Home » About Thembi

About Thembi

screenshot2Thembi Ford is a pop culture critic based in Los Angeles. Her writing, which focuses on entertainment news, politics, and pop culture commentary with a comedic twist, has been featured on a number of websites including The Root, Jezebel, AOL Black Voices, and The Smoking Section. In print, Thembi is a regular contributor to Metro’s Voices column. Her broadcast experience includes VH-1’s “100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs,” WPEB Philadelphia radio show Beats In The City, and she is the monthly cultural correspondent on the podcast Soul Sanctuary Radio. Thembi also contributes her voice to academic panel discussions such as Hampton University’s “Still Waiting to Exhale: Black Women in Film.”

In July 2007, Thembi founded the blog What Would Thembi Do?, a mix between cultural commentary, entertainment opinion, black pop culture, and, above all else, humor writing. With regular entertainment reviews, Thembi’s appeal is her knack for slicing through America’s wide-spread political correction to share her wickedly clever observations on modern culture and the human condition. With thousands of daily visitors and a thriving community of readers, What Would Thembi Do? was profiled in Metro’s “Blogarithms” feature and was nominated as “Blog to Watch” in the 2008 Black Weblog Awards.

Thembi holds a cum laude B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and was recently awarded a 2010 Annenberg Fellowship from the University of Southern California to pursue a Master’s degree in Specialized Journalism, where she will make all things related to black pop culture an intense but fun academic endeavor.

Check out Thembi in the VH-1 Q&A “Evolution of Hip-Hop.”

VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip


  • David said:

    There was a story about a girl named Thembi who was harassed by the police in New Jersey. It was in Essence.Is that you?

  • thembi (author) said:

    David, that wasn’t me. They say all publicity is good publicity but nothing is worth tangling with Jersey 5-0!

  • Lebogang "Lebz" said:

    Hi Thembi!

    I saw your blogspot mentioned on someone else’s blogspot and my curiosity got the better of me…so here I am! I am South African, residing in South Africa and I just wanted to know if you are also South African, part South African or from Southern African country? I’m asking because your name Thembi is oh so South African, Zulu to be precise. So which Thembi are you? Themilihle, Thembisile, Nothemba, Nomathemba?

    Hey, if you are none of those, it’s still cool. I haven’t honestly heard of an African-American lady with that name, you are the first…maybe there are tons others and I’m ignorant, I don’t know. But that’s not important anyway, what’s important is as a black woman, you are representing us with personal pride and a whole lot of intelligence, no shame about it. Something that our sisters here in South Africa seriously lack at times, there are some who try but they are few in between.

    Enough rambling, tight blogspot anyhow!

    Ngiya bonga kakhulu! (I thank you vey much!)

    Lebo “Lebz”

  • Thembi Edwards said:

    Hi Thembi,

    My name is also Thembi, I have never heard of anyone else having this name until now. How do you pronounce it? Mine is pronounced without the H. This is crazy, just wanted to say Hey Girl!

  • Thembi (author) said:

    Hey Thembi!
    The more I write, the more I come across people named Thembi – there are actually quite a few of us (so much so that I could not get the thembi.com url, but I digress). Mine is pronounced with the H, as my parents wished it to be.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Allison said:

    Hi Thembi, after a simple google search “how to braid permed hair,” I clicked on your permed hair debacle, ironically I found you. We used to know each other from Jack & Jill and life on Roumfort Road. It’s me Allison. I am sitting here struggling to braid my step-daughter’s hair that has been recently been permed (not by me), arggh! I am saving your blog in my favorites, something to do when the kids go to bed. Take care and hi to your family.

  • Thembi (author) said:

    Allison! I remember you well and it’s great to hear from you. Please don’t be a stranger and likewise tell your family I said hi!

  • Ms. Debi~ said:

    Love Your Site!

  • MaiTai said:

    Hey Thembi! I just found this site a few days ago and now I’m HOOKED! I LOVE your insight on things. The things you say are so very true and it has me LOL all at work and at times that may not be the best. I cant help it! I love this website and the topics keep me coming back. So far I have only made it back to August of this year, so it looks like I have a long way to go but I just wanted to thank you for this. So THANKS!!!

  • Damali said:

    In the 70’s in Phila I went to school with a couple who named their baby girl Thembi – we were fans of Pharoah Saunders/Leon Thomas music. Beautiful name.

  • Thembi Ford (author) said:

    Was that at U Penn? Because that may have been my parents!

  • JustBrowsing said:

    I’m new here. As you can see, I am just browsing for now. Testing the waters, but uuuhhh, it’s funny that you would call out the guy with the non-french name, and then tell the South African blogger that you didn’t know anyone else had your name. Is it now OK for the guy to have a name that he feels “no one else has”? LOVL (amusant)

  • Thembi (author) said:

    Umm…@Just Browsing
    I can only guess what post you’re referring to when you speak of a non-French name (La Domour perhaps? Which is not French OR a name?), and I know that the comments above may be confusing thanks to there being more than one Thembi commenting, but try to follow along…Thembi (author) is one person, and another person named Thembi questioned the origin of my name. I know exactly where my name comes from, thanks!

  • Damali said:

    As I read more of your blog I realize you’re too young to be “my” Thembi – she would be about 38 by now. Wow – how old does that make me…..YIKES !! LOL

  • matthew d. lyons said:

    I came across your site tonight through the blogtalk radio program. I enjoyed your comments, and look forward to keeping up with your work.

  • Val said:

    love your site and the categories are just genius. Great choice of words. Brava!

So what do you think? Please be respectful to other readers!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.