Pearl Thusi is a South African television presenter, model and actress best known for her starring role as Dayana Mampasi, a driven lawyer who struggles to fit in, in the television thriller series Quantico, joining the cast in Season 2.
She is known to South African viewers for a variety of presenting and acting roles, having first rose to fame by co-presenting the kid's show iCrew on SABC3 in 2006. Pearl co-presented (with Zola Hashatsi) iCrew every Friday at 15h00. iCrew was a fully interactive animated show, allowing viewers to influence what goes on within the show using their cellphones. By registering with iCrew and sending SMS messages to the show, viewers could play games, check out new cellphone technology, get downloads and more.
She later became known for her role as orphan Samkelisiwe Nkambule on the SABC1 drama series Zone 14, from 2011-2012. Other television series she has appeared in include Soul City, Rhythm City and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
She has had a successful modelling career, appearing in adverts for Vodacom, Edgars, Jet, Altech Netstar, DStv, Khomanani, SANBS, Toyota, Kellogg's Special K, Danone and KFC, among others. She was also selected to be a campaign ambassador for Castle Lite's Feel the Beat of Sub Zero Experience featuring Kanye West, and was the MC on the evening.
Pearl completed a start-up venture course at WITS Business School, whilst completing a BA Communications Science through UNISA. She is also the co-owner of Ayana Africa Modelling Agency and has a daughter with sports presenter Walter Mokoena.
A former Miss KZN, she was also one of four personalities in the running to join the e.tv reality competition series Tropika Island of Treasure in 2012 as a co-host for DJ Fresh, but lost out to Nicole Flint. She appeared as one of the celebrity contestants the following year and hosted the show the year after that.
In 2012 she joined the SABC1 gossip show The Real Goboza as a co-host, replacing the departed Brenda Ngxoli towards the end of Season 5. She was replaced by Sinazo Yolwa and Amanda du-Pont for the final episode of Season 7, who went on to host Season 8 with Phat Joe.
In 2013 she played herself in a crossover episode of RGB with the sitcom My Perfect Family.
She also presented on the SABC1 music show LIVE Amp and played Palesa Motaung on the SABC3 soapie Isidingo. She made her debut on the soapie on Monday, 20 May 2013.
In 2014 she was the co-host of the 13th Annual Metro FM Music Awards, alongside Phat Joe.
In March 2016 she left LIVE Amp to host Lip Sync Battle Africa on MTV and e.tv.
In July 2016 she joined the cast of the ABC thriller Quantico in the series regular role of Dayana Mampasi, a driven lawyer who struggles to fit in. The role marked her debut on American television when Season 2 premiered on 25 September, 2016.
In June 2017 it was confirmed that Pearl's character would not return to Quantico for Season 3.