'The Queen' actress, Thembsie Matu as Petronella

‘The Queen’ actress, Thembsie Matu in a scene as Petronella. Image via Twitter @_NombuleloM

‘The Queen’: Thembsie Matu on why Petronella ‘doesn’t stick to the script’

Award-winning ‘The Queen’ actress has revealed that Petronella needs to do the talking when some episodes are too short!

'The Queen' actress, Thembsie Matu as Petronella

‘The Queen’ actress, Thembsie Matu in a scene as Petronella. Image via Twitter @_NombuleloM

Legendary actress, Thembsie Matu, who plays the role of a helper, Petronella, on The Queen has revealed her character doesn’t stick to the script.   

Matu, who keeps audiences glued to their TVs every evening says she’s asked by producers to improvise a lot because of her feisty character.  

Also read: ‘Petronella and I are similar’: ‘The Queen’s’ Thembsie Matu on her role


The award-winning actress told Drum Magazine in an interview that she didn’t expect her character to blow up as it did when she joined the telenovela.   

“You have no idea what all the support and love I’m getting means to me.”

“They transport me to a place where I’m just full of gratitude and respect for them and inspire me to do more.”

Viewers are entertained by her singing, and the ridiculous advice she gives her best friend, Detective Vuyiswa Maake played by Zandile Msutwana.   

Fans are also mesmerised by her smart mouth when she’s dealing with her husband, Mjekejeke played by Sipho Manzini.

Matu also revealed that she’s sometimes asked to prolong conversation in her scenes and that most of the things Petronella says are not in the script.  

“You know, sometimes when the episode is too short, I am asked to prolong the conversations Petronella has with people.”

“Most of the things she says aren’t in the script. I just imagine what those three people I know would say in that instance.”  


The mother of two also told the publication that she was tipped by late actor-producer, Shona Ferguson about the role.   

She was training dancers for a wedding scene on the telenovela when the Ferguson Films co-creator pulled her aside and told her about this role they had.

Shona Ferguson who was playing the role of Jerry Maake at the time handpicked Matu because he thought the role would be fitting for her.    

The actress was given a character bible to understand the kind of character Petronella is and channelled her mind to think like Petronella.

She prepared her role by studying three people she knows and combined their characters to become the famous Petronella.    

“One of them is a woman who loves being around young people, to the point where she thinks she’s one of them.”

“She’s always there, giving advice and sharing her own experiences.”    

Also read: ‘Brutus doesn’t stick to his script’: ‘The Queen’s’ Phumeza