Thishiwe Ziqubu stands out as a remarkable figure in South Africa, showcasing her prowess as a film director, writer, and actor. Her life revolves around a profound passion for the performing arts, using art as her chosen language for expression. In essence, she can be hailed as the embodiment of artistic excellence, an influential force that has left an indelible mark on the nation's entertainment landscape.

When it comes to South African cinema, Thishiwe Ziqubu is a true masterpiece. Her presence on the silver screen has been notable, contributing to the success of some of the country's best-selling movies. Not only does she shine as an actor, but she also demonstrates her aptitude for scriptwriting and directing.

Thishiwe Ziqubu's achievements extend beyond her on-screen performances. In 2016, her portrayal of Tshaka in the romantic comedy "Tell Me Sweet Something" earned her the prestigious Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. This accolade stands as a testament to her acting prowess and contribution to the cinematic arts.

Furthermore, in 2019, Thishiwe Ziqubu expanded her creative horizons by directing episodes of MTV Shuga Down South, showcasing her versatility and commitment to shaping narratives in the entertainment industry. Her multifaceted talents continue to make a significant impact, solidifying her status as a key influencer and contributor to the vibrancy of South Africa's entertainment scene.

Early Life

Born on August 5, 1985, in South Africa, Thishiwe Ziqubu experienced a childhood shaped by the care of both her parents. Displaying exceptional intelligence from a young age, she often astonished her parents with her prowess in Sciences. Initially, it seemed as though she might tread the path of becoming an Engineer, a notion entertained by her parents due to her early aptitude.

However, during her teenage years, Thishiwe's true passion for the arts emerged, leading her to abandon the idea of becoming an engineer and instead pursue her newfound love for the creative world. While this shift initially disappointed her parents, they eventually chose to support her decision and give her the opportunity to follow her passion.

Much like her peers, Thishiwe Ziqubu's interest in acting and filmmaking began to flourish in her early years. After completing high school, she took a decisive step towards her passion by enrolling in a directing and scriptwriting course. Subsequently, she further honed her skills at the African Film and Drama Academy (AFDA), demonstrating her commitment through unwavering persistence and a fervent desire to absorb every aspect of her chosen field.

While at film school, Thishiwe's hunger for knowledge led her to seek additional practical experience beyond the classroom. Feeling unsatisfied with the academic curriculum, she approached Akin Omotoso, a friend experienced in directing shows and films, to expand her skills through practical application.


Stepping out of her comfort zone proved to be a pivotal decision for Thishiwe Ziqubu, marking a turning point in her career. Opting for practical experience over classroom learning, she embraced the opportunity to refine her skills. Akin Omotoso, a friend experienced in directing, recognized her potential and invited her to participate in one of his projects. Initially uncertain, especially since her focus was on directing rather than acting, she took the leap, playing a significant role in the film. This experience became instrumental in shaping her into the icon she is today.

Her debut in the film industry occurred in 2011 with the movie "Man on Ground," directed by Akin Omotso. In this impactful work of art, she portrayed the character Zodwa. The film earned acclaim, receiving a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Cannes Film Festival. Thishiwe played a leading role, depicting the narrative of the rise of Xenophobic attacks in South Africa. The cast included notable stars such as Bubu Mazibuko, Fana Mokoena, and Eugene Khoza.

Venturing into script writing and directing, Thishiwe Ziqubu showcased her creative talents in three independent short films: "Out Of Luck," "Subdued," and "Between the Lines." Her writing skills extended to South African television soap operas like Isidingo, Rhythm City, and the drama series Is'Thunzi. Notably, she co-created, wrote (as head writer), and directed a supernatural four-part drama series titled "Emoyeni."

In 2012, she played a significant role in the fifth segment of "Your Move!," contributing to the rapid ascent of her career. Another pivotal moment occurred in 2014 when she landed the role of Skiets, one of the main characters in the romantic-action film "Hard to Get." This film not only showcased her versatility but also opened doors to additional roles in various television shows, marking 2014 as a significant year in her flourishing career.

In 2015, Thishiwe Ziqubu graced the drama film "While You Weren't Looking," shedding light on the portrayal of gay and lesbian relationships in the country. Simultaneously, she made her presence felt on television screens in the role of Nox, a cunning con artist, in the popular series Rhythm City. Stepping boldly into the film "Hard To Get," often hailed as South Africa's version of Bonnie and Clyde, she portrayed a spirited character—an angry girl and a rebel unafraid to embrace risks. Ziqubu's adept storytelling skills shone through in this compelling film.

Her industrious spirit continued to shine in 2016 when she featured in the comedy show "Wonder Boy for President," collaborating with Kagiso Lediga. Demonstrating her ambition, Ziqubu expressed her desire to make a lasting mark on the TV industry, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of luminaries like Lupita Nyong'o. She envisions not only excelling in various roles but also establishing her production company.

In 2019, Ziqubu expanded her directorial portfolio by directing episodes for the second season of the TV series "MTV Shuga Down South." Her acting prowess secured her prominent roles across various shows, including the first season of Rhythm City (as Nox), the second season of Tempy Pushas (as Mbali), and the second season of High Rollers (as Thandi). She also featured in the first and second seasons of "It's Complicated" (as Ntandokazi), the first and second seasons of "Mzansi Love," the first season of "The Book of Negroes" (as Sira), the first season of "iNumber Number" (as Liyana), and the first season of "Imposter" (as Mantwa and Matshepo).

Beyond acting, Ziqubu stepped into the role of a presenter in shows like "Code Green" and the tenth season of the South African Film and Television Awards. With an eye on the future, Thishiwe Ziqubu, driven by ambition, sees her journey in the South African film industry as just the beginning, harboring aspirations to achieve even greater heights.

Private Life

Thishiwe Ziqubu stands out as one of South Africa's most confident individuals, openly embracing and expressing her sexuality. She has been vocal about her attraction to women, fearlessly acknowledging her romantic relationships with both women and men. Notably, her relationship with Mandisa Nduna has shown their confidence and authenticity.

The couple, known for openly sharing intimate moments through photos on the internet, made a stylish statement in 2017 when they were hailed as the best-dressed couple at the Feather Awards in Johannesburg. Despite facing challenges, they have confronted homophobic comments with resilience, emphasizing the importance of being true to oneself. In response to criticism, they assert that living openly is a powerful act that defies societal norms.

Thishiwe echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that their willingness to express their love openly sets them apart. Thishiwe Ziqubu's public declarations of love for Mandisa extend to her social media, where she openly appreciates Mandisa's influence on her life. In one Instagram post, she expressed profound gratitude, acknowledging Mandisa's unwavering support and strength during challenging times.

While Thishiwe openly shares her love for Mandisa, she maintains a more private stance regarding the details of her personal life, particularly concerning her daughter. Though she is the mother of a ten-year-old girl, she chooses not to disclose information about the child's father, maintaining a level of privacy around her family life.


Thishiwe Ziqubu secured the Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in 2015. Her outstanding performance in the film "Hard to Get" played a pivotal role in earning her this esteemed recognition.

Recognized for her remarkable contribution to the script of Rhythm City, Thishiwe Ziqubu received the Golden Horn Award for Best Achievement in Script in 2016.

Thishiwe Ziqubu's supporting role in the film "Tell Me Something Sweet" earned her the Best Actress award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2016.

Continuing her success, Thishiwe Ziqubu was honored with another Golden Horn Award in 2019, this time for Best Achievement in Script.


Below is a list of some movies the actress has been featured in:

2011 Man on Ground      

2014 Hard to get 

2015 While You Weren't Looking

2015 Tell Me Sweet Something 

2016 Wonder Boy For President

2018 Measure of A Woman

2019 Into Infinity 

2021 Trapped