Skip to main content

FunTimes Magazine

Most Powerful Women in Entertainment Industry - South Africa Edition

Aug 27, 2022 03:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian

For many years, the entertainment enterprise has not only recognized talent but also opened opportunities for many people, particularly South African women. Women are doing well and are particularly proud that they are already dominating the sector. For some of these remarkable women, power comes through reputation, for others from achievement, and for still others from their vision to enhance an industry. Let's look at some ladies who have led the road and left their mark in their different sectors based on their impact and where they are in their respective industries.

Terry Pheto

Terry Pheto is an award-winning actress best known for her prominent role as Miriam in the 2005 Oscar-winning feature film Tsotsi. She has broken several barriers, including becoming the first African to get a recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful and the first South African actress to be the ambassador and face of multinational cosmetic business L'Oreal Paris, alongside Beyonce, Eva Longoria, and Jane Fonda. Born and raised in Soweto, she received her big break in her early twenties when the casting director Moonyeenn Lee spotted her in a Soweto theatrical company during the casting process for Tsotsi. She hasn't looked back since and has appeared in films such as Catch a Fire, Goodbye Bafana,and Mafrika. Terry has been in television shows such as Zone 14, Jacob's CrossHopeville, and Shona Ferguson's Rockville. In 2013, she co-starred alongside Iris Elba and Naomi Harris in the Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom as Mandela's first wife, Evelyn. In 2014, she took on the producer role for the film Ayanda, directed by Sara Blecher. This film premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2015, won a 'Special Jury Mention at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2015 and was the opening film at the Durban International Film Festival in 2015. She broke down boundaries when she took part in A United Kingdom, where she went on to raise the South African flag high at the International Achievement Recognition Awards in London and won Best Actress 2017 for her performance.

Bonang Matheba


Bonang Matheba is one of South Africa's most prominent and popular entertainment figures. She is an award-winning television host, actress, radio personality, and social media entrepreneur. Born in the North West district of Mahikeng, she began her career in entertainment as a TV presenter on a program called Manhattan's Fantasy Challenge in her early teens. She auditioned for the first season of the SABC 1 music program LIVE in 2007 and was chosen as the winner to co-host the show with Tbo Touch. She spent most of her career as a successful presenter, which earned her the moniker "Queen B." She departed the program in 2012 and hosted other series such as Clash of the Choirs SA, Afternoon Express, Top Billing, and KFC Taste Kitchen. She branched out into award programs, presenting the MTV Africa Music Awards 2016, Miss South Africa 2018, and the pre-shows for the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards and the BET Awards 2016. Matheba co-hosted the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 concert in 2018 with big stars, including comedian Trevor Noah, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and other significant public figures. She commenced her profession in the film industry by co-producing the documentary Public Figures, which debuted in 2019 at the Manchester Film Festival. She established herself as a force when she founded Bonang Matheba Entertainment, which features one program called Being Bonang, which depicts Matheba's everyday life. She has earned the role of Queen Nadi and is also the executive producer of Shake IIemba.

Read more about Bonang Matheba:

Bonang Matheba - One of Africas Most Influential Women

Bonang Matheba - One of Africa’s Most Influential Women

Bonang Matheba wears many hats. Businesswoman, multi-award-winning presenter, and philanthropist. She is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most influential women. Learn more about her here. Read More » 


Connie Ferguson


Constance Ferguson is a Botswana actor, filmmaker, producer, and entrepreneur in South Africa. She made her debut in the limelight by appearing in South Africa's most popular drama Generations from February 1994 until October 2010. The program paved the way for her to appear in several other projects, including a lead part in Maitemogelo and Soul City, a supporting role in What If and Crime Reporter, and a significant role in the film, Cape of Good Hope. She appeared in TV shows such as Eduspectrum, Molomo, Radiopotso, Handy Hints, Plascon Change Your World, and Continuity- CCV and SABC 2 while she was starring on the big screen. While her contributions to television and film are many, she also worked in the fashion sector, modeling for Wella Sheen, Eskamel, Black Chic, and the cellular firm Vodacom. Like the other entries on this list, she wore the producer's cape with her late husband Shona and formed the television firm Ferguson Films in 2010, and in 2013, she produced and acted in the drama series Rockville. Other works include iGazi, The Gift, The Throne, The Queen (in which she plays Harriet Khoza), and The Imposter.

Boity Thulo


If you follow the South African entertainment industry, you know how popular Boity Thulo is. She works as an actress, musician, model, and television host. In 2011, she made her broadcast debut as the host of the YOTV instructional program Crib Notes. Then she began co-hosting the SABC1 The Media Career Guide Show with Thomas Mahlaba. She hosted series such as SkyRoom Live, Ridiculousness Africa, Club 808, Zoned, Change Down, and Big Brother Africa. Her career trajectory can show how determined she has been where she showed up and took the opportunities that eventually opened plenty of doors for her. In 2010, she joined up with a modeling agency and successfully auditioned for the part, which led to her appearance in a Wimpy ad. Boity Thulo and her partner Ryan Hammond competed in Strictly Come Dancing South Africa in 2014. While Boity and her partner finished third, she won the admiration of both the crowd and the other teams. In the same year, Boity Thulo made her film debut. Dear Betty, a comedic short film, featured her as the protagonist, followed by the film Mrs. Right Guy (2016), in which she portrayed Marie. For her contributions to the music and entertainment industries, Boity was included in the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list in 2019.

Sho Madjozi

This multi-talented celebrity is a South African rapper, singer, actor, composer, and poet known for blending Tsonga culture into her music by singing in her home language and performing the traditional dance of Tsonga women wearing xibelani skirts regularly. She is well-known for her track 'John Cena,' as well as her performances with Chris Martin, Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe, and The Weeknd. As a child, she grew up listening to Sade, the Fugees, Oliver Mtukudzi, and Kanda Bongo Man. During her education in the United States, she became a published poet under the pen name MayaThePoet, dealing with politics and identity. She made her television debut in 2017 as a member of the cast of Mzansi Magic's drama telenovela Isithembiso. For the first season, she portrayed Tsakane Mboweni, an intensely active character in student politics. She released her first track, "Dumb HiPhone" the same year, and she also appeared on DJ Maphorisa BlaqBoy Music Presents Gqom Wave. The following year, she released her first album's lead song, "Huku." Her previous chart-topping singles include Kona, Wakanda Forever, and Idhom. Sho Madjozi's songs have earned international acclaim. She was one of the numerous African celebrities that appeared on the soundtrack of the film Black Panther. In 2019, Forbes Magazine named her one of the 30 under 30 creatives for her contributions to the music and entertainment industries.

  Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

Read more from Anand Subramanian:

5 Best Dancers from South Africa

Dancing is a way of life in South Africa. It defines people, their preferred style, or their chosen style. Read More » 


The Boom of the Nigerian Movie Industry

Nollywood, as Nigeria's film industry is colloquially called, produces 1500 films each year on average. It is often regarded as the world's second-largest filmmaker. Read More » 


pScreen Grab from iBel Airi trailer Peacockp

Bel-Air Review- Is it Better Than Fresh Prince or Not?

Let's see whether this revival can stand on its own or if it can fill the massive shoes that the first show did so quickly. Read More »