How social media cost Thembsie a job

Actress Thembsie Matu
Actress Thembsie Matu

MANY women can resonate with the story of a husband coming to the city and leaving the family behind. This happens in modern day, and Thembsie Matu has had to relive this in her role as Petronella on Mzansi Magic's The Queen.


With her experience in the acting industry, she's one of the actors who has their characters written specifically for her. Thembsie is now recognised everywhere even though she is not on social media. Her character on The Queen was introduced as a wife who was tired of being left in the rural areas. She felt left out and needed to be closer to her husband, so she moved to be closer to him. “I was dropping off some actors from my agency when Connie and Shona Ferguson (The Queen producers) told me that they are happy with my work and had created a role especially for me. I was not told what it was until I was given a script,” she says. “This role has affected me in a big way. I am so happy with the outcome. Everyone is watching the show and talking about it. I hear the feedback is good and I guess this is because I add my imagination to the character to make it exciting. I try to educate and entertain with the characters I play.”


Thembsie admits that she shares some similarities with Petronella, though she is not a violent person. “Petronella and I are gogetters, we do not take any nonsense from anyone and we are confident. But one thing that sets us apart is that I am not a violent person; I don’t beat up men. I don’t even beat my own children, I have never done that,” she says. “I hope Patronella teaches women to work on what they have; whether you are a cleaner or a nanny, you make things happen. No one should relax and put all their eggs in one basket.”


Thembsie has been affected by the new way of casting. The industry is no longer the same as actors are now cast by the number of followers they have on social media. “I’m not on social media because my kids told me not to. They made me choose between my health and followers. I have diabetes, this means I cannot afford to stress about what people say about me. But not having social media can make you miss castings. I once nailed an audition, but didn't get a call back because I don't have followers on social media,” says the former Zone 14 actress.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24