Motshabi Tyelele is a South African actress, playwright and voice coach best known for her television roles as Thando in Suburban Bliss, as Sophie in Generations and as Eve in the first season of Madam and Eve.
The winner of the 1986 Artes Awards for Best Comedy Actress, 2001 Avanti Award for Best Sitcom Actress, 2004 Naledi Award for Best Actress in a Drama and 2010 SAFTAS Award for Best Supporting Actress, Motshabi trained in Speech and Drama at the University of Cape Town, went on to study Public Relations with PRISA (Public Relations Institute of South Africa) and did voice training with the Royal National Theatre Company in London.
Motshabi has worked extensively as an actor in film, television and theatre. Her television appearances include the popular children's programme Takalani Sesame, the SABC1 drama Soul City and the hard-hitting, iconic SABC1 drama series Yizo Yizo 3.
Other television series she has acted in include Mirror Mirror, Khululeka, Motsamai and Kelebone. She was also the presenter of the youth talk show Crossover.
A former voice teacher at the Market Theatre Laboratory, Motshabi co-wrote and directed an industrial theatre production dealing with HIV/Aids, No Second Chance for the Eskom Development Foundation, which toured the country.
Working with Corporatescenes Inc, an American based company, Motshabi has facilitated Active Communication workshops for Avis South Africa, Transnet, The Department of Education, McKinsey Group, The Kelly Group and Khalil Fattal et Fils (Lebanon).
She has also been the Master of Ceremonies at functions such as Nadine Gordimer's 80th birthday celebration, the Tenth Anniversary of the Human Rights and Democracy Awards and Absa Foundation Gala Dinner in honour of the IEC's Dr. Brigalia Bam and Adv. Pansy Tlakula to name a few.
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, at the 2004 Naledi Awards.
Motshabi received the Best Performance by a Lead Actress award for her outstanding role in this play, which was also one of the highlights at the Playhouse Company's Tenth Celebration of the South African Women's Arts Festival in August 2006.
Other theatre productions she has acted in include The Blacks, Robinson Crusoe, Mrital Bliss, Kweku Anansi, Chameleon, Two Weeks in September and King Ibu.
A versatile voice artist, her voice can be heard in the children's International award winning animation programme, Magic Cellar, in which she plays three characters.
Motshabi starred alongside John Kani in Nothing but the Truth which toured the UK after a highly-successful season at the Hampstead Theatre in London. She also starred in the movie version of the same play, for which she won the 2010 SAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Film.
Other films she has appeared in include Friends, the TV movie Mrs Mandela, Hearts and Minds and Wheels and Deals.
In 2013 she starred in the SABC1 drama series Tempy Pushas, 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, Lefa's mother who was a beauty queen in her day, in the e.tv drama series Matatiele.