Tag: umuzi academy

Partner with Umuzi to transform your digital talent pipeline.

South African companies have to transform. Many companies are scrambling to meet the the more stringent BBBEE requirements, which come into effect in 2018. Too often, BBBEE Skills Development and Enterprise Development budgets get wasted on meeting these minimum targets, rather than contributing to true transformation and developing diverse, world-class talent.

Umuzi is a unique organisation that is partnering with leading South African companies in order to use BBBEE Skills and Enterprise Development budgets, SETA funding, and SARS tax rebates, to build a sustainable talent pipeline for scarce skills. We’ve built successful partnerships with Investec, FCB, Native VML, King James, FoxP2, and many more creative and tech industry leaders.

What makes Umuzi different: Companies partner with Umuzi to find and train high-potential young people on our SETA accredited learnership programme

  • We are demand driven: we work with leading companies, like yours, to understand your creative and tech skills shortages, and match these to talent with our learnership programme:
  • We produce highly-skilled, employable graduates: 80% of our graduates get jobs at top employers.
  • We train relevant, scarce skills: we produce junior employees with these skills…
  • Multimedia Storytelling: content producers specialising in either videography or motion graphics.
  • Creative: conceptual designers and copywriters
  • Coding: full-stack developers versed in JS and Node.JS
  • Strategy: business analysts with a focus in digital strategy and user experience design.
  • Data / analytics: currently piloting..
  • We are a BBBEE level-1 content producer: we do professional creative work for leading agencies and brands.
  • Our programmes are cost effective: we work with companies to take advantage of SETA learnership funding and SARS tax rebates to ensure our programmes are affordable and sustainable.

Contact us to transform your digital talent pipeline: andrew.levy@umuzi.org

Want to learn more? We’d love to talk to you to see how we might partner to build a talent pipeline for your specific needs.

Here is some more information about Umuzi and our learnership programme:

  1. About Umuzi
  2. About our learnership
  3. What you need to know about the MAC Charter Skills Development
  4. What you need to know about SARS learnership tax rebate

Thuto Mofokeng is a Soweto born videographer, photographer, co-founder of Nothing Ordinary Artworks and a multimedia recruit at Umuzi Academy.

Thina e’kasi, a photo series – which is composed mainly of portraits explores the social economic struggles and the cultures that exist in the townships of South Africa. This photo series is aimed at desensitizing the realities of South African townships to a broad audience, of individuals, through an intriguing cold, a saturated aesthetic that portrays the subjects in the images in an accurate manner.

My art is mainly influenced by society’s beliefs, morals and values and the prejudices that exist within society. Time is an essential element in influencing my subject matters.” – Thuto Mofokeng on Conte Magazine.

Thuto’s series is inspired by the environment of his community. Soweto paints or portrays the inequality which plagues south Africa so well, the photo series explores the cultures which exist within these environments and dismantle the stereotypes which exist regarding black culture.

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:


  • Best Film: ISAZELA (2009 Joburg Arts Festival)
  • Best Cinematographer: IGOLIDE (AFDA 2010 Awards)
  • Nominated for Best Cinematography: The Hajji (AFDA 2011 Awards)
  • Best Film: The Hajji (AFDA 2011 Awards)
  • Best Commercial: Thato (AFDA 2011 Awards)
  • Silver Loerie: Thato (Loerie Awards 2012)
  • Official Selection: The Hajji (Durban International Film Festival 2013)
  • Best Music Video: Lundi – Noma Sekutheni Na (Crown Gospel Awards 2014)
  • Best Music Video: Roll Up – Emtee (Metro FM Awards 2016)
  • Best Music Video: Miss Pru – Ameni (SAHHA 2016)
  • Music Video of the Year: Miss Pru – Ameni (SAMA 2017)
  • Best Short Film: Durban International Film Festival 2017 – The Hangman
  • Best Short Film: Zanzibar International Film Festival 2017 – The Hangman
  • Sembene Ousman Award of Excellence: Zanzibar International Film Festival 2017 – The Hangman

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 —-> FacebookTwitterInstagramVimeoYoutube.

It’s a new day, a new year and no better time to Make It as a creative. In our latest campaign, Make It, we focus on the physicality and craftsmanship of creativity as well as the personal achievement of “making it” in the creative industry.

Making it as a creative in South Africa is no easy feat as many young creatives find themselves discouraged by a number of factors such as accessibility to resources and affordable creative education. Yet, despite these challenges the South African creative industry has never been in more need of young, black creatives than it is now.

But how do young creatives who have no access to information, equipment and finances make it in such a specialised industry? By accessing the necessary skills and resources required to enter the industry through affordable creative education.

The creative industry is full of opportunities and our department managers have compiled some amazing content to help upcoming creatives learn more about the creative industry and how their skills and talent can be turned into a sustainable career. From copywriting, and graphic design to digital marketing and multimedia we’ve got the lowdown on what it takes to Make It as a creative professional.

Try our “What Kind of Creative Are You?” quiz and find out how your creative flair can be turned into a creative career.


House Of Mirrors copy

Rickson and Joyce Hlabangwana.

Today we ventured deep into the dark and twisted streets of Jeppestown. At least that’s what we thought. But to our bewilderment and joy we discovered a gem of a culture encompassed by the friendliness and exuberance of Rickson and Joyce Hlabangwana.

KBM008Rickson is a young spirit at heart who lives out his days making and selling mirrors. Joyce is a traditional healer who cleanses the community and heals not only bodies but souls. As a couple they’re an oddly fascinating pair; maneuvering around each other with the greatest of ease. Originally from Giyani, Rickson moved to Johannesburg in 1998. After being unemployed for 3 years and living under a bridge in Zimhlophe, he made his way to Jeppestown. A lover of the arts, he started painting his surroundings with old discarded paint.

KBM001-2There is a cultural undertone in Jeppestown that is brewing and coming to the surface. As artists we find beauty in the smallest of things. Reflecting that beauty into our own lives. Rickson Hlabangwana is a true reflection of that.


Written by: Zuleka Pukwana

Photo Cred: Khotso Mahlangu and Nthabiseng Maloleka

Poster by Verona Banda


You need only look at Luyanda’s art work to know how utterly complex and spectacular this young woman is. She is a brilliant writer, a fantastic painter and a singer, and through her own admission a  chronic multitasker.


Perception is the umbrella term for her work. She describes her style of painting as abstract meets expressionism with a touch of unintentional realism. The way we relate with opaque and translucent objects depending on how we interact with them is a common theme in Luyanda’s art work.



“Interestingly the work also reflects the struggles I encounter  living with a degenerative eye disease known as keratoconus which causes blurring and ghosting of vision.” What struck me about Luyanda and her keratoconous was how being faced with the loss of your vision, you gains an outlook that forces you to see the world in a completely different way.

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The term “The familiar” refers to how our memories are related to the ocular. In her work, she explores how in the same way familiarity can evoke feelings of comfort, the reverse tends to evoke feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.  


 Luyanda has found a way to use her art to show us the world through her eyes. Brave enough to take on the world using her creativity; this painter/writer brings things to life in really awessome ways. 

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Written by: Iris Hlakuva

Paintings by : Luyanda Mpangele

Psoter Design: Tshidiso Mohafa




August, the allocated month for Women’s day campaigns, comes with an overload of information on the struggles and challenges that women in general face.  This got me thinking about my struggles as a young black female starting out in the creative industry.

I’ve spent years trying to prove to my family that I can make a living as a creative and to be quite honest, I’m really tired of it. Trying to make a case for something they can barely even wrap their minds around can be exhausting and there is a deep desire and need to make what I love into a sustainable career. I have decided that they do not have to agree with this journey I have chosen, because it is my journey.

When I first had my work exhibited, I felt uncontainable pride in the work I had produced. I felt the kind of happiness that makes you want to jump up and down and do flips with a huge grin on your face. I always want my work to speak for me, as it is a representation of me.

I get moments where it hits me that I have been given the opportunity to make my dreams a huge part of my reality. The reality that I took my passion and made something of it.

I find myself surrounded by other creatives, discussing ad campaigns and innovative ideas that we hope will change society in positive ways. In moments such as these (I have goosebumps as I type this) I am reminded that my leap of faith was not in vain.

From the time I  took the decision to go on and follow my creativity, a huge stride of bravery, I have found that making my size 4 footprint in the creative industry may be covered in landmines and potholes but it is very much possible. Social media provides you with the platform to share and promote your work and a number of very passionate people make the journey to the “promised land” just that bit more attainable.

I am excited to see more intelligent black females be empowered in their creativity and to do spectacular things. I am a black female creative but I first and foremost identify as a creative; a title I wear proudly.

Written by: Iris Hlakuva

PosterFThe Umuzi Academy is a wonderful opportunity aimed at empowering and enabling young people to become active economic participants in society. The programme is a partnership between Investec, Umuzi Photo Club, Vega, the Creative Circle and the Da Vinci Institute. First piloted in 2014, the 12-month long learnership programme is aimed at affording 20 to 25 year olds a platform from which to start their learning journey as creative professionals.

Investec’s active participation in The Umuzi Academy is a good fit given our long-standing support of youth development through various educational and entrepreneurial initiatives.  The Umuzi Academy’s appeal lies in the learnership structure and format – suitably designed for a combination of theoretical and practical on-the-job learning for young inspirational people with a creative passion. As one of the pivotal founding partners of this initiative, Investec’s intention is to facilitate other opportunities which not only recognises and nurtures young talent but would be an empowering avenue for those with a keen interest to carve a future for themselves.

To mark a full year of dedication, resilience and hard work on the part of participants and all partners, The Umuzi Academy is hosting its first graduation on Thursday 25 June 2015.  The Power of 50 Graduation is no doubt a significant milestone for all involved; it’s a celebration of the power of partnership. Thanks to all our partners: Umuzi, Vega School of Brand Leadership, and the Da Vinci Institute for their part in making this programme a success. Umuzi’s tireless project management efforts and desire to make a significant contribution to South Africa is to be commended. The support of the Creative Circle also needs acknowledgement. Most importantly, it is a celebration of youngsters for whom good is just not good enough.

This graduation is a celebration of those who quickly realised that dreams without actions will remain just dreams. It’s really a celebration of capacity within our youth who have once again confirmed that potential and an appropriate opportunity, coupled with perseverance and hard work, can meaningfully change lives. Congratulations to all our graduates; your hard work has finally paid off – well done.

While most of today’s graduates have been placed in employment within creative agencies, some have chosen to pursue further tertiary studies and others have decided to explore the entrepreneurial route. After a full year of piloting in 2014, the partnership has worked hard to improve where necessary and is looking forward to even better performance this year. For 2015, the initiative has grown significantly. Not only has the number of participants increased from 50 to 60, but the number of streams offered is no longer limited to photography and graphic design, but now also include copy writing and digital marketing.

Written by : Investec

Designed by: Ronald