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Thanks to the Netflix series, Queen Sono, its star Pearl Thusi is inching her way to becoming a household name here in the U.S.

The gorgeous popular South African actress, who captured our attention in her role in Quantico, plays the tough leading lady in their action-packed series that centers on “an unconventional spy working for an undercover South African agency devoted to protecting the people of Africa,” says the official press release from the streaming platform.

Thusi believes that Netflix’s first script-to-screen series produced in Africa plays a crucial role in how stories about the continent get to be told moving forward.

“Controlling the narrative is really important because we’re tired of seeing, particularly, just struggle stories,” Thusi told Entertainment Weekly. “Because of the layers and the specific window people have chosen to look through to view the African continent, the same message is being sent over and over again. It’s been entertaining, I’m sure, and beautiful sometimes to see, but it has not been very empowering for African people.”

Even better? The show has been picked up for a second season!

But if you already follow Thusi on social media, you know she’s been killing the game for a while now and is a pretty big deal in Africa. The actress, model and philanthropist is one of Africa’s biggest stars on the big screen and on the fashion scene.

So as we celebrate her birthday, May 13, here are some of her fiercest and most beautiful lewks!

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