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Muvhango Executive Producer binds to vest local aspirant actors

Publishing Date : 03 February, 2020

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Creator and Executive Director of South African leading television soap opera Muvhango, Duma Ndlovu is expected in the country early next month to conduct acting auditions intended to select a certain number of Batswana actors who will be drawn into acting bridging course offered by Duma Ndlovu Actor’s Academy DNA.

To be held on the 1st February at Botho University, the auditions will give preference to graduates from Colleges and Universities who have been studying drama and television related courses but not closing doors to those who believe to be talented in acting.

In an interview with Weekend Life, Managing Director of Semi House Productions and Coordinator of FMM Trust Michael Mosipidi designated that the whole intention is to bridge the gap between students who have just graduated from performing arts institutions and show a keen interest to entering into the acting industry. ‘’Ndlovu has showed commitment to developing the arts and entertainment industry not only in Botswana, but throughout Southern Africa. This time around he will be here in the country to meet and infuse acting skills on film graduates who sees a niche in this industry.

The local acting industry has not being budding for quite a long time now and his visit here is only fitting so as to work on gaps that needed to be fixed’’ he said.The DNA Academy is a brainchild of Dr Ndlovu, who is also the Founder and Managing Director of Word of Mouth Pictures. Since its existence in South Africa in 2005, the academy has conducted a successful class of graduates offering a free of charge one-year bridging course that converted them into focused professional, ready and responsible enough to venture and do exceptionally well in the acting industry.

‘’Many aspiring actors in South Africa, who are relatively young graduated from these classes and most of them are surpassing in various theatre and television productions in South Africa, and for Ndlovu to be coming here, the whole aim is to reach the same goals. He wants young Batswana to consider acting as a career that can help uplift them, subsequently contributing towards the development of the industry and the economy of the country. It is a noble gesture coming from someone who is not a citizen of this country, and to be providing these classes for free, it’s just exceptional’’ Mosipidi noted.

According to Mosipidi, in South Africa, Ndlovu conducts classes of actors every Thursday and he made a pledge to carry-out the same particular course to the aspirant actors in Botswana last year. ‘’It was during our meeting that myself and other close networks of mine were assigned to organize the realization of this course here in Botswana for the year 2020. The class will open opportunities that will see our local actors performing at same competency with that of international counterparts in different local and international television productions. The aim of this relationship is to expose and export the local talent. We believe that the talent of our people can be a number strategy in diversification of our ailing economy’’

He stressed that in Botswana, a class of acting aspirants will be conducted after every two months for the whole of this year, saying that both auditions and the one-year acting course are free of charge.‘’This is a voluntary excise that is meant to raise the competency level of Batswana actors to the better and make them able to compete against their counterparts over the world. It is a continued generous support that Ndlovu through our partnership  conducted some acting auditions in which three of Batswana actors found a space to act in his popular soapy Muvhango just recently’’.

Meanwhile, during courtesy visit at the University of Venda Research Centre last year, Ndlovu sensitized students about the nature of the television industry and what they need to do to get into the industry. He said ‘’our youth of today focused more on becoming actors and actresses because they want fame. In the television industry there are several career paths that media studies students can partake. There is being a producer, script writer, interpreter, video editor, art director, content strategist and audio visual technician amongst others’’

He expressed that in his company, he hires only those who have qualifications as he believes in bringing new faces and talent in the industry. I encourage you to study hard until you graduate because now as we speak, I no longer anyone without a degree. Language representation is one of the most vital matters and this matter has triggered me to start a Tshivenda soap opera. Develop hunger and thirst for success. The industry needs individuals who are ambitious, self-motivated and determined’’.Muvhango is a South African television soap opera that has over 5.5 million viewers.

The first episode was aired on 7th April 1997 and it was the first Tshivenda language TV drama, but later became multi-lingual in order to showcase that languages and cultures of South Africa should be used to unite rather than divide. The creator of Muvhango Ndlovu is Zulu by ancestry, but can speak and is fluent in all South African languages.The show is built on a premise that people exist within a context. The show has strong family orientated storylines that seeks to speak to the conflict between the traditional and the modern ways.

The Vhakwevho’s are the custodians of the traditional side of the show while the Johannesburg lot focuses on the modern ways. In 2006 the series was nominated for the South African Film and Television Award for best soap opera.

 

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