Motshabi Tyelele full biography and career

Motshabi Tyelele is a South African actress, playwright, and voice coach best known for her roles as Thando in Suburban Bliss, Sophie in Generations, and Eve in Madam and Eve’s first season.

Biography Profile

Motshabi Tyelele full biography
Motshabi Tyelele full biography

Full name: Motshabi Tyelele
Date of birth: 1969
Place of birth: Tladi, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Education: University of Cape Town (Speech and Drama), PRISA (Public Relations in South Africa), Royal National Theatre Company (London)
Occupation: Actress, voice coach and playwright
Known for: Thando in Suburban Bliss, Sophie in Generations, and Eve in Madam and Eve’s first season.
Nationality: South African

Early life and Education of Motshabi Tyelele

Motshabi Tyelele was born in 1969 in Tladi, Soweto in Johannesburg. She is a South African actress, playwright and voice coach. Motshabi studied Speech and Drama at the University of Cape Town. Then she moved on to PRISA (Public Relations Institute of South Africa). And then to the Royal National Theatre Company in London for voice training.


Motshabi has extensive experience as an actor in film, television, and theater. Her television appearances include Takalani Sesame, the SABC1 drama Soul City. And, the hard-hitting, iconic SABC1 drama series Yizo Yizo.

Motshabi Tylele
A picture of Motshabi Tyelele

Mirror Mirror, Khululeka, Motsamai, and Kelebone are some of the other television shows in which she has appeared. She was also the host of the Crossover youth talk show.

Nothing but the Truth, in which Motshabi co-starred with John Kani, toured the UK following a highly successful season at the Hampstead Theatre in London. She also appeared in the film adaptation of the same play. For which she received a SAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Film in 2010.

Read: Generations’ Andisiwe Dweba full biography

Friends, Mrs Mandela, Hearts and Minds, and Wheels and Deals are among the other films in which she has appeared. In 2013 she starred in the SABC1 drama series Tempy Pushas. Which was set against the backdrop of the lavish fashion world and juxtaposed with the vibrant township culture.

In 2015 she had a starring role as Au’s Beauty. Who was Lefa’s mother, a beauty queen in her day, in the drama series Matatiele

Some of her works in writing

Motshabi, a former voice teacher at the Market Theatre Laboratory. Co-wrote and directed No Second Chance. Which was an industrial theatre production about HIV/AIDS for the Eskom Development Foundation, which toured the country.

Read: Asanda Foji full biography on safrolebs

She has also appeared in The Blacks, Robinson Crusoe, Mrital Bliss, Kweku Anansi, Chameleon, Two Weeks in September, and King Ibu.

Activism and other works

She has also served as Master of Ceremonies at events such as Nadine Gordimer’s 80th birthday celebration. Also at the Tenth Anniversary of the Human Rights and Democracy Awards. And at the Absa Foundation Gala Dinner honoring Dr. Brigalia Bam and Adv. Pansy Tlakula of the IEC, to name a few.

Her voice can be heard in Magic Cellar. A children’s International award-winning animation program in which she plays three characters.


Furthermore, her roles have earned her the Artes Award for Best Comedy Actress in 1986. And, also the Avanti Award for Best Sitcom Actress in 2001. Then, the Naledi Award for Best Actress in a Drama in 2004 and the SAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2010.

Motshabi Tyelele is South African
Motshabi Tyelele is South African

At the 2004 Naledi Awards, her play Shwele Bawo! A Grave Injustice! was nominated for Best New South African Play, Best Set Design, and Best Performance by a Lead Actress.

Furthermore, Motshabi won the award for Best Performance by a Lead Actress. This was for her performance in this play, which was also one of the highlights of the Playhouse Company’s Tenth Celebration of the South African Women’s Arts Festival in August 2006.