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07th Apr 2021

Thandiwe Newton reclaims the original spelling of her name

“I’m taking back what’s mine.”

Westworld actor, Thandiwe Newton, has publicly corrected the spelling of her name after being known as “Thandie” for most of her professional career. A spelling error in her first credited film role back in 1991, where the “w” was omitted from her name, ended up sticking and the 48-year-old has said it’s time to take back what’s rightfully hers.

Thandie is an Anglicised version of the Zulu-derived Thandiwe, and is pronounced “tan-DEE-way”. In a recent interview with British Vogue, Newton revealed that her name means “beloved” and was given to her by her Zimbabwean mother. “That’s my name,” Thandiwe told the magazine for their May cover issue, “It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”


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In the interview, Newton also spoke about being “grateful” that representation of ethnic minorities has improved across film and television.

“The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me and to not be complicit in the objectification of black people as ‘others’, which is what happens when you’re the only one.”

The Emmy-award winning actor was born in London to a British father and a Zimbabwean mother. Her mother Nyasha was a princess of the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe and Newton recalls how different she felt when they settled in Cornwall at the age of three, “We may as well have been the first Black people anyone had ever seen. We didn’t have conditioner. We didn’t have anything,” she told Vogue.

Thandiwe has changed all of her social media handles to reflect her actual name and says she will be credited as Thandiwe in all future roles.