From SA to the World! | Phumzile Sitole is 'excited' to be part of #OITNB

Phumzile Sitole has been cast as Akers in Netflix's popular series Orange Is The New Black and she's excited AF.

13 July 2018 - 09:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
South African born actress Phumzile Sitole has been cast in Orange Is The New Black as Akers.
South African born actress Phumzile Sitole has been cast in Orange Is The New Black as Akers.
Image: Via Twitter/PhumzileSitole

One of the highlights this week in Mzansi was finding out that South African born actress Phumzile Sitole has been cast as Akers in Netflix's popular series Orange Is The New Black.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, the actress shared her excitement at being part of the stellar cast that features actors including Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, Laura Prepon as Alex Vause, Uzo Aduba as Suzanne and Michael Harney as Sam Healy.

But her first priority was ensuring that her surname would be spelt correctly. Her surname is very often mistaken for the more familiar 'Sithole' with an 'h' and she doesn't want her people to think she's abandoned her roots.

"I am happy to answer the questions. I just ask for the correct spelling of my last name -it’s Sitole. I’m a proud Ma’Jobe. But there is no h in my last name," she said.

Having relocated to the States to get her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre at Columbia University in New York, Phumzile has been hard at work perfecting her craft for a moment such as this.

She answered a few question from TshisaLIVE about her newest role and how she feels as she receives praise from back home.

How do you feel now that you can share this great news?

I feel great! I’m excited... we all are. I’ve known for close on a year, so I’m happy I don’t have to keep telling my brother to take down his social media posts! Haha!

How did you feel when you found out you got the role?

Pretty good, but I think the excitement grew overtime. The role was slated for one episode with the possibility to recur, so it sunk in gradually as they kept adding me to more episodes.

South Africa is proud of you - how does that make you feel? 

Happy nerves. I’ve maintained that a majority of my favourite actors and actress are South African and so I’m excited for an opportunity to get more of our work on the scene. 

What does it mean to you to share your craft in a production like OITNB?

My role, although recurring, is really there to propel the storylines of the major characters. But I love the quote that there are no “small” roles, and I’ve brought everything I have and everything I’ve learnt from home to this work. 

Phumzile will play the role of Antoinetta 'Akers' Kerson and will appear in nine episodes premiering on July 27.

Here at home, we are super proud of her!

She even got a shout out from the Minister of Arts, Nathi Mthethwa.

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