Local actress Thuso Mdebu has made history by becoming the first South African actress to lead a Hollywood TV series. Thuso has been cast with the lead role in Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of The Underground Railroad – which is set to premiere later this year.

Thuso’s career kicked off after she made her debut on ‘Generations: The Legacy’ and she went on to receive two International Emmy Award nominations for playing Winnie on Mzansi Magic’s ‘Is’thunzi’.

In ‘The Underground Railroad’, Thuso will star as one of three slaves leading the storyline. Joining her will be Chase W. Dillon as Homer, and Aaron Pierre as Caesar.

The series chronicles young Cora’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumoured Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.

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My thumb and neurons are failing me right now so I'll just do as most South Africans do when this happens: I GOT THE JOB!!!! It was such an amazing process and experience. Like, true story, just prepping to audition for this role made me grow so much. It's such a blessing and honour to tell this story… Again, words fail me so I'll stop there for now. Read the full article on @variety .com #chapter27 #becomingthepromise God of creation There at the start Before the beginning of time With no point of reference You spoke to the dark And fleshed out the wonder of light And as You speak A hundred billion galaxies are born In the vapor of Your breath the planets form If the stars were made to worship so will I I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made Every burning star A signal fire of grace If creation sings Your praises so will I God of Your promise You don’t speak in vain No syllable empty or void For once You have spoken All nature and science Follow the sound of Your voice And as You speak A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath Evolving in pursuit of what You said If it all reveals Your nature so will I I can see Your heart in everything You say Every painted sky A canvas of Your grace If creation still obeys You so will I – @hillsongunited

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According to reports, Jenkins will direct all 11 episodes of the one-hour series in what will be his first attempt at directing a TV series in its entirety.

Naturally, Thuso is incredibly excited about her new role. “My thumb and neurons are failing me right now so I’ll just do as most South Africans do when this happens: I got the job! It was such an amazing process and experience. Like, true story, just prepping to audition for this role made me grow so much. It’s such a blessing and honour to tell this story… Again, words fail me so I’ll stop there for now,” she says.

This is a massive moment for the South African entertainment industry and we’re incredibly proud of Thuso and her accomplishments.

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