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Thursday, July 25, 2019


(Mzwandile Makhanya)

University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Film and media studies lecturer in the School of Arts, Mzwandile Makhanya has been nominated for a 2019 Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Film and Television Award in the Best Student Film category.

The awards, which started in 2013 to promote KwaZulu-Natal talent, are named after Sabela who was South Africa’s first black film director.

The nominated movie Ubizo is about a shy and self-conscious theatre caretaker who has to overcome his greatest fears in order to fight for his biggest dream of becoming a professional dancer.

“The idea for the movie came from my 2018 film honours student Natalia Bombala who was at UKZN on the Erasmus Mundus Programme on an exchange programme from the Humboldt University in Berlin,” said Makhanya.

“As a lecturer, I was listed as a co-producer. The movie was produced as part of the honours course, which is a very participatory programme with the whole class getting very involved in each student’s film production.”

His advice to other aspiring filmmakers is to never give up. “Without commitment, you will never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you will never finish. It is not easy. Keep working, keep striving. Fall down seven times, get up eight! Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

Asked about his future plans, Makhanya said: “The vision is to produce films that will put KZN on the national and international map.”