By Sinolwazi April
South African actress and producer, Terry Pheto best known for her leading role as Miriam in the 2005 Oscar-winning feature film Tsotsi has received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress from the British Independent Film Awards. Pheto’s nomination is for her engaging performance in the film, A United Kingdom, as Naledi Khama.
“It’s so exciting, thrilling and humbling to be nominated amongst the greatest talent; words are not enough to express how I feel. This is big and it’s going to open more doors for me,” said Pheto. The actress plays alongside David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and our very own multi award-winning actor Vusi Kunene.
Directed by Amma Asante (Belle) and written by Guy Hibbert (Eye In The Sky), A United Kingdom is based on the book ‘Colour Bar’ by Susan Williams. The epic film is depicts the true story of the sweeping interracial love that shook the British establishment between the first president of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama and the British woman he loved, Ruth Williams. Their marriage was opposed not only by their respective families but by the British and South African governments.
Pheto plays the role of Naledi Khama who is Sir Seretse Khama’s sister. “As much as it’s important for ones character to be relatable it’s also important to learn from them and I learnt a lot from my character. She is family orientated and would do anything for her loved ones, I’m also like that,” she said. Pheto said she admires how much grace and passion her character has. “I wish there were many stories told about her, I hope I will give a voice and a face to her. It’s sad how she didn’t live long enough to see how her life has been portrayed. My role is like a tribute to her life,”.
“People should expect a love and political story like no other. It’s beautiful to see two people fighting for love. They use love as weapon to fight and conquer all. There’s no better weapon than love,” said the actress.
Pheto said she attributes her success to discipline and knowing she’s her own competition. “I try to be better than I was yesterday. That makes it easier to measure my own progress,”.
“To the people who want to be in the entertainment industry, you must come in with a plan. This is the business of rejection and it’s more than what you see on Instagram. You must be willing to put in the work,” said Pheto.
The British Independent Film Awards are set to take place on December 4 and the film will be released in South Africa, Botswana and East and West Africa December, 9 2016.