Velocity Afrika, is a dedicated division primarily focused on producing commercials within the continent of Africa. Their philosophy is to give Africa an identity and a footprint on the world, through her stories. This undertaking is realised through the collaboration of the Velocity Afrika team who share this vision.
The Players: Executive Producer Monareng Makwetla and Executive Partner and Director Mpho (Gift) Twala both spear-head the ship. No two sides of a coin are the same, giving the team the range that it defines itself upon. VA's expansion over the first few years has seen the additions of Producer Sabelo Mahlangu and Director Zwelethu Radebe who both share the same vision: to generate change in the continent's industry.
With the dream of a borderless Africa, the VA boys value their uncanny ability to shoot anywhere from deserts of Mali to the forests of Cameroon. There is a strong culture and belief to nurture the future storytellers in Africa by equipping them with the tools and resources to be able to tell their own stories, speaking in their own voices.
Afrique je t'aime.
MPHO (GIFT) TWALA
Dedicated filmmaker Mpho "Gift" Twala has thirteen years experience in the industry. Having started his career as a production assistant on a television series in 1997, Gift's unique penchant for attention to detail, his easy ability to deal with agencies and clients and his experience of the production processes assured a rapid rise through the ranks to his ultimate goal of directing.
With experience that spans the globe, Gift's range is just as varied and includes all forms of film including commercials for key clients such as Sony Ericsson, Johnnie Walker, Opel, Nokia, Nike and MTN as well as a stint with world renowned director Peter Jackson on the Oscar-nominated feature film "District 9".
Gift has produced commercials for some of Africa's leading advertising agencies including Ogilvy, King James and Metropolitan Republic and spent several years in Europe working at Caviar one of Belgium's top production companies. It is here that Gift learnt the solutions driven skills that he is honing today as a director. His desire to make films that are relevant to Africa and its people formed the basis for his partnership with well-known local producer Monareng Makwetla at the helm of Velocity Afrika.
WITH OVER TEN YEARS' EXPERIENCE IN THE FILM AND BROADCAST INDUSTRY, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER MONARENG MAKWETLA HAS A VAST AND VARIED RANGE OF EXPERTISE. HAVING BEGUN HIS CAREER IN 1999 AS AN ASSISTANT DIRECTOR ON COMMERCIALS AND MUSIC VIDEOS, HE HAS MANAGED TO COMBINE THIS KNOWLEDGE WITH HIS ACCUMULATED EXPERIENCE OF PRODUCTION PROCESSES TO BECOME A PRODUCER FOR A NUMBER OF TOP COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION HOUSES IN SOUTH AFRICA.
The prodigy that is Zwelethu Radebe got the attention of Velocity's producer, Peter Carr, who handpicked Zweli as part of Velocity's mentorship philosophy. This natural-born filmmaker spent much of his youth behind the lens, recreating his favourite action scenes with nothing but a 8mm camcorder and his BMX. He has literally been directing all his life - filmmaking is very much engrained in him, and yet it is not his only talent.
Zwelethu is an adept narrator and storyteller and this is evident in his work: he has won numerous awards for his film, The Hajji, and is often invited to speak at numerous festivals where his film is shown, captivating audiences with his broad knowledge and passion for filmmaking.
He excels in character-driven and emotive stories: directing South African musician and celebrity Kabelo Mabalane in a television advert for his reality TV series - Kabelo's Bootcamp - was a "passion job" for Zweli. The young filmmaker had a lot of pride and reverence for the script that he wrote, conceptualised and executed.
Zwelethu has a classic personality and is described by his colleagues as an "old soul" and a gentleman. He is wise beyond his years and has a wondrous strength, focus and sensitivity about him. He has a good work ethic and is someone one can always count on; he shows remarkable authenticity and an innate sense of pride in his craft.