At the end of her undergraduate degree in Theatre and Performance from the University of Cape Town, Phumzile Sitole wrote a mission statement:
Given the vast spectrum of human encounter we call life, I aim to avail myself spiritually, physically and emotionally to the art of acting. In a world where truthful connection is often well imitated, I desire to be accountable and transparent in how I approach my work.
A South African born and bred actress, writer and voice over artist currently based in New York City, Phumi holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University. She has worked on stages such as South Africa' Market Theatre and her recent appearances include the Stage Manager in Our Town, directed by Tyne Rafaeli, Lady Macduff at the Northern Stage, and touring Kenya and South Africa as the lead role in Antigone, directed by Gregory Mosher. From mentors Mandla Mbotwe and Mwenya Kabwe, she came to appreciate that language is not the only vehicle upon which a story travels. Phumi works extensively as a co-creator of devised, physical theatre. Along with performance artist Carla Fonseca, she created Sent, a site-specific piece about the lost art of letter writing, which premiered in Johannesburg and subsequently traveled to New York City. Along with colleague Aaron Morton, she has also devised a piece inspired by a Xhosa prophetess called Nonqawuse that uses gesture, sound, and poetic text to carve out an experience of what is seen and unseen in our daily lives. With The Lonely Painter Project, Phumi has been a performer-creator in Inhume, The Last Leaf, and the Everyday Africa developmental workshop.