Alumna Phumzile Sitole '16 Joins the Cast of 'Orange Is the New Black'

July 12, 2018

Headshot of Phumzile SitoleActing Alumna Phumzile Sitole '16 recently joined the cast of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Netflix show, Orange Is the New Black. According to TimesLIVE, Sitole will play Antoinetta 'Akers' Kerson in the sixth season of the popular series, which follows female inmates in a minimum-security prison. Sitole will appear in nine out of thirteen episodes.


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sitole received her B.A. in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town. In 2017, she starred in the film, Lostfound, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival, and she also landed a major role in the CBS series, The Good Fight, a spinoff of The Good Wife. In addition to acting for TV and film, Sitole has worked as a stage actress, performing in a production of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors with the Classic Stage Company in Union Square. She’s also worked as a voice actor for companies such as Nike and KFC.


In a 2017 interview with Gabriela Pinto of the South-African publication, Bewteen 10and5, Sitole spoke of her rigorous training at Columbia. She said, “There was a lot of tears and no tissues, to put it poetically. In our voice classes, they push you as a human to tap into doors that are old and creaky. There are scars formed when you are four and you have to confront and not run away from that. I expected there to be challenges, but I didn’t expect to learn so much about myself; where I hide pain in my body and how to free my voice. We worked a lot with Kristen Linklater. You already have a voice but society tells you how to speak and your voice gets smaller. We have to free up what we already have. That was the biggest takeaway for me as an actor.”


Season six of Orange Is the New Black premieres July 27th, 2018 on Netflix.