Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Multitalented Terry Pheto

South African actress/entrepreneur Terry Pheto is a star on the rise - with a series of roles in critically acclaimed films that have garnered Oscar-buzz. I realised why she is on an upward trajectory when I met her for something work-related once. I chatted to her for about 30 minutes, and as I was leaving her manager happened to mention that Terry was so sick that day. I had had no idea and felt terrible for going on with business-as-usual. Her manager later told me that she'd mentioned to Terry that I had no idea that she was sick, and Terry replied with - "he's not supposed to know, it's not his problem." I loved that. A-listers often aren't that professional.

I have had the opportunity to meet many "celebrities" and icons over the years. Meeting them in person can have one of a number of outcomes. They can live up to the fantasy you have about them, they can disappoint you by being unkind/not remotely clever/rude/abrasive/arrogant or they can impress you by being even more than you could have possibly imagined. Terry easily falls into the 'more than I imagined' category for me - something that was confirmed when I spent time with her again.

When my career was starting out Terry Pheto had just shot to fame in the film Tsotsi, and at the time an interview with her would have been huge. When I did meet her years later, I had an idea of who she would be - as she has enjoyed more success over the years. I expected her to come with all sorts of old-school Hollywood airs and graces - and I was so wrong. She couldn't have been more down to earth.

The other thing that surprised me about Terry is her love of fashion. I think it's probably because she keeps such a low profile. She's got to a point where she isn't afraid to take risks and play around when it comes to expressing herself. When I started following her on Instagram I soon realised that she is fast-becoming one of our most stylish stars.

I just saw her pictures in a new local magazine called Style Africa (which were styled by my incredibly talented friend Asanda Sizani), and I can see that something has happened to Terry - she seems more self-assured and more confident than she has ever been. She has come into her own, and it is amazing. I love seeing local stars who are really grounded in themselves, and making their mark all over the world. It reminds me that Africans have the right and capabilities to become global players.

You can see all the memorable images of Terry Pheto in the Winter 2014 digital edition of Style Africa ( Asanda also did an amazing job with the main fashion editorial, so be sure to check that out too.