The rise of a music journalist professional : Nontobeko Sibisi: 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. Read additional info on Nontobeko Sibisi.
Nontobeko has since foundered her own brainchild Okay Sho! Media. A creative media production and virtual solutions company focusing on original African stories and indigenous content focusing on arts, culture, history, heritage and indigenous knowledge. Nontobeko has extensive experience in broadcast TV – conceptualizing, producing, directing, and scripting content for local and international audiences. Her work has been scheduled on various platforms such as Mzansi Magic, SABC TV & Radio, Kaya FM, The Mail & Guardian, eNCA/ETV, City Press, Standard Bank Arts, and The National Arts Festival, DSTV Moja Love Channels, and BET Africa.
What stories do you want to focus on through film? Why? My interests have always been in the arts, culture and entertainment space. But as my sense of being continues to evolve, there’s been a louder call towards storytelling, preservation healing and archiving of our history, heritage and indigenous knowledge narratives in re-imagined ways. I’ve been learning to allow myself to be a vessel to many ideas that I’ve tried to intentionally note down, trusting that it will let me know again when it’s ready to be told and how it wants to be told. It’s such an intimate relationship/companionship that has to be carved, one that involves leaving your ego at the door, especially when talking about African history, heritage and indigenous knowledge.
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.
Documentary Filmmaker and Creative Media Producer – The long and colorful journey finally comes full circle for the versatile media talent and creative entrepreneur. Nontobeko has been recently selected for the 15th edition of Durban Talents, A Berlin International Film Festival initiative part of 6 Berlinale Talents across the globe. Here, she is being mentored by the continent’s leading filmmakers and producers such as Sarah Bletcher, Nadine Cloete, Bongi Ndaba, Iman Djionne, Mohamed Siam, Akosua Adoma Owusu to name a few. She 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. When she’s not working on content for audiences she’s intentionally healing on her Higher Ground Africa platform.
Nontobeko Sibisi has extensive experience in broadcast TV – conceptualizing, producing, directing, and scripting content for local and international audiences. She has recently merged her passion together with her innate curiosity and versatile skill set to bring about her brainchild, Okay Sho! Media. A creative media production & virtual solutions company specializing in storytelling & building connected virtual communities. Her work has been scheduled on various platforms such as Mzansi Magic, SABC TV & Radio, Kaya FM, The Mail & Guardian, eNCA/ETV, City Press, Standard Bank Arts, The National Arts Festival, DSTV Moja Love Channels, and BET Africa. Read extra details at Nontobeko Sibisi.
Honors & Awards
– Selected for Durban Talents, A Berlin International Film Festival Initiative. Issued by Durban FilmMart Institute · Jun 2022
– Proud alumna puts an innovative spin to 1st virtual National Arts Festival Issued by Rhodes University & National Arts Festival · Aug 2020
– Arts Journalism Awards Arts Journalism Awards Issued by National Arts Festival AND Business and Arts South Africa · Nov 2016; Associated with eNCA
– Commendation; Science and Journalism Profile Awards
– Commendation; Science and Journalism Profile Awards Issued by Science and Journalism Profile Award · Jan 2014
– Science and Technology Award (Student Category) Issued by Siemens Africa ; Profile Awards (DOHA) · Jan 2011
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.
We caught up with her to find out more about her work and her filmmaking journey… Congratulations Nontobeko Sibisi on being selected for Talents Durban, how are you feeling about it? I’m so excited. Honestly, it’s still a “wow girl, you did that?” moment for me. There’s nothing as validating as this, especially at the critical start of one’s filmmaking journey. Sometimes it can take a big inner and outer journey to listen to the work that intuitively calls you by name.