Ofentse Mwase is a filmmaker who grew up in the great city of Rustenburg in the North West Province, and now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ofentse’s infatuation with film and cameras started in 2005 and led to his enrolment at AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) to study film and cinematography. Ofentse graduated with an Honours Degree in Cinematography in 2011.
Ofentse was voted AFDA Best Cinematographer of 2010 for this work on the Short film IGOLIDE, shot on 16mm Kodak film. Further accolades include a nomination for AFDA Best Cinematography for his work on the short film “The Hajji” shot in in 2011.Thato, a Sterkinekor commercial shot in 2011 on 35mm Kodak Film by Ofentse was also nominated for the prestigious Loerie Award and went on to win a Silver Loerie in the Student Commercials category.
Greatest Achievement thus far as a Music Video director was winning Music Video of the Year in the 2017 South African Music Awards (SAMA) for his video for Miss Pru titled Ameni.
With over 9 years experience in Film, Commercials and Music Videos, Ofentse is set to be one to look out for in the South African film industry as he continues to be involved in great projects for TV and Commercials.
Here are Ofentse’s achievements thus far:
Ofentse Mwase is Umuzi’s ‘Creative Crush’ today – we are celebrating the work that goes beyond the hype. Couldn’t think about anyone else than Uncle Scrooch. He is changing the visual game in South Africa and he doesn’t seem to be stopping soon. Well done Ofentse for all your achievements, you are an amazing inspiration to the future of this country. To see the incredible work of Ofentse Mwase follow him here —-> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, Youtube.
As summer rolls into Jozi we are back at 70 Juta Street for our 5th First Thursday collaboration RINGA! Exhibition of Taal.
Umuzi are excited to be partnering with Afropunk, Sandile Radebe and Pule kaJanolintshi to offer up a thought-provoking exploration of language in Southern Africa as a complex singularity – a river system in dynamic flow full of all the varied styles of speech around us, and their graphic representation in different systems of writing, not just the Roman alphabet that we learn at school, but the writing systems that are indigenous to this continent.
Language as a fundamental part of experience is actually a special kind of natural code we use in conveying thoughts between us, whether it be with the voice (spoken languages) or with the body (signed languages). We further encode the code of language graphically through writing, which is nothing but a cultural technology that transports words across space and time. Speech, sign and writing are as much markers of identity as they are ways of expressing our beliefs, desires and history. They are the inqolobane where we store culture, through which we often unconsciously reflect and share collective memory.
This exhibition, mounted by young South African artists of Umuzi Academy, explores these relationships between the visual and oral of language in this region of the world.
It features artworks that speak to both official and non-official everyday language, from Is’Camtho and Tsotsitaal to IsiMpondro and Tshivenḓa, incorporating various writing systems, such as isiBheqe Sohlamvu (Ditema tsa Dinoko), Adinkra symbols of West Africa, the Mandombe script of Congo, the Zẖȝ n Mdw-Nṯr of ancient Egypt, or the Jawi ajami for writing Afrikaans in Arabic characters.
Ringa! brings language to the fore in a way you’ve never seen it before. So be sure to make your way to 70 Juta Street this First Thursday as we exhibit unusual reflections on taal in sound and image.
Plan of the Exhibition
We invite you to enter umuzi wethu, the walls of which extend onto the pavement of Juta Street, eGoli. On the ground you will see isibheqe characters spelling out U-MU-ZI. Inside the main spaces there an ‘oceans’ which represent the groups of structural similarity in language of this region of the continent. On two walls you will see the works of Umuzi Recruits, sharing thoughts on what language means in this country, and on the facing walls, a ‘topographical map’ depicting a river system, flowing between planes of elevation. These rivers are Language. Zwakala ublom’ emlanjeni nathi, o jaje Ringas van die plek ya rona, ma-Afrika.
A River of Language…
Mulambo wa Luambo. Umfula Wolimi. Noka ya Leleme. Mulabho Whelilimi. Gowab di Kai! Garib. Nambu wa Ririmi. Xoaki se G!ari. Rivier van Taal.
An installation on both sides of the conjoining wall – that simultaneously acts as part of the isibheqe character spelling the ZI of umuzi on the floor of the space – depicts language as a flowing river, made up of ways of speaking. The water is speech, as it runs it says:
khuluma, bua, thetha, bolela, vulavula, amba. But it also says: bhobha, tekela, ndrondroza, tshefula, ngangaza, yeyeza, apa, bola, and bolabola; and it even says !hoa, khom, ǂxoa, ||ãla, and tana.
These are words we use to describe how we talk. Styles of speech connected to each other in specific ways, ordered logically here in a kind of topographical map. It is a dynamic flow of language forms around the country: three kinds of river systems that run from the three sources in three mountains of linguistic heritage called: Ntu, Khoe & !Ui-Taa. They pool into lakes that are natural collections of language in a cultural context forming a specific linguistic variety with its particular features.
But they also are forced into dams, that are man-made artificially formed varieties – the standardised dictionary languages that are used as official languages…
We usually only think in terms of dams. We freeze language in the walls of dictionaries. Let us begin to flow from them and hear the different sounds of the water as it runs.
CLICK HERE TO RSVP ON FACEBOOK.
South Africa is a country full of amazing people, who have a rich history, exciting stories and lived experiences to share. Our diverse community of creatives is no different, they hold incredible tales of struggle, triumph, tragedy and great success.
The aim of our new Podcast Series ‘Backroom’ is to check-in with our alumni members and hear the unique stories that have landed them at our doorstep and find out where life has led them after their time at Umuzi. Our very first guest is Thohoyandou born and raised Michael ‘Mikey’ Mashila Mashau.
When Mikey made the brave move to Johannesburg two years ago, he only had R200 in his pocket, a one way bus ticket to Park Station, a blanket, a bag and big aspirations that his journey would make his dreams come true.
As with most things in life, Mikey’s ambition came with great adversity. But that has never stood in the way of his fierce determination which motivated him to build a passionate career in Digital Marketing. His gift has always been about building relationships, and this has inspired a lot of people to open their hearts and spaces to support his dream.
Mikey’s self sufficiency also challenged him to remember that he was destined for greater things. At one stage in his life, when he was homeless for about three weeks, he was forced to have a moment of self-reflection that demanded him to make a drastic change in his life.
Not being one who shies away from a challenge, Mikey’s journey has been truly uplifting to our growing community. Affectionately known as the ‘Digital God’, a nickname he got from his former manager and mentor Keith Kunene, Mikey is a digital whiz with an impressive social media following of over 23k and an insatiable knack for all things trending and digital media.
Mikey has done the necessary and hard work of re-routing this path away from homelessness, to being a brand ambassador at Lovelife, a digital recruit at Umuzi and now a fully-fledged Community Manager for some of the biggest brands South Africa has to offer.
We’re proud to call Mikey one of our own, his story truly is fascinating and inspiring. Listen to Mikey’s Backroom trailer and Join the WhatsApp group to listen to the full interview.
Join the WhatsApp Podcast group to listen to Mikey’s full story and ask him questions.
Brands Mikey has worked with: