In the first of a series of Real Talk With Anele episodes recently filmed in New York, media personality, Anele Mdoda sat down with actress and model Pearl Thusi to speak about her relationship with her father, valuing the African continent more and how Robert Marawa proposed to her.
Thusi’s tumultuous relationship with her father is no secret. What we didn’t know about is the heart-breaking lack of a relationship that her own father had with his mother. She said it was so bad that he had and still has no idea exactly what she looked like.
“I needed to teach my father unconditional love because I think he always had to work to be loved, because he was always the child who was always like an orphan”
Following the death of her mother, their relationship got even worse as she found herself having to take care of him and her sisters.
“I ran away from being a mother to my sisters and being a wife to my father (in a sense) to being a real wife and mother”
Thusi admitted to feeling a little guilty for making that move and she is still learning to come to terms with the fact that her life would not be what it currently is had she not made that move.
On the topic of work, the actress said she has been working extra hard in recent years but we’ll only get to see the fruits of her labour starting next month when the Solomon Mahlangu biopic, Kalushi, comes out.
A few months after that, we’ll get to see her in a Kagiso Lediga project called ‘Catching Feelings.’ It was during her time filming ‘Catching Feelings’ that she got the call about Quantico.
She then sent an audition tape to the States and got the job shortly thereafter. Within two weeks, Thusi had to get her life in order, get a VISA and head to the US of A to start filming episodes of the show.
“Thabo Rametsi, who plays plays Solomon Mahlangu in Kalushi, has been pivotal in me growing as an actor because he's there for every audition that I have to tape and send to the states or send to London etc…and he has supported me all the way and he’s extremely talented”
When asked about her tendency to downplay her achievements, she said it’s because “life happens” so she’d rather wait until everything is set in stone before going public with it.
“I’ve signed contracts, Anele and then the thing fell through. I’ve heard of people who shot things and then they had to reshoot with someone else because you just weren’t working, people tweet about possibly getting deals with Roc Nation and then they fall through… I know what can happen and people don’t want good for you”
As a result of that mentality, the actress said she only believed she had the job once the first episode of Quantico had aired.
“I’d rather you think I’m struggling, meanwhile I know I’m WINNING!”
Speaking of Quantico, it’s a good thing they called her when they did. Thusi said she had planned to have a baby and be a full time mom and partner this year if she didn’t get a life-changing job by August.
Not that we’re saying she shouldn’t have found domestic bliss, we’re just happy she gets to do big things for her career, the country and the continent as a whole.
Thusi said the “American dream” came to her when she stopped chasing it, because (to paraphrase Pearl), she became more valuable to an American director when she started valuing her own continent and what it has to offer.
It is for this exact reason that she says she left Live AMP for Lip Sync Battle Africa. A move that people did not understand and subsequently judged her for, without knowing that her plan was to gain wider reach across Africa.
“When will Africa be the dream? When will Americans want to be part of African film? When will Europeans want to be part of African film? When will we get a director and have to shoot in America because it’s cheaper for us? When will that happen? And why, if it’s not happening, are we not a part of wanting to make that happen?”
She misses home on occasion but she values her job so much that she’s willing to wait until December to see her family.
“There are moments when I miss listening to Kwesta and Cassper in the club because even when you hear African music, it’s never really South African music.”
Speaking of family, it seems she and Robert Marawa have decided to stop treating the nation like children by lying about their relationship. (halleluyurrrh!)
The story of how the pair got engaged is actually quite long but you can read her version of the story below:
“He took me to my favorite restaurant, he’s very romantic… and we were sitting… As soon as I eat, I’m trying to find a bed, like that’s how I operate. He was like ‘taking you out to dinner is actually the worst thing because in an hour afterward we have to go because you’re passing out on the table’ … So I’m getting tired and he’s like ‘no, just have a creme brûlée, and I’m like ‘okay, I don't really want one but fine’ and then in like 10 seconds it was there and I was like, ‘what kinda creme brûlée is this?!’ so then I ate it quickly because I really wanted to leave and then long story short, another platter came and there was a box and I thought it was chocolate… and then I opened it and in the end I realized what was going on and then there he was, like sweating and then finally it happened. He did kneel but I didn’t see that. “
Thusi admitted to taking a few seconds to think about it, wondering if she really wants to look at him for the rest of her life but says she’s certain that she does.
Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved thus far Pearl and here’s hoping you and Rob enjoy a life-long union.
Image credit: Twitter