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Chelsea Thomas, the rising star in SA’s entertainment industry

This South African actor is on the rise with the tri of the TV series Spinners 

Chelsea-Faith Thomas, known for her role as Ang the kykNET series Arendsvlei , has soared to ne Spinners, a Showmax series set in the world of underg culture in Cape Town. She grew up in Kraaifontein an cars ‘spin’ on Sundays – talk about destiny. 

Her four-year career up to this point has seen slow- but the success of Spinners (which hit our screens in November 2023) has now made her a household name. She’s racked up followers on TikTok and over 22K on Instagram, and t sure to pick up speed as season two hits screens. 

The world of spinners 

Set in Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, the series follow Ethan (Cantona James), a 17-year-old working as a driver a drug gang, who discovers spinning as an alternative to provide for his little brother. Chelsea plays Amber M “one of the best spinners in the Hills” and Ethan’s biggest rival. The competition (and growing attraction) between the lead male and female characters plays on the class enemies-to-lovers trope that viewers can’t get enough of. 

Spinners has been an eye-opener for Chelsea regard the culture of spinning. “I’d only ever seen men spin. when I started the job on the series, only then did I le that females are dominating the sport now.” 

The show has given real-life female spinners the attention they’ve been lacking for years. “That side of spinning is definitely growing, so I’m happy to be able to play a role that shows the feminine side.” 

Amber is a total 180 from the innocent little girls or the usual teenage high-school characters she’s played before. While her character does crazy stunts on the track, Chelsea herself is an anxious driver who failed her driver’s test twice!  

A stunt double, Kayla Olifant, takes care of the spinning scenes. “Kayla is absolutely fearless. She’s amazing. She’s definitely one of the best spinners in the country,” says Chelsea. “I don’t know how she does it. The things she does feel super-reckless but she loves it. You can see the passion in her eyes.”  

Chelsea enjoys the fact that she and her character Amber are complete opposites, making her feel like she’s in a totally different life when she plays her. “She’s definitely something different, but I love that we are worlds apart.”  

Of the show itself, she acknowledges that spinning is sometimes seen as something bad. “But Spinners shows a different side to it:  it shows the passion, it shows the drive, it shows the adrenaline, it shows the joy. It’s so encouraging and inspiring to tap into a different side of the culture.”  

On the set of Spinners
On the set of Spinners
At the Silwerskerm Fees awars with Spinners cast members
At the Silwerskerm Fees awars with Spinners cast members

Stage background 

Chelsea studied her craft at Northlink College and The Stage Performing Arts Studio (where she was one of the Top 16 ‘Golden Stagers’ in 2016), gained a Pearson BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts, and participated in the Roxanne Blaise Acting for Camera workshop.  

She then signed up with Artistes Personal Management, a top South African agency for performers and voice artists. As a Capetonian, her Cape Coloured accent is flawless, but she’s mastered the African American accent too, y’all.  

Besides acting, Chelsea is also a talented playwright and wrote the play Kopseer, which was produced at the Baxter Theatre in March 2020 (and which she also acted in). It won her Most Innovative Writer at the Zabalaza Festival, and her performance as Charnie garnered nominations for Best Actress and Most Promising Actress at the festival.  

Other performances on stage have included Siener in die Suburbs, Die Storie van Ellen Pakkies, Rita Rooibos and Sister Act. Her TV experience includes Projek Dina, Die Sentrum, Melody and Alles Malan. Keep an eye out as she’s coming to the big screen soon.  

Tiktok: @chelsefaiththomas


Words by: Sahrah Enous
Photos: Supplied 

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