Meet Harriet Manamela: The Talented Actress Behind Meikie Maputla in Skeem Saam


If you’re a fan of South African television, you’re likely familiar with the hit show Skeem Saam. Among its diverse and compelling cast, Harriet Manamela stands out with her portrayal of Meikie Maputla, a character that has captured the hearts and minds of many viewers. But who is the woman behind the role? Let’s take a closer look at Harriet Manamela’s journey and her contribution to the world of acting.

Early Life and Background

Harriet Manamela was born on October 13, 1971, in Diepkloof, Soweto. From a young age, she showed a passion for the arts, participating in school plays and community theater. Her early exposure to acting laid the foundation for what would become a stellar career in the South African entertainment industry.

Rise to Fame

Manamela’s professional acting career began in the 1990s when she joined the Soul City drama series, where she played the role of Thandeka. This was just the beginning, as her talent and dedication quickly caught the attention of directors and producers across the country. Over the years, Harriet has built an impressive portfolio, featuring in numerous television series, films, and stage productions.

Skeem Saam: Becoming Meikie Maputla

In 2011, Harriet Manamela took on the role of Meikie Maputla in Skeem Saam, a show that explores the lives of residents in Turfloop and Johannesburg. Meikie Maputla, the matriarch of the Maputla family, is known for her strong-willed nature, deep sense of family, and occasional sternness. Harriet’s portrayal of Meikie is both nuanced and powerful, capturing the complexities of a mother trying to protect her family while navigating the challenges life throws at her.

Her performance has not only earned her widespread recognition but also numerous accolades, solidifying her status as one of South Africa’s most respected actresses.

Achievements and Awards

Harriet Manamela’s talent has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, she has received several awards and nominations, celebrating her contributions to the arts. Her role in Skeem Saam earned her the Best Supporting Actress award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs), a testament to her skill and dedication.

Beyond the Screen

When she’s not on set, Harriet is involved in various community projects, using her platform to inspire and uplift others. She is a firm believer in the power of education and often participates in initiatives aimed at empowering young people through the arts.


Harriet Manamela’s journey from the streets of Soweto to becoming one of South Africa’s beloved actresses is nothing short of inspiring. Her portrayal of Meikie Maputla in Skeem Saam continues to resonate with audiences, making her a household name and a beacon of excellence in the entertainment industry. As she continues to grace our screens, there’s no doubt that Harriet Manamela will keep captivating us with her remarkable talent and unwavering dedication to her craft.

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