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Zanele's creativity adds punch to

By Edward Tsumele | Oct 08, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ZANELE Mthembu,'s head of local content development, is brimming with confidence and appears to be in such a buoyant mood.

ZANELE Mthembu,'s head of local content development, is brimming with confidence and appears to be in such a buoyant mood.

She should be because one of her innovative projects, a series of local dramas collectively called Ekasie Stories, have been unleashed this week.

The five drama series try to capture township lifestyles, from crime, love to greed, something that has been missing on our TV screens for sometime now.

And when Mthembu speaks about the depiction of township stories, she not only speaks with authority because she was born and bred in the township from where the stories emanate.

And as a trained filmmaker with a masters degree in filmmaking, she has the authenticity of being a film scholar to back her authority infilmmaking,

She still lives in Dube, Soweto, and most of the scenes were actually shot in the very township.

The executive has also worked at Penguin Films, one of the most important independent production companies in the country with a track record of excellence in delivering quality TV products for the enjoyment of the audiences.

The five productions were shot on location in Soweto, mostly in the homes of locals.

They were directed by veteran producer and director Vusi Twala.

Many actors, with the exception of a few such as Magic Hlatswayo and Mfana- Jones Hlophe, are first-time actors.

Another surprise first-timer is veteran radio man Treasure Tshabalala, who made a name for himself at Metro FM.

Secret Lovers was screened onMonday, Mama's Boy will be screened from October 12, Abducted begins on October 19, A Good Wife starts on October 26, and Chasing the Truth begins on November 2.

No doubt these local drama series will put the spotlight on Mthembu and her team because at the moment it is hard to find good quality local programming content on our TV screens.

"Here at because we are a small organisation, it is easier to interact with executives.

"And as far as doing local productions is concerned, we have so far done well with Scandal and Rhythm City. We made a decision to do more to unearth the stories from the townships.

"We were lucky that Vusi Twala came along and made a proposal. It is important for us to do these stories which connect directly with the majority of our audiences, 69 percent of whom are black people.

"However, the stories have a universal appeal in that they appeal even to those who live in the suburbs," said Mthembu.

She said she was passionate about these stories because they resonated with a lot of people living in the townships, where she was also staying at the moment.

Mthembu's rise at was nothing short of meteoric. She started as a producer for local programming and after year, she was appointed to her current position.


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