#CreatepreneurAfrica : Story-teller, Poet and Filmmaker, Cape Town’s Weaam Williams

A vision to transcend bigotry and reach a realm where people realize their aspirations and dreams,soul spirit, South Africa's Weaam Williams, weaves her conscious story-telling voice beyond borders... as a poet,a writer,a filmmaker and a performance artist.

With a cinematic vision as an activist and Muslim woman, Weaam Williams, a screenwriter, director and poet , was anointed as a member of  Film Fatales, a New York-based organization representing women directors.

She seeded Tribal Alchemy Productions, a  visual medium platform specializing in video and photography.

Her directorial debut, Hip-Hop Revolution,  hit the international scenes at Silverdocs in 2007. It won the Best Edited Film Award at NYC Reel Sisters Film Festival in 2008 and was broadcasted in 28 countries.

In 2009-2013 she undertook an independent filmmaking project for Southern African distribution.

A Khoe Story Docu-Trilogy, is a three part documentary series about the language, genocide, and remaining culture of South Africa’s indigenous people.

Khoe Story  was officially acquired as material for  South Africa’s high school curriculum, as well as  universities as an awakened historical knowledge  of SA’s indigenous people

Her latest iconic film, “District Six Rising from the Dust”, was initialized when she moved into District six with her cinematographer husband Nafia Kocks.

d6 rising from the dust trailer from Tribal Alchemy on Vimeo.

The vibrancy and culture of District Six is rooted in a personal story examining intergenerational pain and wealth dispossession. It reflects an aurally and visually rich perspective, with nuanced Cape Malay community moments.

Weaam Williams is currently working on a screenplay for a feature film and will soon start production for a short film titled “Two Hues”  as a  writer and director.

 

Meet  #CreatepreneurAfrica’s  Cape Town’s ‘Conscious Storyteller’, Weaam Williams

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

I am passionate about telling stories, this I would attribute as my true passion.

I am an activist by nature and my documentary portfolio is inclusive of many human rights films which were inspired by people or causes I was passionate about at that particular intersection of my life.

My work ranges from “Hip-hop Revolution” to “Khoe Story Docu Trilogy”, a series about the history, language, and culture of SA’s indigenous people.

This series brought the genocide of the indigenous people into the
foreground in 2011/12.

I don’t stop being passionate about these causes, but rather allow communities to use my films for activism purposes. The Griqua Nation and other indigenous groups have used the Khoe Story extensively for lobbying purposes – for recognition of the “mother tongue” etc.

I do, however, as a story-teller move on to new projects and my most recent film “District Six Rising from the Dust” – is the first personal narrative.

I have undertaken to tell the story of my family being forcibly removed from District Six, and my own journey after being restituted a house awarded to my grandfather. This film was completed recently and will be exhibited in 2018.

It has inspired my community in District Six, and also encouraged a call to action. I am, however, moving onto fiction narrative projects. I am currently in production for a short film and writing a screenplay for a feature-length film. I am very excited about both these projects.

However, I cannot speak of them yet.  I have a background in poetry and performance poetry. I stopped doing performance poetry when my film career took off as filmmaking requires a great deal of commitment and is all-encompassing.

I found very little time to nurture myself as a poet. However, I have a deep love for poetry and sometimes still write the odd poem when I feel inspired – however, it’s been a very long time since I have shared my poetry with audiences. I hope to do this again

 How did you find your passion and how old were you?

At high school level, I had shown a flair for languages and writing – I enjoyed creative writing. I also wrote plays and got my friends to act in them.

I think I was about 14 years old then. I guess my passion as a writer/director started then. My abilities as a poet I discovered at 16, during the matric end of year holidays and when I started university. I started to explore writing poetry. I was very young at university and needed to process all of the information I was receiving, the cultural paradigm shift and poetry was my way of expressing what I was feeling as a young person, and trying to make sense of it.

Also, English Literature was one of my subjects and provided a platform to explore the literary greats and be inspired by them. My work as a filmmaker has a strong foundation in writing, as films start on paper with written concepts which eventually progresses to a screenplay in the case of narrative or a strong treatment in the case of a documentary.

What about your passion appeals to you the most?

Once again it is the aspect of story-telling. In the world of film, it
starts with a screenplay/ treatment and ends on the cutting room floor (editing). Fortunately, I have the ability to do both write and edit, which means I am a very involved filmmaker and storyteller.

I do, however, allow room for critique from donors, close friends, and colleagues. This is integral to the story-telling process of filmmaking as one tends to get immersed in the work. I, therefore, need that outside objective eye. My production company Tribal Alchemy Productions coined the term “digital storytellers” which has been hugely plagiarised I now see this phrase everywhere. What can I do?

I know that many have of my concepts have been copied and plagiarised – it’s a soul-wrenching battle which I choose to no longer fight. I now hold my cards close to my chest and only impart information of projects on a need to know basis.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

I have always been able to generate income from my writing abilities. It started as free-lance journalism and getting paid as a performance poet. My first paid job in the film industry was as a writer for the drama series Soul Buddyz.

When I decided that I would like to direct, it was also my convincing writing which allowed me access to funding grants to direct my passion projects.

I am now writing a commissioned screenplay which I will direct. I think it’s been small steps and an unfolding journey.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

To be honest, I have never thought of giving up. There are times when I feel really low and feel weighed down by circumstances, be it a rejection letter or financial strife living the artist life.

However, I have always been able to rise above this and keep chiseling, crafting and planning. I allow myself to experience my feelings, but at some point, I will pull myself up and say “Fuck them all – I believe in myself”.

I will think of a new plan and continue working. I also seek solace in
nature. I find after walking in the forest the weight lessons, and I am able to cope. Every single artist has to face rejection, and those of us who are not born into old money have to find means of sustaining ourselves and families with our passion. It is very hard work maintaining this balance.

My husband and I are both filmmakers and between the two of us, we
can take a production from beginning to end. We constantly inspire, comfort and sharpen each other to become better at what we do, to increase the value of our work as our cultural capital and future investment.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

Of course, there is the need of self and seeking validation for work which
we have invested huge amounts of time and energy into. However, I am also
motivated by my children – as a co-breadwinner where both parents are
artists we have to strive for excellence as a means of survival. It’s as
simple as that.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

To be honest, there haven’t been many. The ones who have shown doubt, are not doubtful of my abilities but rather holding on to a white-male power threshold or generally do not agree with my POV.

I have managed to work as a filmmaker for many years because there are so many people who believe in me and show this either via funding grant support, acquisitions of my films, commissioned work or supporting my work as audience members. To those people who never believed in me, it is their loss I will continue with my craft and continue to be the voice of the marginalized.

The test really is whether the work resonates with audiences, and I must say with every single piece of work I have tackled, the communities affected feel that I have done their story justice. I am not going to sensationalize, white-wash or taint a story to gain props. I have a responsibility as a story-teller to do this work with integrity.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

My advice is to know what your strengths are and to focus on this. Continue practicing your craft even if you are not getting paid in the beginning, do it for the passion. To become better.

I am not saying you must work for free all of the time, but rather take the time to invest in yourself to master your craft. Be careful of who you share your ideas with, I have been bitten too many times.

The closest of friends can run off with your concept and duplicate it. The film industry is incredibly hierarchical be respectful of this hierarchy for someday, you too will be a producer, director, DOP or whatever it is you want to do.

However, do not allow anyone to belittle or exploit you. Stand up for yourself if you feel this is happening. Put in the hours and surely you will someday reap the benefits.

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Riaan Hendricks, prolific South African filmmaker on the “Ramothopo the Centenarian” journey

A multi-award winning, Cape Town's prolific film director, Riaan Hendricks weaves into a rich tapestry of storytelling moments engrossed in the delicate elements of his creations. He wavers on motions of a constant struggle to engage audiences with emotional landscapes of life characters and stories into the beyond of everyday lives. His latest film follows the 110-year old Ramothopo and his 99-year-old wife, Anna.

Ramothopo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He initiated his ‘sterling directorial debut’  into the world of documentary with ‘A Fisherman’s tale in 2004.

His celebrated work constantly pushes the boundaries laid out in the documentary genre. Riaan is currently completing his Masters in Film at the Universtiy of Cape Town( UCT).

Skype: riaanhendricks | Twitter: @filmseason
Vimeo: riaanhendricksfilm | Facebook: riaanhendricks

A Fisherman’s Tale (2004) “…reminds me of the art of Picasso and Diego Riviera, who had used their art to animate the condition of the working people and their dignity”
– Professor Ben Turok, 
Independent Newspapers.

His film “The Devils Lair (2013) was received critical acclaim and was played on almost all the continents receiving multiple film awards.

 

  • Best Documentary World Cinema Award at the New Zealand International
  • Documentary Edge Festival 2014
  • Best Documentary Feature Award SAFTA’s 2014
  • Best Documentary Feature Editor Award SAFTA’s 2014
  • Jury Special Mention Documentary, Luxor Film Festival, 2014
  • Best South African Documentary Feature, JOZI FILM FEST 2014
  • Best South African Feature Documentary, Screen Excellence Award, 2013
  • Jury Special Mention at the 24th Festival Cinema Africano Asia Latin Americana, 2014

Meet CreatepreneurAfrica’s  profound South African filmmaker, Riaan Hendriks

Riaan Hendricks is a filmmaker. A beekeeper. Publisher of Docstreet Radio (www.soundcloud.com/docstreet).
What is your latest film all about?

My latest film is titled “Ramothopo the Centenarian”. It’s story of what it takes to return the love and care to 110-year old Ramothopo old and Anna his 99-year-old wife – who for generations played a vital role in their family and community.

In her younger years, Anna spent her younger life as a prophetess and healer. Leprosy was amongst many of the sicknesses she knew how to cure. She assisted many barren women to have children.

Even the mentally ill were lined up at her door for help. It’s not easy to judge her age from gauging her intelligent conversations. This woman she is strong – and surpassing 100 is nothing new in their family.

Their home was always a refuge to those in need of help.

Ramothopo was a preacher over hundreds of people. It’s his feeble state that compelled his granddaughter to spend more time with him in what seems to be the last years of his life. She’d leave her Cape Town family behind and journey the 1800km trip with 2 year old Anushka to attend to Ramothopo – whom she calls her dad. Her own dad passed away when she was still very young.

The film itself is a heart-warming experience. We all have a Ramothopo and an Anna in our lives. And if time permits – we too will find ourselves where they are. After watching the film – you’ll never look at life quite the same again.

How did you finance the film?

This is one of the most expensive films i’ve made in recent years. It’s also my longest. The cost cannot be translated into cash value – since it’s entirely funded with passion, handwork, and perhaps diligence. Usually, you’d go out and look for money before you film – or when you are in the edit. This film, however – was never meant to be a film. Initially, I was merely taken by the contrast between my two-year-old daughter and her interaction with her great-grandparents. I chose to film it for memories keep shake.

However – the more I filmed, the harder it became to confront the themes as it manifested itself.

I’m of sound mind and healthy body. To confront the realities of feebleness, old age and the dependence on love and care is the hardest I’ve ever filmed. Yet it’s in the very struggle of processing the themes and translating it into meaning that a film gets born. From experience, I know that is how all my films are done. It’s in your heart where the film gets born.

Thus every time we went to Botlokwa, i’d film. And the more I filmed – the more the humanness of feebleness, madness, and love emerged.

A life experience that changes you often makes a good film. This film changed me. I could not walk away from it without translating it into cinema and be titling it “Ramothopo the Centenarian”.

Where to from here?

Well, the film was finished a few days before the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival. The festival itself has always been the home ground of South African documentary cinema. So I’m thankful for their continued support of my work over the years. But with the Ramothopo, I truly thought that this time around they will be rejecting my work!

The film has possibly the longest documentary film shot that I know of. It’s a black and white film. It’s about old age. Yet, the maturity of their film selection and their ability to appreciate documentary cinema implies that South African documentary has a great future under their curatorship. So long live Encounters!

Obviously, we’d like to have the film broadcast. It is the centenary year of Nelson Mandela. If ever a film reflects the lives of our ordinary aged and feeble – this is the one.

I’m hoping a broadcaster will pick it up – so that we can translate some of the sweat, blood, and tears into bread, butter and attend to some requests their granddaughter has for her grandparents.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

It’s in the heart. That’s’ where it starts. Follow your instinct – even if it makes little sense. It’s not supposed to make sense – you are a filmmaker, not an actuary. If the final product has no resonance with your audience – move over to the next film. It’s a combination of your external physical craft and your internal filmmaker’s voice being honed. If the festival or funder rejects your work. Cry loud. Wipe your tears soldier. Eventually – it will all come together. You have to explore and discover through your cinematic choices who you really are.

And you have to push it. When you are young – it’s easy to close doors with your restless passion and vocal conflicting ideas. It’s fine. Let them close the doors. If you are able to stand up for what you believe and go hungry for it. Do it. It will only shape your character resulting in better work down the line.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

My first real paid job was when the National Film and Video Foundation funded my 26-minute documentary “A Fisherman’s Tale (2003).” When you consider how these guys are developing our industry, making huge financial investments in our development as film-makers – often granting us the license to explore our medium: regardless of its commercial value. We should applaud them for it.

Storytelling is an act of culture – their commitment ensured great vibrancy thereof. Furthermore, they managed to create a conducive environment to grow our talent and industry. If only our public broadcaster could come to the table in the same way. Could you imagine what positive impact that would have on the emergence of South African cinema?

 

 

 

#CreatePreneurAfrica Zziwa Aaron Alone, Uganda’s King of Guerilla Fimmaking!

Zziwa Aaron Alone, a multi-award-winning film director, all the way from Uganda in East Africa,is all about understanding African culture through the realm of moving pictures.

Guerrilla filmmaker Zziwa Aaron Alone is on a mission to redefine the art of great filmmaking with lights,camera and literally,no budget!

The filmmaking industry in Uganda is undoubtedly growing. My film,‘The Superstition’, was nominated alongside Jackie Chan’s, ‘Chinese Zodiac’ at the  2014 Abuja International Festival”

Zziwa Aaron Alone

  • Nominated Best Film director in 2014 and 2015 – Arusha African film festival, Tanzania.
  • Nominated in 2016 – Africa Movie Academy Award, Nigeria 
  • Nominated Best Director- 2017 Uganda film festival

Meet #CreatepreneurAfrica, Uganda’s Zziwa Aaron Alone

 

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

What drives me? ……  I love to bring stories to life. It drives me everytime I think of stories that can change the generation, the community, and the world.

Our narratives impact positively on human change. My passion in life is when I make stories go to screen. I feel great when stories which I gave birth to are embraced by audiences. It motivates me more and more to give them more…..

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

The way I found my passion is through frequent hangouts at a local cinema hall, aka Bibanda, with my elder brother when I was little. I think I was like five years old when he took me there and I enjoyed Chinese Kung-Fu films.

Later I found myself taking myself alone there. The passion grew and this always got me trouble at home! When I grew older I decided to make my hobby my reality.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

What appeals to me about my passion is when  I am appreciated, whether I direct, write or act in my films. 

When the cast and crew are appreciated with awards and recognition, it encourages them to take on new projects. I embrace appreciation and audience attendance at my screenings each time I have them.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

 I studied entrepreneurship at the university. I am a person that hates to be employed.  The richest people in this world are entrepreneurs. Being employed by others will not make me rich.  I drove my persona into a business module rather than slaving off for another.

 

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

It was in  2013 when I was working under someone else. First comes passion, we get by, even when pay is scarce.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

First of all is when I was nominated at the Abuja international film festival for my film ‘The Superstition’ alongside Jackie Chan’s film, ‘Chinese Zodiac’.

This was motivating. My films made it to  Arusha film festival in Tanzania as well as the Silicon Valley African film festival in the USA and the academy awards in Nigeria.

This shows me people appreciate my work out there.  I have a passion for storytelling and film. If there was no passion I would have given up ages ago.  Being an artist is challenging. It may be challenging all over the world, but I feel it in Uganda.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

Firstly, what motivates me today is the people I work with. They never give up no matter what circumstances or challenges appear.  We face it together.

Secondly my mother Jacqueline Guglielmino. She encourages me, she is the most hardworking woman I have ever seen on this planet.  I want to be like her.

Thirdly, my brothers. They have always had my back.

Fourthly, the awards that I win on projects with all those on my team.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Time tells, today you can see someone as low today,  but tomorrow, he might be  the one to bail you out, so be polite and humble

Be human, respect people’s hustle and what they want, as long as it’s not a crime.

So what  I can tell them is, always give people a chance, empower them and believe in them. Believe in what they are trying to do, no matter how many years it may take.  Artists careers take a long time to kick off but eventually, it does.

 Even Albert Einstein went through challenges in his discoveries but is now celebrated.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

What can I advise all those that are aspiring in this creative sector?

No matter what challenges appear, always have hope and follow your dreams.  Never ever mistreat people who make you or who have made you who you are. Have respect and focus on your path. Set goals and a clear vision for your passion and success will prevail.

   

#CreatepreneurAfrica, Liberian Patrice Juah – “A Gem of Unimaginable Proportions”

Writer                                          Poet Continue reading #CreatepreneurAfrica, Liberian Patrice Juah – “A Gem of Unimaginable Proportions”

#CreatepreneurAfrica Vincent Moloi : Trailblazer filmmaker capturing human existence dynamics!

 

South African born Vincent Moloi, was born shortly after the turbulent Soweto uprisings in 1976. His soul calling flourished into narratives of his motherland, voicing out the calling of the nation, both in fiction and non-fiction. 

The innovative filmmaker has directed over 50 documentary films and about 10 television series. He received numerous awards including African Trailblazer Award at the International TV Film festival,and MIPCOM in Cannes.  

His latest creation is Tjovitjo, is a drama series based on a world of hardships, dreams, problems, and hopes. It depicts everyday reality through the portrayal of dancers struggling against the system of poverty.

It offers a buffet of gripping emotions, topping the viewership charts and streaming in possibilities.

Vincent Moloi and his partner Lodi Matsetetela pitched the concept to almost every broadcaster in South Africa. All were reluctant a few years back.

Eventually, their passion drove them to fund it themselves, and they missioned to created it with their production company, Puo Pha Productions.

They then sold the series to SABC, ( South African Broadcasting Corporation), a national broadcaster in South Africa, retaining  100% copyright ownership.

An industry breakthrough of note, Puo Pha productions dominated at SAFTA’s, the (South African film and television Awards) ceremony in fiction and non-fiction

Skulls of My People,  a Puo Pha Production

  • Best documentary feature
  • Best director
  • Best Cinematographer

Tjovitjo, a Phu Pha Production

  • Best actor,
  • Best drama,
  • Best sound design
  • Best production design
  • Best editing
  • Best Cinematography

You can never really know it until you do it.

Vincent Moloi

Tjovitjo - drama pilot from Vincent Moloi on Vimeo.

Meet #CreatepreneurAfrica Vincent Moloi, a filmmaker making waves

 

Tell us what drives you?

Given the times we’re living in, we as artists with influence, have an obligation to be responsible with the tools we have. So I am intent on unearthing and telling uncomfortable stories that will hopefully build us, or at least the future generations.

What is your true passion in life?

Happiness. I always seeking happiness but it is a very slippery emotion. And my family and telling stories are two things that bring me close to happiness. In general, I really like people around me to feel good about themselves. And I always try to include that element in my stories.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

My first love was radio. Very early on in my childhood, I remember how I use to sit outside my grandmother veranda and pretend to be a radio talk show host. So I always enjoyed telling stories and sharing my opinion. Sadly I never made it as a radio host, thank God there was filmmaking.

What about your passion appeals to you the most?

Making people happy. I love seeing smiles on people. A smile is what all of us can have, poor and rich. You can’t just buy it.

 

What drove you to make money from your passions?

Hahahaha…sadly I am not at that stage where I am making money yet. At the moment I am still putting money into my passion. It will come when the time is right.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

I can’t remember. It is probably because I put it back into my passion as an investment. We have just produced a whole drama series with our own money. This shows how passionate we are about we doing. We are still building for now, but one day we’ll reap the rewards of all the hard work and money we put in.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

Failure is not an option. Because I can’t imagine anything else that can make me happy as what I do right now. The idea of failing terrifies me.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

A search for absolute happiness. I know it sounds so utopia but that’s what I want.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

That you can’t stop what naturally going to be.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

That they must learn to try things, do things. You can never really know it until you do it.

 Welcome, #ExploreMotherlandAfrica.

CreatePreneurAfrica – Botswana’s Donald Molosi’s “Critical love letters to Humanity”

It was a soul calling for Donald Molosi...born with a passion to spread the word. A renowned writer, playwright, and actor, he has been awarded over twenty-five acting awards internationally, fifteen writing awards and was the first Motswana to launch performances on Broadway.

“critical love letters” to humanity – Molosi describes his work in a BBC interview

In his viral essay “Dear Upright African”, Molosi explores the need for a liberated school curriculum in Africa. It is a calling for genuine African history in African classrooms.

He delivered a keynote address at the Bucknell University’s Black History month,  themed on the archives of post-Colonial African performance.

From an early age, Molosi sparked a flair for performance naturally. By the time he turned sixteen, he was already on the journey of touring with arts festivals and co-writing plays.

Molosi was the youngest to hit the airwaves when he became a Yarona Fm radio announcer.

He was a child presenter on Botswana Television in partnership with UNICEF to empower youth and make their voices count.

When he was seventeen, he wrote his solo performance, “Fragments,” based on children’s rights. The critically acclaimed  “Fragments” got him invited to the United Nations General Assembly on Children in New York and he performed  for world leaders like Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela.

He continued to advocate for children’s rights through his  “Can I live” poetry exhibition, based on interpretations of the  African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.[11

A language historian, Molosi is multilingual. He speaks Setswana, French, Swahili, and English. He is conversational in Ndebele and Zulu. His writings have shed light on the diversity if Africa in multiple narratives, debunking misconceptions of Africa.

He is currently represented by the  Pan African Waka Agency, founded by  award-winning actress and media proprietor from South Africa, Rosie Motene.

Theatre

  • 2003   Fragments

  • 2008   Blue Black and White

  • 2010 Today it’s me

  • 2013 Motswana: Dream again

  • 2017 Tumultuous

  • 2017 Yaguine and Fode project

  • 2017 Black Man Samurai

Filmography

2016 A United Kingdom

2009  Given

2007  Green Zone

  • 2006 Breakfast in Hollywood

His latest documentary, “We Are All Blue,”   an Africa Day premier on May 25, 2017, debuted all over Africa on DSTV, Multichoice. The documentary carries the final televised interview with the  late  Sir Ketumile Masire, former president of Botswana

It has premiered at the Ditshwanelo Human Rights festival and made a cinema debut in conjunction with the first Dalai Lama visit to Botswana.

Molosi shared the stage with Dalai Lama in the historic conference to explore the African way of life, Ubuntu/ Botho in the modern Botswana era. 

The  framework to heal the trauma of the colonialism and trauma  legacy, advancing in social justice and equality.

 

Molosi is also a songwriter and a singer and has a project lined up to showcase singing and songwriting.

Meet #CreatePreneurAfrica Donald Molosi

 

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

I am driven by the desire to live a life of purpose. My true passion is to express myself through writing and performance and I am elated to be having my passion as my profession, therefore.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

My passion found me before I was born. I knew at 4 what I would do with my life and it is exactly what I am doing today.

I have been performing all my life and my early start meant that by the time I was 15.  I was internationally recognized enough for me to address the UN General Assembly at that age.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

I don’t think of my passion as something that necessarily has to have a wholesome appeal to me. It is a calling and I need to fulfill it to keep my spirit and the world around me stable.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

The need to grow the same passion. The ability to finance my plays and films and still travel the world launching my books.

I monetize what I do purely so that I can invest in my talent and growth and have freedom as an artist without being held hostage by misguided sponsors. That is partly because I come from Botswana where a real artist can only survive by investing in themselves.\

In Botswana, there are two ways to survive as an artist, generally – either by corrupt means or by monetizing your talent.

That is why I enjoy working on Broadway and Hollywood half of every year because in the US you actually compete against other talent and the arts are not subject to the corrupt whims of politicians.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

I definitely don’t recall the first time as I was below 10. I recall being extremely excited when I got my contract with Yarona FM when I was 15.

I was paid really well by Yarona FM even as a newcomer at the time. I was the youngest person on the radio at the time and the year was 2001.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

I have had challenges but I am not sure that I ever wanted to give up. I operate in full knowledge that this is my life’s purpose and legacy.

So, even when I face challenges I go through them without shaking the core of what I do in the first place. And that is because I am clear about the legacy that my name should leave behind.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I only pursue success so that I can better help and mentor others. For me, success is never really for the individual alone.

I choose to live a life where I challenge myself to use every day to be there for myself and others. That motivates me to get up in the morning because that is work that is never finished.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

I have nothing to say to them. I will let my work speak for itself and hopefully, they will learn from it the value of talent, hard work, and self-confidence.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

I advise them to speak from the heart and to speak truth to power. African artists are too silent about the lack of art academies in our nations for example, and yet we pour our taxes into our governments hoping they build one.

African creatives must stand up and let the African politicians that we see the lavish ways our corrupt leaders live on our taxpayers.

We must let them know that we will not tolerate that selfishness any longer while our industries suffer and countries like Botswana don’t even have a national theater after 50 years of being a country ….And yet we have the most fantastic corruption of national funds that my generation of Batswana has ever seen!

 

#CreateprenuerAfrica – Proudly Tanzanian Actor – Kihaka GND

 “”The time has arrived for Africa  to take on World Stage!”
KihakaGND
Lupyana S Kihaka's acting career initiated when he was cast in a stage play, his very first acting role. 

This was a calling to take center stage in his country Tanzania, the beginning of creation.
He recently joined Waka Agency,  the first pan African talent agency founded by  #CreatePreneurAfrica , Rosie Motene from South Africa.

 Meet #CreatepreneaurAfrica Kihaka GND

Lupyana S Kihaka. kihakagnd@gmail.com Facebook: Kihaka GND. Instagram: Kihaka
 Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
 I love being a Tanzanian Actor. My passion is about creating a global network in the era of Africa uprising. My ultimate mission is to connect with professional filmmakers, actors, performers, and creatives on film platforms worldwide.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
I was 18 years in Secondary Boarding School. Cast for a role in a stage play as an actor.
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
The fact that even though there are daily battles and struggles daily,  life goes on. I believe my acting career is my pathway to body mind and soul success. My purpose in this lifetime!
What drove you to make money from your passions?
Ultimately, time is a precious commodity, and you have to embrace every moment in this lifetime and not waste away hours making a living, doing something for money to fill your fridge. Why?
And you yourself barely get time to appreciate what you gathered. So getting paid to do something you love is far off from forced labor at the hands of masters. We are past that era
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
 It was 2011 when I got a role in a stage Play as Chief Makembo (a disable Chief) I was paid and awarded for a good performance… memories…..memories Haaaahaaa
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
 I never thought about giving up. Even though film industry got challenges, I will do my level best to show up a God-given talent
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
I have connected with professional filmmakers worldwide and I am still connecting. Haaahaaa
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
Do not waste precious time, doubting undoubtedly.
 Stay alert Lupyana S Kihaka is an upcoming international Actor!
What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?
 The film Industry has many challenges all over the world It needs discipline and commitment. Be strong, Be You.
His creative soul rose above daily calamities before him and several roles came roaring his way in succession.
  2012: "SunShine", a film produced by Swahiliwood, in a Role Of GND.
2013-2014,  International series (Siri Ya Mtungi) Season. 

Produced by Swahiliwood. 

Written by Andrew Whalley (From Isidingo SA). 

Directed by Ron Garcia (from Hollywood USA)

2015  Dangerous SecreProduced by Cyber - Blitz, Lusaka, Zambia

 

2016 ‘Kiumeni Film

Featuring Ernest Napoleon & Idris Sultan (a BBA Maid 2014 Winner)

2017 'Chafu Tatu' produced by Bongo Hoods

 

He is inspired by all creatives from the motherland Africa.
“We are more than performers. We bring the real Africa to the world”
Kihaka GND

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Poetically speaking : Mak Manaka

Never at a loss for words, renowned South African poet Mak Manaka tunes into soul rhyme in his rooted "arts for transformation" soul calling. 

Mak Manaka brings out the word,to the people....to the nation!
Mak Manaka @MakManaka  Award winning poet and writer.

Poetry-101-with-Mak-Manaka-and-Likwid-Tongue

His full name , Maakomele, means to represent in Pedi, and so he does! The motivating “warrior of inspiration” voices out  his poetically engaging word.

His late father was a poet, playwright as well as a painter. His mother an actress dancer and choreographer.  He was born into a realm of  ‘Art for social transformation.’

He has  proudly represented South Africa in Jamaica, Spain, and Cuba, and performed for the prolific Nelson Mandela as well!

Moving around on crutches due to a historic misfortune does not dampen his spirit as he ”words on”……..

Meet CreatePreneurAfrica- Mak Manaka

Tell us what drives you? 

It’s the knowledge that I’m alive and doing what makes me alive.

What is your true passion in life?

My true passion is the battle in articulating the conditions of truth. So the search for my true self is, in essence, my true passion.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

Well, passion found me in my mother’s womb and ever since I’ve been trying to understand why this passion. Coming from a family of artists, my late father is a playwright, painter and poet, and my mother a dancer-choreographer and an actress. So from an early age passion has been life to me.

What about your passion appeals to you the most?

I’m yet to receive an answer from passion itself. One thing I know about passion is that it pays no bills but it does make rainy days seem like summer skies. I guess it’s the self-fulfillment of self-worth that appeals to me the most.

 What drove you to make money from your passions?

Like I said, passion pays no bills. Self-determination pays the bills, not my passion. I think it’s important for us to unpack the meaning and function of the word passion to ourselves. How do you understand your passion and is it passion or self-determination that makes earns you a living within the construct of capitalism?

 

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

To be honest with you, I’m still waiting for the day I get paid for my passion and I doubt that day will come coz my passion is nor for sale. On the other hand, I was about 21 when I got my first paycheck for a performance, poetry articulates condition, then it is my honor and privilege to have such a gift and be paid to share it.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?  

It is the thought itself that keeps me going. We don’t give up or give in at any point coz we are suns, who wear heat in our hearts. Giving up is not an option but to give and share the heat with others is our main purpose as Africans.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

The love for loving life…

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Don’t doubt your self, rather support your self and buy my books.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

“Look not to the stars but to your self” coz “to thine self, be true”-Shakespeare said both those quotes a long time ago and before I can tell anyone anything I have to tell my self. So before you leave the house, look at yourself and smile and be in love with the mirror. In the mirror is the sun inside looking back at you, so look to self to be selfless.

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Visionary Soul Filmmaker Jihan El Tahri

Egyptian filmmaker Jihan El Tahri,rich in roots of diversity and a wealth of world experience,takes us on her soul rhythm journey, a mission to ignite the spirit of the Motherland Africa.

Tuning into insight and wisdom, she captures the heart of African roots beyond maintream media definitions and prescriptions related to what Africa was and wasn't, or what it is and should be.

Starting her career as a journalist, Africa’s legendary filmmaker, Jihan El Tahri. initially worked as a television researcher and news correspondent, covering the politics in the Middle East. This is when she realized the new dawn was on the power of the visual medium.

@Jihantahri Filmmaker, Writer, Producer, Visual Artist …without music nothing gets done!

She then launched into independent filmmaking,  producing and directing documentaries for French Tv, PBS, BBC and a range of other broadcasters internationally.

She has directed over a dozen films including award-winning:

The House of SaudThe Price of Aid, which won the European Media prize in 2004 and

Cuba: An African Odyssey.

The award-winning,”Behind the Rainbow”  explores transition in South Africa.

It chronicles the liberation project of the African National Congress and compromises that eventually led to the historic 1994 elections, the eventual erosion of promises and dreams, raising questions about the present era.

Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs

 

Jihan El-Tahri has also authored two books  The 9 Lives of Yasser Arafat and Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Years War.

She is also an avid visual artist with several exhibitions scheduled throughout the year.

Africa cinema is her passion, telling stories from Africa, for the people by the people.

Filmmaking  comes with pain, heartaches and minimal returns…. but when a film is complete it allows a person  to voice,  to exist, and to be heard, and that makes it worth it when your film continues to make sense, even years later.

 

Meet # CreatepreneurAfrica: Let’s hear it from the legendary filmmaker Jihan El Thari

1. Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

To your first question, what drives you and what your true passion is in life?…..

It’s hard to say what my true passion is….because I guess they all intertwined but talking about film and documentary…

I think what really drives me is a real desire to understand and know and chronicle what happened in the whole post-independence periods.  Why is it the promises and the vision of that moment of independence  that was going to give the people of the continent and the colonized people everywhere….the quality freedom and dignity?Why did not happen, why is that we still there today, I guess that’s the driving question,

but passion if it’s just about what I really am passionate about

  • I’m passionate about music
  • I’m passionate about film
  • I’m passionate about art

So yeah…..I dabble in all three.

 

2. How did you find your passion and how old were you?
Listening to Jihan

#CreaterPreneurAfricaJihanTahriQuestion2

How old was I when I found my passion?

I guess my passion meaning documentary, well like in 1990, so I must have been…..I guess I was ..26 at that time… 1990.

It was during the Gulf war, as a journalist I was covering the Gulf war, and I immediately realized that the game had been overtaken by TVs and no matter how much we wrote, no matter how much we researched, one image was more powerful than anything one did.

But that was just about the image, the way of making films, I think it was a big revelation for me when I saw this film  called “Death of Yugoslavia”, it was educational, it was interesting, it was funny and most of all it finally made sense of what was happening in Yugoslavia.

The war had been on for a few years and the more it went on the more one realized well I don’t understand anything,  so you just left it behind, zapped it …

Suddenly then there was this documentary, that put it together in a way where I could actually understand, and then you started making sense,  and I could take a position. I could think for myself that was the key, thinking for myself.

I guess that’s when I  really started making the kind of films that I make because  I never give conclusions. Its really about trying to chronicle how things happen and how we got there, and once you understand that, from there a person can decide for themselves, where they stand in that particular event.

 

3. What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

#CreateprebeurAfricaJihanTahriQuestion3

What is it that appeals to me most… RESEARCH.  I think I’m really passionate about research mainly because what I really want to do is try and look at stories from a different perspective,  because we’ve been told our stories the whole time through Western eyes, through Western stories.

And when I approach a topic what I really try to do most is see it from our own perspective from a southern perspective from the perspective of the people who actually lived it, rather than the colonial masters or the cold war protagonists.

So I try  and  get to that prism of the story, and so the research cannot just rely on the books and  newspapers and the documents  because they all written from a Western perspective , so one really has to get down to declassifying document,s get down to finding first-hand eyewitnesses finding stuff  that was written in different languages.

I  mean, I’m lucky because I can speak four or five languages, I can actually read in these languages what was written by the people themselves, whereas it’s not the case if you only speak English or French you only get that one perspective.

Yes, so that’s what appeals to me the most.  And I also love putting together the film at the end…at the end of the day the film is made in the editing, you have a narrative you know where you going, but because of time constraints and how it’s going to broadcast.

The film itself is made in the editing and it’s not my favorite part when I have to cut things down, but that first moment of the editing when I lay down the whole story as it was told to me is quite a big moment for me.

4. What drove you to make money from your passions?

#CreatepreneurAfrica JIhanTahriquestion4

I’ll actually answer 4 and 5 together, what drove you to make money from your passion well I don’t actually make money from my passion unfortunately for me.

I guess I could make money if I did it more superficially, but it does take me four to five years to make a film, and because of that most of the time I don’t get paid anything reasonable even.

Just for an anecdote: When I finished “Behind the rainbow”, my accountant as we finalized the account,  and as I was walking out, he stopped he said,  you do realize that the cleaning lady  earned more than you did on this film?”

And it’s because she obviously got paievery timeme she worked.  I had a lumpsum, which is fine in one year but when stretching over  four years, you barely make ends meet …which accounts for me doing other things on the side like teaching and so forth,, so that’s question 4…

5.When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

When was the first time I was paid for my passion? I’m going to stick to the documentary but I could also say photography, my very first job.

When I was 19 was as a photographer and I remember clearly, I was working for Reuters, and my first salary paid for taking pictures that I thought was the most amusing thing as I would have paid to go take these pictures, but now I was being paid to do that.That was when I first started working as a photographer at Reuters, that must have been in 1984 or something.

In documentary when I started documentary, I was already a professional in the sector, so obviously I got paid, meaning I had budgets in which I got paid if there was any leftover!

6. What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

#CreatepreneurAfricaJihan TahriQuestion6

I thought about giving up many times, especially in the middle of the film when things go completely out of sync.

“Behind the rainbow” was a good example, when for six months, absolutely everyone I had interviewed for research and was a 1oo percent onboard of the film suddenly when I came back with a camera, nobody wanted to talk.

It took about six months for me to get the first interview and my cameraman whose German had come to South Africa for the shoot and instead of 26 or 27 days he was paid for the shoot he stayed for six months. That was a very depressing moment.

And my co-producer, Steven Markovitch from Big world cinema, you know, as a producer, he realised that we couldn’t go on like this and everyone wanted to  shut down the project but I’d went too far, I spent already three years, and there was no way I wasn’t going to make that film, especially because I thought it was an important film.

So the short answer to what motivates me  to keep going when I think  should give up, is because I don’t just make films , I really grapple with topics that I think are important for me and people like me,  people who believe in Africa, people who want a better future , so I guess that’s what keeps me going.

 

7. What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

#CreatePreneurAfricaJiahnTahriQuestion7

What motivates me every day to be even more successful?

I don’t actually think of myself as successful.  I just feel I’m lucky to do what I do. and I put my whole heart in it. I’m not sure what successful means because depending on the criteria I m actually not successful at all.

I don’t earn enough money to keep me going’,  so I’m lucky that I have multiple things that I do because it keeps me floating but I engage with what I believe in and what I love and do it to the fullest.

For the past year, for example I’ve been doing visual arts. I started about five years ago, but over the past year I’ve  basically only been doing exhibitions and visual art projects,  and I’ve done at least four exhibitions that year and I have four or five to come this year,  and I love each and everyone, they’re different topics.

And I guess it’s being able to use different formats in order to deal with all the questions you have personally and try to find a way to express them.

So as much as my documentaries are extremely talkative,  my visual arts work or my contemporary arts work there isn’t a single words its just visual, I think having an alternative format to grapple with more or less  same issues is wonderful, so I put my whole heart into it and try to do it as best as I can

8.What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

# CreatePreneurAfricaJihanTahri question8

 

The people who doubted me……  well I guess there’s people who still doubt me. People will always doubt others, but what will I tell them?……. I’ll tell them good luck, go find your own passion and go do something beautiful and that you believe in.

I don’t really pay attention to people who doubt me or don’t doubt me because I don’t particular…I guess…care..

I don’t care. what I’m seen as, as long as I’m doing what I think is the right thing and as long as I don’t overstep boundaries, not politically speaking of course, but overstep boundaries like don’t  forecast in terms of cultural and other things.

I most of the time work with stories that I believe in and care about but I’m not part of the community I’m talking about, like for example my film about Zambia or my film about South Africa.

I lived there I cared about it but I’m a not Zambian and I’m not South African, so I do care about not overstepping cultural borders, that in order for my work to remain relevant, in order for the people from that place identify with it too. but obviously you never win everybody and if you do win everybody  over….then you’ve done something wrong, as there is always one side of the story that wants negate the other,

 9.What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

CreatePreneurAfrica JihanTahriQuestionairre9

 

I must say I get very touched  and almost embarrassed now that my age is advancing, young people come up to me  and tell me that you know  that look up to me or  that I inspire them, it’s very touching  because I guess one never thinks that work one does will resound on a much larger scale

 

What do I have as advice….. I  basically will repeat what I have said over and over hold on to the stories you care about and go out and find  out  about them,

Don’t let people tell you what they about, go find your own angle go expose find discover engage with what matters to you,  and I think even when people tell you oh you not the right person to do so,,oh you this oh you not allowed  that,  forget about all this something that you feel matters to you.

Go out and get it, and give it time and give it love, AND I UNDERLINE, GIVE IT TIME…because in our day and age its much more time than money makes a difference.

Money is obviously important but money is the way lots of people sell there soul, so if you care about something go find money in a different sector, but with your passion, give it TIME, give it LOVE.

And  if it doesn’t give you enough money,  don’t sell your soul for money, get the money somewhere else we all have multiple skills, so find that skill, I’ve translated, I worked as a driver …..I’ve done everything under the sun when I needed money, there’s no shame in working, so follow your passion.

 

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Pan Africa media proprieter – Our Voice of Africa : Rosie Motene

Rosie Motene,  actor, radio and tv presenter has taken  Africa to the world stage.

No jokes.... the accredited international laughter coach, has excelled the media world as a speaker, global emcee and author of note.


And she has summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa more than once! Rosie joined the Africa Unite Campaign to stop violence against women and girls in Africa. She summited Kilimanjaro in 2014 to raise awareness for the Tomorrow Trust

“We all have our own journeys and its important to create that but also at your own pace””

She runs a podcast series, Pan African Connect, engaging with
topics in line with her three passions in
life….. Women, Africa, and the arts.

Another achievement reaching heights is when she founded the first Pan African talent agency, Waka talent agency, representing the multitude of talent from the motherland of Africa, from television presenters, brand ambassadors, digital influencers emcees, and speakers.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS

South African Style Awards 2003:

Rosie Motene
Most stylish media personality.

2006

Rosie Motene
Top 5 best dressed
women in South Africa.

N a l e d i T h e a t r e
Awards

Rosie Motene

Award for
role in The Vagina Monologues.

L e g e n d s A w a r d s Ceremony:

R o s i e  Motene

L i f e – t i m e
Achievement Award.

The TAVA:
WAF 2013:
Best producer award and Best African film for
“ Man on Ground” featuring Hakkem Kae Kazim

Women’s advancement forum

Rosie Motene:

Award for her efforts
in fighting against women abuse at the

 

HOTEL RWANDA

Big screen  debut ,
for the Oscar-nominated  film,Hotel Rwanda,



THE OTHER WOMAN

Rosie played the lead in The Heartlands
film, directed by Cindy Lee and lensed
by Lance Gewer who lensed Tsotsi.


NOTHING BUT THE
TRUTH:
Lead actor alongside
Jon Kani in  the filmic adaptation of his
theatrical piece.

 

GENERATIONS: South African Broadcasting Corporation ( SABC1)

BUBOM SANNA:   A drama series themed on aspiring models

TV TOWN: A  television drama for children

STRAY BULLET:

MNET New directions
Patrick Shai film

ZABALAZA: Mzansi magic
show.
Broadcasting Venture

NTV & Spark TV Uganda

Head of productions, programming and acquisitions.


Meet CreatepreneurAfrica- Rosie Motene- Shining Light on Africa

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

Women, Africa, and the arts.

I love being a woman and I am incredibly proud of who I have become. As I
have moved into my 40’s I’ am loving and cherishing the inner strength and
power that I have.
I simply love our continent from his challenges, hidden treasure and power
that it holds.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

I was a dancer as a child and completed my exams all the way to teachers
level.
After school, I was accepted into the BA dramatic arts and it was at the end of
my first year when a friend pushed me to audition for a play. On the curtain
call on the premiere night, being on that stage, I realized that that was where I
needed to be.

What about your passion appeals to you the most?

mmm…… the fact that I can live, eat and breathe it. I can incorporate it into my
everyday life.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

I strongly believe that if you are not passionate about your career and work, you will be unhappy and bored. So over the last decade, I only work on passion-driven projects

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

I was in a beacon chocolate advert, whilst studying at Wits.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

I have never thought about giving up. I believe that talent is a gift and for me to
give up on that gift from God, would be an insult.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I have inspired many women from all around the world. I am also aware that
my life can be taken away at any point and so every day I aim to live my best
life.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Hahahahaha it’s not about you but thanks for the push and drive.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

Take time to discover you, create a path that defines you and feeds your passion.
Build a thick skin and go out and be whomever you want to be.

#CreatePreneurAfrica- Africa icon Hakeem Kae Kazim- takes the world cinema stage by storm!

 

A trillion words are not enough to spell out the boundless achievements by our Nigerian born Africa icon, lead actor and producer, Hakeem Kae Kazim.

@hakeemkaekazim - INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER

World-renowned actor, Hakeem Kae Kazim is best known for his work in the  Black Sails series and Hotel Rwanda.

Growing up in London. his initial interest in acting was ignited in early years as his passion in school plays and the National Youth Theatre sparked off.

After graduating from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, he joined The Royal Shakespeare Company and continued classical training.

Hakeem successfully progressed with several appearances in British television, The Bill, Trial & Retribution and Grange Hill, a popular BBC series.

He relocated to South Africa, where he initially became known for the infamous Fresca commercial and several television and film roles. After his portrayal of  Georges Rutaganda in Hotel Rwanda,  an Oscar-nominated, critically acclaimed film, he rooted into international attention.

 

This is when Hakeem followed a range of opportunities streaming his way and relocated to Los Angeles.

He appeared in Slipstream along with  Sean Astin, The Front Line and starred as Captain Jocard, in the huge success, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

This followed  X-Men Origins: Wolverine, another blockbuster.

  • Lost
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Criminal Minds.
  • Colonel Iké Dubaku in Fox television series 24 and the tie-in movie
  • Gotham and Dominion,
  •  Starz series – Black Sails
  • The Fourth Kind
  • Roots: chronicles the life and times of an African slave  sold To America

His latest role is in Dynasty, a critically acclaimed soapie that premiered in 1981, playing  Cesil Colby in the show.

The calm before the storm. 🎬 Dynasty on The CW #hakeemkaekazim #cesilcolby #dynasty #naijameetsusa

He also starred as Ade in  Man on Ground, an Akin Omotoso film. This was reuniting with Akin after initial collaboration with the feature film God is African that highlighted xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

 

He pledges his support for a brighter for the motherland of Africa

“It is time for African story to set stage  from the African perspective on the world stage of cinema”

Hakeem Kae Kazim

.

 Welcome! Meet #CreatePreneurAfrica – Hakeem Kae Kazim

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

My family and my work drive me

 

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

My passion is my work as an actor/ producer.
I found my passion or first hints of it when I did my first play at school when I was 11. And really truly knew it was my passion after my first year in the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain aged 15.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

Everything about my passion appeals to me.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

Nothing, as I do my passion and am lucky enough to get paid for it.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

My first job after drama school at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon in the U.K.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

Never thought about giving up

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I am motivated by the love of my work and the happiness of my family.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

Don’t really think about the people who doubted me as they never told me to my face so I don’t know who they are or would be and wouldn’t want to.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

To all those aspiring creatives I say live your passion, for then you will never work a day in your life!!!

 

CreatepreneurAfrica – Cape Town filmmaker Kurt Orderson conquers the world with ‘Azania Rizing’

Cape town filmmaker, Kurt Orderson explored artistic expression in his early lifetime beginnings. After mastering crafts of his creations from his backyard in the Cape 'ghettos'(beyond Table Mountain),he ventured out into the world, rising up to becoming one of Africa's leading filmmakers.

Kurt initiated his career during his studies as a trainee at the SABC, ( South African Broadcasting Corporation), earning mere stipends for daily living expenses.

He defined his unique aesthetic voice and was soon acknowledged as a director and cinematographer on several key productions.

He founded his independent production company, “Azania Rizing”.

“Azania Rizing” is a tool for the African diaspora to rise up and map African legacies around the world on a global storytelling platform.

His major works include:

  •  Definition of Freedom, examining the role of  Hip Hop in South Africa. It was screened at the Toronto and Vancouver  hip-hop festival  winning the best documentary award at the Atlanta Hip hop film festival
  •  Tribute to Lucky Dube, the tribute to legendary reggae artist Lucky Dube was filmed in South Africa, London, and Jamaica. It was awarded the Best Documentary  Award at the  Silicon Valley African Film Festival in  2013.
  • The Pan-African Express, a journey of six young men, students from Atlanta who travel to  South Africa and trying to understand people living with  HIV and Aids. The film was funded by The Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
  • Eldorado, a feature chronicles the journey of four friends in a Gauteng township in South Africa. It won the Special mention South Africa Feature film at the  Durban International Film Festival in 2011
  •  Breathe Again,  features Derrick Orderson, a marginalized swimmer from the  Cape Flats who rose above his livelihood in an abnormal society of inhumane prejudice. It was screened at the Encounters film festival and Durban International Film Festival and several film festivals worldwide.
  • The Prodigal Son 
  • Visibly Invisible

“The Unseen Ones”

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” Bob Marley

Current Projects

Not in My Neighborhood explores spatial violence, current gentrification and the post-apartheid era. It compares Cape Town , Johannesburg and New York uncovering the threads that exist between people that are miles apart.

 

Picture for the documentary Not in my Neighborhood. September 2016 – São Paulo – Brazil

#CreateoreneurAfrica – The Soul Journey of Kurt Orderson

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

What drives me is ultimately the great history and achievements of Africa, and I guess also within a broad order global perspective is my people that inspire me and drive me. I am from South Africa, a very specific region in South Africa, Cape Town.

More specifically I am from a township from that is part of a strip of what would be known as the “ghettos”,  the Cape Flats, there is a rich history of storytelling, a great significance of the epicenter of what the foundation of the space, basically built on the legacy of apartheid. The legacy of architectural and apartheid spatial planning ideally separated people  (which was an actual policy with the group areas act ) that had a great significance of breaking up families, literally…… families scattered.

I think what maintains a traditional oral form of storytelling, obviously remained significant, it inspired my body of work ultimately that’s my drive, Africa’s history, Africa’s achievements. One is inspired by  Africa’s legacy, the epicenter of academia and  Timbuktoo…storytelling and the arts and crafts of storytelling ultimately started there and spread across the globe.

My true passion….well I am very passionate about just listening, sitting and listening to people telling stories, whether happy or sad,  ultimately passion for me personally, is driven by a deep desire of wanting to change the landscape of..change  how people perceive each other. I think it’s those stories of those people who done it in the past and are still doing it, that’s what drives my passion. I am inspired by their passion, I think I apply it to my life.That for me is what passion is. Passion goes deeper, the engine or driving force for one to do something. I think ultimately wanting to do something is ultimately passion…the driving force…

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

How did I find my passion….well that’s an interesting question? I think for me when I finished high school, I was definitely inspired by the visual medium and visual arts. There was obviously the influence of television and Hollywood tv,  I guess, but also my parents influenced me.

My father was a screen printer, which is ultimately a visual artist, although he didn’t call himself that, based on conditioning of the system that shaped him, apartheid South Africa. The idea that you were limited to do certain things when it comes to art black folks were deprived in a large historical moment of what the status quo says what you do and what you can become. My father is a strong reference to creating images and applying it to a t-shirt, applies similarly script to screen.

I think its an interesting analogy, metaphor for making films, taking a rich traditional medium and applying it to my work. I think that is how I found my passion.

How old was I?   I think my first reference to start noticing…I don’t know if I can say noticing, more where I picked up the idea that I was passionate about the visual medium, I think I was maybe thirteen years old or fourteen…..

I was locked out of my parent’s house, of course. That time there were no cellphones. I’m from a family of a family of five kids, my parents both worked, I was locked out one day.  I went to the backyard, my father had a workshop in the back of the yard, and I found a hammer and flat nose screwdriver.

I used the hammer and flat nose to carve out my name on a piece of wood and was quite impressed by myself. Wow, no one before that necessarily initiated anything like that. I wasn’t exposed to artistic expression and multiple forms of what artists do, I carved out my name, varnished it and made it immaculate. Later on meeting people who carved for a profession, creating amazing things. I always reference my first carving, that was my flame of inspiration for being an artist, use a visual medium for storytelling.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

What about my passionate appeals to me the most… I guess the privilege to being a filmmaker, that being my passion but also to add to that, I feel very blessed to basically get paid for my passion, for my hobby… I would say …because we love film so much I  will do it for free, that’s how deep our passion for cinema lies…and getting paid to do something you love, your passion is a heavy blessing.

What appeals to me most is the idea of  shared history and shared knowledge, when someone allows you into their household to tell you their stories…. you being inspired and, relating on a level of  “oh I knew someone who had a similar idea about this or that .”

 I think that is what the driving force is …..sharing communal space, sharing narratives, sharing stories,  sharing politics, sharing knowledge….that for me a strong appeal to my passion…

What drove you to make money from your passions?

What drove me to make money out of my passion…well you know in real talk, not to romanticize the question too much. We, unfortunately, live in a very capitalist society, we inherited capitalism,, were born into a capitalistic society…..that on one level, right,, that reality of things, we need to eat right, we need to sustain ourselves… in terms of monetary exchange we apple or tomato,whatever……what well I just realised that my craft, my talent, my blessing, I can get paid for it.

For me, there was a strong driving force around craft, like crafting what is my voice, what is my aesthetic, what does Kurt bring across in a common sharing space as a filmmaker as a storyteller. It was first defining my voice, after defining that idea, that is when I felt to make money.

People  want to hire you, because they want that aesthetic that you ideally represent, that was my passion for making art and getting paid for my art, as an independent filmmaker, as an African filmmaker, things are rough out there…and we want to tell our own stories on our own terms, the system itself makes it very difficult for us to sustain ourselves. I need to work like a plumber who works with tools and I need to buy those tools. That is the reality of things

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

The first time I got paid for something… I can’t recall exactly when that was when that moment was…there was a few moment I think. I think  I worked on a television show and I was a contestant, but I also worked on a show. It was a show on SABC2, I was like 18 or 19.

We were trainees and there was a little  stipend that they paid us for traveling money or whatever. It was for generic work on set like organizing cables and assisting the floor, production. I remember very little , but that’s when I realised you can get paid for this. I was still studying at that time as well.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

What kept me going. I have come through multiple crossroads moments asking myself is this really sustainable, what I do, filmmaking? Filmmaking is really hard, difficult, expensive artistic form to choose. A painter can get some canvas and some paints  make a  killer piece, get to an art market  for a million and boom there we go

For filmmakers, the reality of getting a camera, getting all the equipment you need, and then on top of it, getting a team to operate the tools, that’s a whole process on its own. These things are hard when you off the grid and not part of the mainstream in the system and don’t necessarily want to be part of it.

That’s a very conscious choice, you can just join tv and become a commissioning editor, produce for television and things will be different, it will be a completely different narrative, everything is there,, there is funding for you and they hire you.

Food, clothes and shelter have no politics.

Mutabaruka

As an independent filmmaker or producer, it is very difficult… I only recently mastered the art form of really raising money for my films, for many years my films were independent, self-funded at times.

Now its like I understand more about the industry, how to write the right proposals, and apply to the right people and getting the money and managing the money.

When you at the lowest moment at the crux, paying rent, paying teams, paying crews, and rejections. Rejection is a big thing for filmmakers , filmmakers are sensitive beings, we are fragile as well  in this…. broken world

These are all the challenges that come on your journey, it applies to life as well… life ain’t easy.  The world is not nice, the world is cruel, the life we find peace and sanity within ourselves, the people close to you. There are your therapists, they are your motivational speakers, they push you and say we believe in you, that’s what keeps me going.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

 

What motivates me to be successful, what motivation every day. Whats the motivation?  I think this idea that, on one level is that  African history, African stories were for the longest time ever was told through the voice of the colonizer and the aesthetic and the lens of the colonizer…..

These were told in a biased fashion…for me now, as a fellow African filmmaker, it is our duty. I feel strongly for film to be part of the restoration process, the healing journey that we are experiencing and going through as black people across the globe and the trauma that we collectively experience.

How do we heal? What are the healing mechanisms? Now to be honest with you, we don’t have a clear answer to that question. I feel collective communal sharing through a  very powerful visual medium like television or film, then you can project to the rest of the world and share that and say in order for us to be this idea of one world and one shared history.

Everyone has to have the opportunity to share their stories through there own  POV or point of view,  I think that’s powerful ways of sharing. We all have common stories. We share a common history of people all over the world which ultimately makes us human.

Every generation blames the generation before them.

 

Racial ideas and ideology, culture and religion etcetera, are just all divisive mechanisms put in place for a form divide, rule and conquer….not to be cliched,  we have the same blood and all of that. I have transformed, transgressed that phase. I have passed that idea

Anger is fine. Anger is important. We have to be angry. We can’t all just hear  I am sorry and forgive right now,

What if I don’t want to forgive you right, now, and maybe  I want to make a film about that as part of the idea of forgiveness, as collective forgiveness.

That makes film become an interesting mechanism and medium, for multiple purposes. I feel,  personally, we can use film a methodology of social healing for healing the self and healing communities.

 

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

What I have to say about all the people who doubted me…interesting question.  I always think about, one person comes to mind, a schoolteacher.

I wasn’t necessarily the greatest student, to be honest in high school.  I  probably could have done more. I was like, reckless and mischievous. I would say, I gave a lot of trouble.

Was I a rebel? Not sure, I don’t want to throw those words around. One teacher just didn’t like me. I was thinking about her the other day,

I think you always doubted me, I don’t think you ever believed in me, and now that my work is out there in the mainstream? I wonder if she saw my name out there. I wonder what she would think, after seeing what I had done.

I don’t want to reference people that doubted me.  I am not going to make a film for people. I make films am driven to or inspired to make. I don’t care about whether people agree with my standpoint, I love those who love me on the real level, beyond blood, blood relatives. My family is universal.  I am very blessed. We share this brokenness.As a broken people, we come together and we form this path of healing, the heal of our wounds….

What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

What advice do I give to those aspiring creatives that look up to me?

The advice ideally would be to always use motivation. The idea of keeping it moving or just do it.  Life is about the idea of inspiring the other, inspiring other people. I think for me,  that is what life is about. Me inspiring other people and continuing the human change of inspiration.

One has to know your craft, know your blessing, identify your blessing.  But also knowing that this is a  very complicated world that we living in. There will be multiple stumbling blocks with a lot of us.  You carrying the torch, you carrying the great torch of your ancestors. You dont have a choice  , you have to keep that torch alight. That is the flame, the driving force, the fuel.

More important is to have a voice. Have a political voice. I don’t mean party politics.  Having a geopolitical view of the world and its complexities. An understanding of global politics. Deciphering the bullshit of what the news tells you, projecting that in your work. Be that change you ultimately want to see.

What you see is what you see. What you know is different

Mutabaruka

Welcome #ExploremotherlandAfrica

Slavery is not African history. Slavery interrupted African history.

Mutabaruka

“#CreatePreneurAfrica” Launching Soon: Publication of the Millenium!

 

COMING SOON. GET READY FOR #CREATEPRENEUR AFRICA. Drop in your details in the form below, if you feel you fit in  #CreatepreneurAfrica and feature in the launch of the millennium

Meet  our top  #CreatePeneurAfrica features thus far:

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Nigeria’s sounds of ‘Positive Force’ – Femi Kuti

 

#CreatePreneurAfrica, Tanzania Rhythm with Saxophonist Zephania Malembela

ALL THE WAY FROM MADAGASCAR: Meet Lalah Raindimby, extraordinaire root Madagascar songstress and musician with several social causes for nurturing the future of Madagascar

#CreatePrenuerAfrica: South Africa’s Usha Seejarim’s soul journey into artistic realms linking human connectivity

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Riaan Hendricks, prolific South African filmmaker on the “Ramothopo the Centenarian” journey

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Island of Madagascar- Lalah Raindimby

ALL THE WAY FROM TANZANIA:  Meet Pablo Zungu Createpreneur Extraordinaire

‘#CreatepreneurAfrica’ – Pablo Zungu Art wonders in Tanzania

ALL THE WAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA: Meet Tu Nokwe– LIving Music Legend and more!

 

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Conversations with Tu Nokwe

 

#CreatepreneurAfrica -Nigeria’s broadcaster,Tushbee the Tori Goddess……

ALL THE WAY FROM EAST AFRICA: Meet Shabani Mpita,  specialized field and tour guide  as well as a creative artist

http://exploremotherlandafrica.com/turning-creative-passions-into-profit/

#CreatepreneurAfrica : Story-teller, Poet and Filmmaker, Cape Town’s Weaam Williams

From Lagos Nigeria, Dance Sensation Taiwo Soyebo the founder of Tourism expression, poetry, and arts festival, T.E.P.A.F

#CreatepreneurAfrica @Taiwo Soyebo – Dancing away in Nigeria

 

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Cape Town’s ‘global lens’ wonder Ayesha Kae-Kazim

From Morogoro Tanzania- Meet the world of animation and the JUU Afrikan Festival Clenga Ngatigwa

CreatePreneurAfrica@Cleng’a Ng’atigwa- Animation and traditional music in Tanzania

From Bagamoyo in Tanzania – Meet drummer from the acrobat and drummer group, Mafisi, meet Thomas Mura.

“#CreatepreneurAfrica @Thomas Mura: Soul Rhythm from Bagamoyo

 

From Tanzania, meet master sculptor and artist  Saidi Mbungu, and his passion to share his skill and uplift coming generations with his Africa Modern Art project.

“#CreatepreneurAfrica @Thomas Mura: Soul Rhythm from Bagamoyo

#CreatePreneurAfrica Zziwa Aaron Alone, Uganda’s King of Guerilla Fimmaking!

 

Filmmaker taking the World by Storm- Meet Kurt Orderson– Azania Rizing!

CreatepreneurAfrica – Cape Town filmmaker Kurt Orderson conquers the world with ‘Azania Rizing’

 

From South Africa meet the award-winning actress, storyteller and community leader Andrea Dondolo.

#CreatePreneurAfrica-Andrea Dondolo, Queen Spirit Shining Light in South Africa

Tantalizing Tastebud Treat sensation- Chef Li!

CreatePreneurAfrica -Tastebud treats from Chef Li

 

Hakeem Kae-Kazim , Africa’s leading actor taking the world cinema stage by storm!

#CreatePreneurAfrica- Africa icon Hakeem Kae Kazim- takes the world cinema stage by storm!

 

He is about to spread light all over Africa. Meet our leading scientist Emmanuel Obayagbona

#CreatePreneurAfrica-Meet Africa’s Fastest Rising Scientist : Emmanuel Obayagbona

Our Pan African media proprietor Rosie Motene takes center stage in raising Africa’s stream of talent.

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Pan Africa media proprieter – Our Voice of Africa : Rosie Motene

Africa’s poetic vision meet Kariuki wa Nyamu, sharing his journey into the light of words.

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Africa Poetic vision : Kenya’s Kariuki wa Nyamu

Proudly Tanzanian actor Kihaka GND is ready to shine, universally!

#CreateprenuerAfrica – Proudly Tanzanian Actor – Kihaka GND

Mak Manaka ,South Africa poet-  spreading the word with  soul purpose

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Jihan El Tahri, Egyptian filmmaker  raises consciousness with awakening documentaries across the continent

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Visionary Soul Filmmaker Jihan El Tahri

 

Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru in his spectacular vision of spectacles

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Nigerian Fashionista UKachukwu Okechukwu journeys us through his design of the century vision

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Nigerian Fashionista Supreme – Ukachukwu Okechukwu

 

Meet Donald Molosi – he has some critical love letter for humanity!

CreatePreneurAfrica – Botswana’s Donald Molosi’s “Critical love letters to Humanity”

Mountaineer Monde Sitole is taking Africa to new heights. Are we ready to join him and reach new peaks?

#CreatePreneurAfrica- Mountaineer Monde Sitole, Peak performance “Reaching Heights of Soul Liberation”

 

 

Meet trailblazer filmmaker Vincent Moloi. The voice of the nation

#CreatepreneurAfrica Vincent Moloi : Trailblazer filmmaker capturing human existence dynamics!

#CreatepreneurAfrica – La Famosà – Dominican fashion mogul in Uganda

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Oluwabukola Michael Nelson, Making Nigerian dreams a reality!

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#CreatepreneurAfrica, Liberian Patrice Juah – “A Gem of Unimaginable Proportions”

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Nigeria’s Lieutenenant Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu

Action movies from Africa made on shoestring budgets

Filmmakers from Africa, steering away from conventional film school rules produce movies that grab the attention of audiences in their regions.
 
Teamwork with  an understanding of creating a great piece from passion makes it possible to produce low-cost movies and showcases promising filmmakers and actors

 

Nigerian movies took the lead in creating a pathway for marketing and distributing African culture internationally. Nollywood created a list of stars over the past 2 decades.  Other African countries followed suit and created their local versions.

In South Africa, Joziwood  takes the lead of shoestring budgets for movies and Zollywood in Zimbabwe

The success of Nollywood comes from telling African stories, the African way that western movies never could capture. Nollywood sparked off a cultural phenomenon all across the continent contributing $600 million annually to the Nigerian economy.

The common themes of movies from Africa revolve around love, power, money and corruption. Wakaliwood from Uganda as carved a niche into action films. It combines martial arts elements from China and action moves from the west into local Ugandan culture. combines martial arts elements from China and action moves from the west into local Ugandan culture.

In the midst of a fledgling movie business in Uganda,  filmmaker Isaac Nabwana is a name synonymous with the homegrown world of movies, Wakaliwood. He has completed over forty low-budget movies from the slums in Kampala in a makeshift studio has found a cult of ongoing followers online. One such follower, a film festival director Alan Hofmanis, a film festival director in the US was so captured and flew all to Uganda to witness films being made for a documentary

He has completed over forty low-budget movies from the slums in Kampala in a makeshift studio. has found a cult of ongoing followers online. One such follower, a film festival director Alan Hofmanis, a film festival director in the US was so captured and flew all to Uganda to witness films being made on meagre budgets and filmed the workings in the ramshackle studio  that makes jibs and props from DIY parts

Making movies for those that succeed with low budgets comes from passion and working with a team sharing ideals.  Who killed captain Alex  was made with US200. The most expensive movie Isaac Nabwana has made attracted foreign media including Al Jazeera and the BBC. . Reality scenes like riots in the streets provide perfect scenes for adding spice to action movies.

The action movie Who Killed Captain Alex registered a huge YouTube success . The trailer has exceeded 2.6 million views.

When he started in 2005 Nabwana never had the slightest idea that anyone out of the Wakaliga slum in Kampala would view his productions. Youtube brought Wakaliwood to grab an international following.

The action scenes in his movies are so unique that even the local Ugandan language dialogue does not matter. The movie has evolved into English voice-overs to appeal to audiences on a wider level. The spice of local dialect brings out the best performances by actors.

From a studio in the informal settlement of Wakaliga, Nabwana, eats, sleeps and dreams up action movie concepts and wakes up to make them into realities.

Welcome to the ultimate vision of our times.  #ExploreMotherlandAfrica