davis in The Woman King
Saying Thuso Mbedu is successful is an understatement. The star has been securing the bag, getting top international gigs and brand ambassadorship deals.
The Pietermaritzburg-born actress is a true definition of grass to grace. After being raised by her grandmother following the death of her parents, Thuso went on to become a household name both locally and internationally.
The star has won several awards and has begged top acting gigs like The Underground Railroad and The Woman King alongside internationally acclaimed actress Viola Davis.
In April 2023, Thuso was announced as the face of the global fragrance brand Gris Dior by Christian Dior. She did not end there, she also made history by landing a deal with L'Oréal Paris as the brand ambassador and spokesperson in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
3. Nomzamo Mbatha bags top role alongside Bruce Willis
Actress Nomzamo Mbatha unquestionably embodies the vision she has for herself. Her career has been marked by significant achievements, and it's clear that she is now enjoying the well-deserved rewards of her dedication and determination.
Hailing from KwaMashu in KZN, the star has been making big waves in the entertainment industry, rubbing shoulders with some of the world's greatest.
Mbatha filled Mzansi, with a sense of pride when she revealed her participation in the movie Coming 2 America alongside renowned international actors such as Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes.
Her exceptional performance in the film further solidified her reputation as a global talent. Reflecting on her first venture into the international scene, Mbatha candidly shared that she was initially in disbelief when her agent conveyed the exciting news to her.
Nomzamo openly admitted to Harper's Bazaar that she grappled with imposter syndrome during her early days on the set of Coming 2 America. She often found herself wrestling with thoughts like:
"Maybe I’m not worthy to be in this space. There are so many girls who are way more talented, way more deserving, more beautiful and who have been working for this audition and should be here. Why me?"
Mbatha also featured alongside Hollywood veteran Bruce Willis in the action-packed thriller Assasin. Speaking about her role in the film, Nomzamo said she accepted the part because it took her out of her comfort zone.
4. Pearl Thusi secured top international gig and made history with first Netflix African original
Pearl Thusi is a household name in the South African film and television industries. The star has been in the industry for years and has been killing it on the local and international scenes.
Popularly known as Mama Panther, the KZN-native has had the country basking in pride on several occasions, thanks to her unmatched talent.
Thusi made her mark on the international scene when she bagged a role in Quantico, starring alongside international stars like Priyanka Chopra. Quantico only opened the doors for Pearl Thusi who continued on a winning streak, securing other roles in shows like Tremors 5: Bloodlines in 2015, Scorpion King: Book of Souls in 2018, Fistful of Vengeance in 2022 and Bullet Proof 2.
The internationally acclaimed actress also made history when she played the lead character in Netflix's first African Original, Queen Sono. Pearl has also collaborated and worked with a number of international brands.
5. Zakes Bantwini: From KwaMashu to winning a Grammy Award
Zakhele Madida is one of the many KZN natives who are taking over the international entertainment space. Zakes Bantwini has been in the music game for years and has performed in many countries around the world.
The star made Mzansi proud when he scooped the Best Global Music Performance award for the hit Bayethe, alongside Nomcebo Zikode and Wouter Kellerman.
Madison Square Garden: SA celebrates the success of Black Coffee’s sold-out show in New York
In more entertainment news, Briefly News reported that DJ Black Coffee has achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first South African DJ to headline a performance at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.
The monumental event took place on Saturday 7 October and the lineup included other SA artists like Major League DJs, Bucie, and Msaki. The show was a visual spectacle, featuring a 12-piece orchestra and a 360-degree stage setup.
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Source: Briefly News