Pearl Thusi

 Photo courtesy of Pearl Thusi

Photo courtesy of Pearl Thusi

When LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen began to rope in U.S. audiences with Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle (an evolution of Jimmy Fallon’s late night segment), it was bound to go international. Lip Sync Battle Africa, one of nearly 15 global spinoffs, is recorded in Johannesburg with star hosts of their own: Denrele Edun and hometown representative, Pearl Thusi. Thusi, nicknamed “The Real Black Pearl,” is an actress, model, radio and TV personality who calls KwaNdengezi in Durban, South African home. In addition to amping up African talent on a main stage for MTV Africa and e.tv, the 29-year-old talent is also a presenter on Moments South Africa, which is broadcasted on EbonyLife TV. In the past, she has co-hosted Live AMP and the SABC 1 celebrity gossip magazine show, “The Real Goboza.”

Aside from her hosting roles, the WITS Business School and University of South Africa graduate has made significant moves in the television and film realms. Her first career propelling moment came in 2003, when she was a contestant in Miss Teen South Africa. She would go on to lend her talents to the popular local soap opera, “Isidingo,” and tapped into the international market for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency with Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose. Then came a role in the film, Tremors 5: Bloodlines. In 2017, Thusi relocated to the Big Apple to star alongside Priyanka Chopra, Aunjanue Ellis, Blair Underwood and more on the ABC series, Quantico, her biggest role yet.

Thusi’s skill set does not end there. In addition to her work behind a microphone, she is a beauty and hair care entrepreneur who founded the Black Pearl Collection, an emerging line of natural hair products. And with an enviable mane of her own, she has also graced the covers and pages of Jet Fashion, GLAM Africa, and the South African legs of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Women’s Health and GQ. Whether it is on screen, between pages or in your bathroom cabinet, Thusi’s influence is bound to reach you.

Film + TVTeneille Craig