Media personality and entrepreneur Nontobeko Sibisi has been selected to participate in a coveted international filmmaking program called Durban Talents, an initiative of The Berlin International Film Festival, part of six international initiatives of Berlinale Talents. Nontobeko fought her way past 400 storytelling hopefuls from across the continent to secure her spot – after thorough adjudication only 27 projects and 4 film critics, representing 16 countries made the final selection. Nontobeko is one of two documentary projects from South Africa amongst others.
Johannesburg – July 19, 2022 –Award-winning Storyteller and Broadcaster Nontobeko Sibisi Ups The Game now adding filmmaker to her professional repertoire. This career building opportunity will see the Broadcaster, TV Producer & Director expand her business portfolio to also include filmmaking under her media production and virtual solutions company Okay Sho! Media. Nontobeko is the founder and creative director leading her team of South Africa’s unique storytelling experts promising to uncover the Okay Sho! Moment within every production. They are innovative and passionate about storytelling & building connected virtual communities.
Nontobeko Yamantungwa Sibisi is a young South African artist and creative entrepreneur who is passionate about African arts, culture, history, heritage and indigenous knowledge. When she’s not on-screen as a TV Talk Show Host on DSTV’s ‘Show Me Love’ or acting as Sheila on Mzansi favorite telenovela GOMORA, Nontobeko is the founder and CEO of Okay Sho! Media. A production company that focuses on original African stories and indigenous content making the most of Nontobeko’s passions and extensive experience in broadcast TV, conceptualizing, producing, directing, and scripting content for local and international audiences “I believe that this experience will help me be even more effective in telling stories through film under my production company” says the TV Producer & Director.
Nontobeko Sibisi was born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal, where she was constantly exposed to the rich, vibrant culture and indigenous knowledge systems of her people. This, together with her fond relationship with her grandparents, had a huge impact on the documentary filmmaker “telling stories and having meaningful conversations was always going to be inevitable I guess – my great-grandmother was a captivating storyteller, I miss that feeling of connectedness when sharing story – I miss having resonating conversations about story. I want to carry that energy in my work as a filmmaker, now it’s time to collaborate share it with the world” adds the young storyteller.
Nontobeko Sibisi graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism & Media Studies degree from Rhodes University. Before graduating the TV Producer & Director was head head-hunted by the SABC, she initially started her time on campus media as a feature’s writer for the Mail & Guardian’s campus publication called ‘Campus Times’. But a big part of her heart and time was spent on campus radio – Rhodes Music Radio. Initially as a news reader, producer and Music DJ / Radio presenter before working her way up to Programming Manager. The love and dedication for the airwaves (as well as my television production lectures) fortunately made itself tangible through winning a SABC News Award – Best News Reader, student category. The media talent also had her first international trip via Nigeria after being selected as part of a cohort of 36 young African storytellers trained to cover the buildup of the 2010 World Cup as well as the African Cup of Nation. The Twenty Ten Project, an initiative by World Press, Free Voice and Lokaalmondiaal. Her work would go on to win local and international awards such The Siemen’s Profile Award in Doha, Rhodes Top 100 Students including our station’s Best News Anchor, Best Radio Presenter & Station’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The long and colorful journey finally comes full circle for the versatile media talent and creative entrepreneur. Nontobeko is determined to make stories and storytelling accessible to anyone and everyone who resonates “there’s a demand of African stories and original African content – meaning there’s much bigger interest than ever before in who we are and how we are – we just have to tell and share our stories in intentional yet re-imagined ways” says Nontobeko.
To date the company has successfully collaborated and produced creative media productions, virtual conversations, web-series, Arts & Entertainment TV Shows on a variety of platforms with a core focus on television, radio, digital media, virtual and hybrid events. The filmmaker and TV Director’s work has been scheduled on various platforms such as Mzansi Magic, SABC TV & Radio, Kaya FM, The Mail & Guardian, eNCA/ETV, The City Press, Standard Bank Arts, and The National Arts Festival, DSTV Moja Love Channels, and BET Africa / Paramount Africa. “The industry has changed so much over the last few years especially the needs of audiences – I get really excited offering my clients creative solutions that meet their needs. I work with a lot of passion to add a “different spark” to our projects, this ensures we create honest and resonating content that’s always meaningful to the client and most importantly audience everywhere.” This is just one example of how Nontobeko is using her skills and personality to make a difference in the lives of others.
The former eNCA (DStv 403) arts and entertainment journalist is also a big advocate for cultural diversity in the media industry. She is working hard to ensure that African voices and bodies are heard and seen with agency. In 2017 she inspired a viral cultural revolution in newsrooms in the name of #RespekTheDoek #DoekTheNewroom #DoekForNonto – her TV story was taken off air after she appeared on screen wearing a doek. This saw thousands across platforms rally behind her dawning African doeks advocating that newsrooms embrace the rich cultural diversity and heritage of our country – where majority of the people look like me in colour. Nontobeko has long since been an inspiration to many young people in corporate environments as organizations began to revise conscious and unconscious cultural intolerances in workplaces. As much as I lost my job afterwards, I learnt a lot about about how far we need to go as a country when it comes to encouraging and embracing cultural and religious diversity not just in the workplace but with each other first and foremost. Nontobeko is proof that anything is possible if stay true to yourself. Especially to the many young people who are interested in documentary filmmaking, TV production and content production. Her work is helping to shape the future of documentary filmmaking. This is a true reminder that it is possible to pursue your dreams and make a difference in the world.
Nontobeko Sibisi has since successfully positioned herself as a Broadcaster, TV Talk Show Host, Filmmaker & TV Producer, she’s currently a member of the Documentary Filmmakers Association where she is horning her skills in documentary filmmaking. With the help of international filmmaking initiatives by The International Berlin Film Festival Nontobeko Sibisi currently working towards her documentary film debut under the mentorship of renowned South African director and producer behind Netflix’s Senzo Meyiwa Documentary Series Sara Blecher, SAFTA winning filmmaker and film professional Nadine Cloete as well as South African TV writer & producer for much loved shows such as eHostela, The Estate and Gaz’lam – Bongi Ndaba. Also featuring is Mohamed Siam, a member of The Academy-The Oscars, who is a fiction and documentary filmmaker. The filmmaker and TV producer says “I am so excited to be afforded such an exciting opportunity to grow as a creative artist – not just in the creative process but also in the business of film, this will certainly have an energizing ripple effect to the rest of our professional portfolio and service offerings.” adds Nontobeko.
Nontobeko Sibisi‘s work often focuses on stories that are honest, intimate, intentional and have impact in mind, which she believes are essential in order to connect with audiences. Her goal is to help small businesses and young filmmakers find their own voices and tell their own stories. “I am passionate about helping others tell their stories, and my work reflects this. I’m an honest storyteller who relies on resonance and energy work when creating work – I am not afraid to show the realities of life, which makes my documentaries all the more powerful” she added.
We can’t wait to see what she does next! Thanks for everything, Nontobeko!
If you would like to learn more about Nontobeko Sibisi and her work, please visit her website Okayshomedia