Refilwe Maitisa is a performer who has spent years performing, training, and honing her acting, singing & modeling skills. She graduated as the top student at New York University (NYU), Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama and earned her Associate Degree at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles.
She is a Princess Grace Award nominee - a national award recognizing extraordinary emerging artists in the US. At NYU, she was awarded the Drama Banner Bearer Award (top student in leadership and academics at Tisch Drama), Outstanding Achievement in Studio Award for The Classical Studio (for acting), University Honors Scholar (top 40% of baccalaureate students in Tisch) and selected by Tisch as the Student Representative for Tisch Drama where she gave a speech at graduation, among other honors.
In 2023, Refilwe bagged 2nd Runner Up at the inaugural Africa Monologue Challenge. Refilwe was one of 11 finalists chosen out of over 500 entries from Africa and the diaspora. She was the only finalist representing South Africa. As one of her prizes, she has received a supporting role in the first ever Pan-African film.
Refilwe performed in the original musical Humanity's Child which debuted at The New York Theater Festival (recipient of Best Choreography and Best Director award) and later Off-Broadway at The Players Theatre in New York. Refilwe can be seen in the South African blockbuster film Zulu Wedding which won the Pan African Film & Arts Festival 2020 award for Best Narrative Feature.
She was named a Top 10 Vocalist at the South African Talent Championship. Refilwe also leads worship and sings background vocals in church.
Refilwe made her runway debut at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, walking for acclaimed fashion designer David Tlale.
Furthermore, Refilwe applies her creativity in various ways. She was awarded the Josh Goldfaden Award at NYU for her leadership, impact and contribution to writing. She later directed and staged a new play in less than 24 hours at the annual 24-Hour Play Festival at Tisch. She has taken a variety of courses such as producing, law and business management.