Thuli Phongolo on her big career plans in music, acting and being an avid Kaizer Chiefs supporter

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This year, Thuli is set to explore new avenues of her career as a DJ and actress.
This year, Thuli is set to explore new avenues of her career as a DJ and actress.
Oupa Bopape/Galloimages

She is a trendsetter and a lover of fashion. 

She wears many hats - she's an actress, a DJ and an influencer. And right now, an avid Kaizer Chiefs supporter, which she mentions as it's only a few days before her team goes up against Orlando Pirates in the  Carling Black Label Cup at Orlando Stadium on 1 August 2021.

Thuli Phongolo (27) says she's behind the team, even after the tragic loss of a 3 – 0 score to Al Hyle last weekend. She still has hope that her team will walk away with the Carling Black Label Cup.

“I am definitely expecting Chiefs to win,” Thuli says.

“We really need football at this moment as a country because it is one of the many things that can unite the nation. It will really lift our mood as a country. If you watched the CAF last week, despite Chiefs having lost, the mood of the country changed to being positive, united, and showed our great sense of humour,” Thuli adds.

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She may be a fashionista, but Thuli loves her sport. 

“I inherited my love for Chiefs from my family,” Thuli says. “It was just the right thing to do until my love for the team grew and I could understand sports.”

In high school, she played football for the girl's first team. 

“I wasn’t that great but I played the first team and I was a fast runner,” she says. 

“I played left mid, number 11 and I scored a few goals, so I wasn’t too shabby.”

A little bit rusty on the court, but Thuli believes she is competitive.

“Football is always considered to be for men or a certain type of woman, but things have changed, women love football and can speak the language as equally as men,” Thuli says.  

“There are incredible women who paved the way like Carl Tshabalala, for other women to be able to be football and sports experts and be equal to men. Women have created reputable names for soccer."

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But enough about football. Thuli is passionate about a number of things and she's worked hard on nurturing her love for music and DJing. “I first wanted to establish myself as not just an actress but a really good house music DJ,” Thuli says.

“But I am now ready to show my versatility away from the small screen. I’m still DJing and balancing that with acting. But in our industry when people don’t see you on TV, they think you are not doing much, but I am always busy,” Thuli says.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy but Thuli has always known it is important to find different streams of income and save for a rainy day.

“I am very good with money and saving,” she says. 

“We know things will never go back to being the same. During the lockdown, there were limited productions, and going to auditions has been a hassle because you worry about getting COVID-19 so one had to be creative,” she says.  

“Doing self-tapes alone has been a challenge and there was literally no gigging. But luckily, I have worked long enough in the industry to know you need a financial plan outside of your career. I believe in financial stability. I do brand endorsements, marketing, and campaigns which help to sustain me and keep my brand busy.” 

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In a few weeks, Thuli will release her first Amapiano single, followed by an album through her record label Avana. 

“I can’t say much yet about the song and album, but I have built my name as a DJ and I am ready to take it one step up by releasing music. I have worked with someone who is already established, and it’s time to show my versatility as a house DJ,” she says.

“Avana will focus on my career and pushing my music, making sure I own the rights to my work and maybe in future find other talents,” she says.

The former Generations actress teased her fans with a clip from an upcoming YouTube channel. 

“This channel will be very work-based and will allow people to go behind the scenes into what I really do; the acting, DJing, and campaigns. I wish for people to see another side to who I am and my brand,” she says. 

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