When it comes to filmmaking Maganthrie Pillay is one to watch. She was the first Black woman to direct a dramatic feature film in South Africa. Let that sink in. “34 South” has been shown at film festivals locally and internationally. It’s this ground-breaking experience that Maganthrie brings to her CityVarsity students. Her documentaries deal with social justice/spirituality and have been shown on eTV and SABC. She has also directed documentaries for ILO, UNICEF, Unifem, UNHCR, UKZN, OSISA among others. Maganthrie was an episode director on the innovative social reality series “Imagine Africa”. She boasts a strong academic background with a Bachelor of Pedagogics from the former University of Westville and an Honours in Drama from the University of Cape Town.
It’s likely you’ve watched a film that was made possible by David Pupkewitz. From 1982 – 1995 he was the MD of a group of finance companies. David’s financial background saw him develop a wide range of international co-financing relationships. This has been instrumental in opening up new sources of finance for the film industry.
David has a history of independent film production under his UK-based development, production and finance company Focus Films. Since 1995 the company has concentrated on producing theatrical motion pictures. David returned to South Africa and joined the Film and Television Department at CityVarsity Cape Town in 2013. He continues to inspire a future generation of filmmakers as a Senior Lecturer in Producing – ‘Business of Film’.
It’s no secret that Hansie Visagie pulls the strings within Cape Town’s arts scene. He received his BA Honours Degree in Information Design from the University of Pretoria in 1981. He spent a further 20 years lecturing there. After a staggering 30 years as a freelance artist and art director in various mediums, he was appointed Head of CityVarsity’s Art Department. Hansie was responsible for the designing and manufacturing of numerous sets, props, costumes, make-up and masks for several television and theatrical productions. These include the SABC, M-Net, Rand Afrikaans University, The State Theatre, and Artscape. He has travelled extensively to Europe and the USA with “The Little Marionette Company” for which he served as artistic director for 40 years. Hansie has received national and international acclaim for his involvement with puppetry and the arts.
Althea Visagie is full of passion for her art. It’s this enthusiasm that she brings to her students in the field of sculpting, painting, airbrushing, puppetry and graphic design. During the 80’s and 90’s she was a part-time lecturer at both the University of Pretoria and Open Window. Althea has worked extensively in the film, television and theatre industry for over 30 years. Her roles have ranged from designer and, puppeteer to director for numerous children’s productions as well as being part of art and make-up departments for local and international commercials. In 2003, Althea joined the CityVarsity family in Cape Town as a part-time lecturer in Art.
From an early age Maghdie Fife was known for his artistic talent. He matriculated with a distinction, Art naturally being one of his majors. The next step in his journey was to study film at AFDA Cape Town. It was here that he completed his Honours Degree in Directing and Screenwriting. During his studies he worked part-time as an Editor and Visual Effects Supervisor for AV Connexions. He won the Vision Mission award from Ster Kinekor for his commercial “Mother’s Kisses” in 2013 which he directed and edited. Maghdie became a screenwriter for Q-Up Entertainment, working on the reality series “The Shores”.
In 2014, Maghdie became the Head of SLTV at Soccer Laduma. He ran the editing department, managing all corporate campaigns and productions for the online platform until June 2017. He has since been a welcome addition as an Editing lecturer at CityVarsity.
“Impressive” doesn’t even begin to cover Lesley Caplan’s resume. She qualified with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design in London. She has worked for the BBC and Independent TV in the UK as well as computer animation companies as a graphic designer.
Her experience ranges from TV, film, animation graphic design and photography, to lecturing and management in the educational sector. She has a passion for design and imagery and continues to draw, paint and illustrate her own work.
Lesley has been with CityVarsity since its inception, as a lecturer in Graphic Design and as a Head of Department. She worked briefly for TSiBA Education for 3 years. But, in 2010, she returned to CityVarsity and has been realising her primary passion in creative design.
CityVarsity lecturer, Rebecca Makin-Taylor, is no stranger to the spotlight. She graduated from UCT with a BA in Theatre and Performance and a distinction in acting. Arguably her most prominent role has been in “Expectant”, a one woman show written & directed by Penny Younglesson. The show received a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the 2013 NAF, had a run at the AfroVibes festival in Amsterdam and The Market Theatre in JHB. She also performed in the acclaimed “Last Rounds” which ran in both South Africa and Australia.
In 2015 Rebecca worked with James Webb as the voice artist in his sound installation “This is my voice, but these are not my words”. In 2016 she performed at The Fugard Theatre in “The Kingmakers”. Rebecca’s film credits include the series “Dominion” and “Saints and Strangers”. She is a recipient of the Yvonne Banning Memorial Award for Voice.
It’s appropriate that Moray Rhoda’s favourite comic book character is Batman. Like the “Dark Knight” he takes on all that he does with great passion, responsibility and intelligence. Moray completed his diploma at CPUT. He has built an extensive work history in print advertising, publishing magazines as well as in digital channels. Moray previously served as Studio Manager for Seeff Properties in-house design studio and as art director at Media24. He also worked on the digital and print channels for The Publishing Partnership. He is currently the Graphic Design lecturer/HoD of Animation at CityVarsity. Moray has an interest in illustration and is well-known on the local comic book scene. His skill has seen his work published in a few local magazines.
Writing is a skill that can be learnt. With the help of our resident Scriptwriting lecturer, Vicki Bawcombe, anyone can master the written word. Vicki has years of experience as a professional scriptwriter, story facilitator and arts practitioner.
She studied English, Drama and Performance at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and spent her first professional decade as a performer in theatre, film and radio. She has been teaching scriptwriting since 1994.
In 2011 she was invited to facilitate the Entertainment Master Class alongside internationally renowned development executive and producer Humphrey Barclay. In 2012 Vicki ran content development workshops for M-Net Africa in Dar Es Salaam.
She has written episodes for a number of local TV series over the years including the hugely popular “Stokvel”. Recent TV writing includes “Sokhulu & Partners III” for SABC1 and two seasons of the drama “Izikizi” for Mzanzi Magic. For her work here she was a finalist in the 2016 Muse Awards “Best TV Drama Writing” category. Vicki also regularly writes theatre scripts, as well as corporate and training video scripts for a variety clients. She is a full member of both the Writers’ Guild of South Africa and the South African Guild of Actors.
The first film Tim Spring worked on happens to be one of the most important in South African history. As a camera and editing assistant, he contributed to “The Magic Garden” which featured an all-Black cast.
Tim worked in a facilities house for five years, which involved everything from lab work, neg cutting, track laying and sound mixing to title shooting. He photographed and edited twenty episodes of the game series “The Michaels in Africa”, seen on American TV in the fifties and sixties.
After developing his filmmaking skills in Zimbabwe and Los Angeles, he returned to South Africa to work for M-Net’s “New Directions”. This initiative was aimed at discovering and financing new writing and directing talent in film all over Africa. In 1999 he produced two “New Directions” short films in South Africa and over the next four years line-produced and mentored four thirty-minute drama films in Nigeria. In addition to New Directions he has conducted writing and directing workshops throughout Africa.
Since 2000 he has been a senior lecturer in Film and TV directing.
Genna Gardini is anything but a creative wallflower. She has burst onto the scene and quickly established herself as a literary trailblazer. In 2012 she won the DALRO New Coin Poetry prize and was chosen as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for 2013. Gardini has had two plays produced at the National Arts Festival: “WinterSweet” (2012) and “Scrape” (2013). Both of these plays have won Standard Bank Ovation awards. Genna was selected for the Royal Court Theatre’s South African Playwright 2013 – 2014 programme. As a poet she has been published widely, both locally and internationally. Genna currently works as a lecturer for CityVarsity.
Fact: Dancing and performance are embedded in Mdu Kweyama’s DNA. With over 16 years of theatre and dance experience, he has established himself as a big name in the field. Mdu trained as a contemporary dancer at Jazzart Dance Theatre and graduated with a Performance Diploma in Theatre at UCT. His performances range from Shakespearean productions, contemporary theatre like “Verkeer” to physical theatre such as “Karoo Moose”. In 2004 he was awarded the “Best Student in Movement Recognition” at UCT; 2006 saw him nominated for the “Best Newcomer in Dance and Acting” at the KKNK Festival.
In 2007 Mdu started his TV career with the eTV series “Shooting Stars”, SABC’s “Stokvel” and “Montana”. His most recent accolades include a “Best Actor in a Lead Role” and “Best Original Choreography” Naledi Award, a “Best Director Award” win at the Setkani Festival. He has also won a Fleur Du Cap Theatre award in the “New Director” category.
Mdu completed his Honours Degree in Directing and Education at UCT in 2012. He also has a Master’s degree in Directing at UCT.
Iman Isaacs is a woman of many talents. She is a performer, dancer, choreographer, musician, theatre maker, puppeteer and educator. As part of an international exchange she lived in New Delhi for 2 months working with students from the National School of Drama. It was performed several times in India with great success. With diverse interests Iman brings a range of experience to CityVarsity from feature film work to movement, physical theatre and choreography.
Iman strongly believes in art’s ability to improve lives. She has worked for two years with the Zakheni Arts Therapy Foundation. Here, she partnered with a qualified therapist and devises workshops and interventions for troubled children in underprivileged schools. Most recently, Iman has performed in “Full Stops on your Face”, “Nat” and “Warrior on Wheels”. Her puppetry show, “Warrior on Wheels”, places the spotlight on children with disabilities. It toured the Eastern Cape and Cape Town as part of the Lotto-funded Chaeli Campaign initiative. Another of her shows, “What Goes Up”, uses South African sign language to interact with deaf children.
Iman is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Theatremaking at UCT.
Batsirai Freddy believes in constant evolution and experimentation. He views comfort as the worst thing that can happen to a creative mind. It’s no wonder he has kept his skills and experience in animation on trend.
Batsirai acquired his Diploma in Graphic Design and New Media at the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA). He later completed his MA in Animation with Wits University.
He has lecturing experience from his home country, Zimbabwe, where he taught 3D animation at ZIVA. While lecturing he ran a multimedia agency called Maumbile Multimedia.
Batsirai currently works as the Head of the Animation department at CityVarsity. His dream is to create programmes for children and play a role in positively shaping the minds of young African children.
Brandon Liebenberg is bursting with personality. He brings a unique perspective that shapes the minds of his students and stimulates their creativity. Based in Johannesburg Brandon is a motion graphics designer, animator and game designer. He graduated at CityVarsity Cape Town with an Advanced Diploma in Animation and New Media.
Brandon has strong ties with the local animation industry. He runs a small motion graphics studio with numerous high-profile clients. These range from Studio 5, Nedbank to vehicle manufacturing companies like Volkswagen, Toyota and Honda.
When he isn’t exploring his passion for animation and motion graphics, Brandon enjoys playing games where cartoon characters can blow things up.
If you’ve ever used the Standard Bank app, you’re already familiar with Tshepo Malatji’s work. He has quickly developed a name for himself as the go-to guy in computer programming.
Tshepo has a BSc (Computer Sciences and Informatics) from the University of Johannesburg where he graduated with distinction. He is a certified professional by Microsoft, Bytes and Torque IT. Through the years he has worked for the City of Johannesburg, and Digiata consulting company. He is the founder of his own consulting company, an investor and writer. It’s these range of skills that make him a valuable part of the CityVarsity family.
Tshepo enjoys playing computer games and researching new technologies.
Qualified and intensely creative best describe Erastus Boshoff. He has a BA (Hons) in Film and Television from the University of Johannesburg. Erastus also received an Advanced Performance Certificate in Speech and Drama from Trinity Guildhall London. During his Drama studies he received the Trinity Exhibition award for the best scoring performer in South Africa for 2010. Erastus currently lectures Contextual Studies at CityVarsity Braamfontein.
When it comes to creating high-quality sound, Katlego Mpepele knows more than a thing or two. He graduated from CityVarsity in 2014 with an Advanced Diploma in Sound Engineering. He has since worked on several local and international projects. These include Top Billing, Man Cave and Discovery.
Not one to be boxed, Katlego is also a singer, songwriter, producer and actor. He recently played the lead in “Stardust the Musical” and is involved in a production with Thembisa Mdoda called “OR Tambo Life at The End Of The Tunnel”.
Katlego lectured Sound Engineering at Damelin. He currently lectures at CityVarsity and is currently studying a BCom Law with Unisa.
Tim Harbour’s life is the source of many fascinating facts. He completed his Honours at Wits, majoring in performance and composition. His thesis for his honours was a research project comparing and analysing styles of extreme music entitled “Features of Extremity – A study of South African Psytrance and Death Metal.
Following his studies Tim taught practical music lessons at both Keyboard Magic in Benoni (2009 – 2010) and St. Stithians College in Bryanston (2011 – 2015). He specialised in classical and electric guitar lessons as well as pop and rock vocal training.
In 2016 Tim completed his Masters in music composition. Since 2015 he has lectured music theory and composition at CityVarsity.
Tim runs a few musical projects which have toured and played festivals around the country. The most prominent include Oppikoppi, Smoking Dragon and FORR in Mozambique. He also writes and composes music for video games under the pseudonym “Jumpship Music”.
Kevin Leicher is CityVarsity’s resident music man. He has spent the majority of his working life in industry as both a performer and as a producer/sound engineer. Kevin is a multi-instrumentalist. Alongside Arno Carstens and Josie Field he has shared stages with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Muse, James Blunt and many more.
Kevin founded Darkstar Productions in 2004 and has worked there as the main producer. Through his position he brings strong skills as a composer, musician and mixing engineer to the table. Kevin has been involved in several high profile projects with Adam Lambert, Ozzy Ozborne, Chris Chameleon, to name but a few. In recognition of his work, he has been nominated twice for best producer at the South African Music Awards (SAMA).
Kevin has worked alongside CityVarsity since the inception of the Joburg campus to help raise and keep the level of the sound department up to industry standards.
He holds a BA (Drama & Film, English & Music) from WITS. Kevin is also qualified as a Sound Engineer at Inhouse Records.
If you want to sharpen your writing skills, look to Naledi Bogacwi. This CityVarsity Scriptwriting and Producing lecturer is multi-talented and determined to bring out the best in her students. She is the Scriptwriting and Producing lecturer at CityVarsity and works as a professional scriptwriter, script editor and producer.
Naledi studied Film and Television at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and spent her first professional job as an intern at Gauteng Film Commission. She has been teaching Scriptwriting and Film Analysis since 2015.
In 2015 she was invited to attend The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival as an emerging producer. In 2017 a film she wrote, “Die Kaal Kraal”, screened at the Durban International Film Festival.
Naledi is a full member of both the Writers’ Guild of South Africa and Sisters Working in Film and Television.
Tetelo A. Mabiletsa-Raisi
Tetelo A. Mabiletsa-Raisi is known for her strong academic background, respected for her creative industry experience and loved for her bright and bubbly personality.
Tee, as she is affectionately called, was a radio producer and presenter on UCT Radio and Bush FM. During her varsity years, she was a junior mentor in the humanities faculty. She remains dedicated to her mentorship program for young girls in her personal capacity. Tetelo is a volunteer for YFU (Youth For Understanding) international students’ exchange programme. This programme seeks to equip young students with intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities.
At present Tetelo works as a Contextual Studies lecturer in the film department at CityVarsity. She is also an MC and events coordinator. Tetelo holds a degree in Film and Television studies and Media and Writing which she received from the University of Cape Town.
As a prominent actor and filmmaker, Willie Ludik may very well be a familiar face. He has been in feature films including “Sy Klink Soos Lente” and “Vuil Wasgoed” and did two commercials for King Price and BrightRock. Willie has also staged two theatre productions at the Krêkvars-Koponong festival at the University of Pretoria which received critical acclaim.
Willie holds a (BA) Honours in Dramatic Arts and Film Studies from the University of Pretoria. He is employed as a Directing and Contextual Studies lecturer at CityVarsity Braamfontein. Willie is currently in development with his short film” Diaskedasi”, which will screen next year.
At CityVarsity we’re glad Yuliy Fisunenko moved from the Ukraine and built a home in South Africa. He is a professional director of photography, video-editor and motion graphics designer with a whopping 11 years of experience in the industry. It is these skills that he uses to enrich our students to help them reach their full creative potential.
Yuliy studied International Marketing and Management and completed his studies up to Master’s Degree level. But, in 2006, he worked as a digitizer at Clive Morris Productions and decided to change his career path. Since then he worked throughout the South African industry. He functioned as a video-editor/motion graphics designer for Mzanzi Magic, “Selimathunzi”, and produced for Zabalaza, All Access, Bravo, Tech Report, Standard Bank corporate events and many more.
Jessica de Souza
Jessica de Souza completed her BA (Honours) in Communication Design at the University of Johannesburg in 2015. Her work experience includes the FADA art gallery, Global Mouse and Big Bite Consultants. She has also freelanced professionally for various companies. Jessica’s passion lies in corporate design; she is currently busy developing her own graphic novel. Jessica has been a part of the CityVarsity team since February 2017. She lectures in Graphic Design and Art History.
If you want to get a shot at a rewarding career you should meet Carel Scheepers. Carel lectures graphic design, digital design and photography at CityVarsity. He completed a BA in Communication Science with a specialisation in Marketing Communication at Unisa. Prior to this, Carel did a Diploma in Photography at Vega. Together with his insight and experience he has been creating a generation of future creatives at CityVarsity since 2013.
Carel is currently completing an Honours degree in Strategic communication at UJ. He has a strong philanthropic side; he started an NGO crocheting with plastic bags featured prominently on online platforms.
Flip Hattingh has an Honours degree in social work and a Higher Diploma in Fine Arts. In 2012 he started lecturing at CityVarsity and is currently HOD of the Multimedia Department. He lectures Drawing, Art History and Contextual Studies. Flip’s work experience includes teaching and advertising. He is a committed illustrator and hosts art exhibitions regularly.
Cristle Mathapelo Mokwape
Cristle Mathapelo Mokwape has been places and seen things. She boasts an impressive background in media. In 2010 she earned a National Diploma in Journalism which she obtained from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Cristle is multilingual with an understanding of at least six South African languages.
She started her first professional journalism job as an intern at women24.com. As an intern at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), she quickly established herself as one to watch. Within the first year she was promoted to temporary liaison officer of the marketing department.
Cristle has spent most of her years working in the corporate industry. However, her overall job experiences include production and editing of all written material, planning and scheduling of daily social media content, conducting research and assigning work to team members.
Her volunteering at Live Magazine SA was a major learning curve and a great achievement. It was her first magazine experience but she worked hard and was promoted to deputy editor.
Cristle currently works as a Journalism lecturer at the Braamfontein campus teaching specifically radio, web, media ethics and photojournalism. She is also a co-director of Phlash Commz Pty (Ltd), a 100% black female owned branding and communications company, which she runs with three of her ex colleagues.
Refentse Sebothoma is arguably one of CityVarsity Braamfontein’s most fascinating lecturers. He teaches Photography and also happens to be a practising traditional healer.
For the past four years he has been the official photographer for Truworths Group Brand “Khosi Nkosi. His fashion photography work has been published in magazines such as “True Love” and “Glamour”. These images have been for work he has done for numerous fashion designers such as Tsotetsi KL High Fashion Closet, Mahone and TN Collectiv.
Refentse spent most of his years freelancing, developing and mastering his own unique style and approach to Photography, Art Direction, Retouching and Lighting. This path led to him starthis own photography business, “Seipone Media Pty (Ltd)”.
Refentse has an Advanced Certificate in Professional Photography which he obtained from Vega School of Brand Communication. His short term goals include completing his BA Degree in Communication Science and opening up his own photographic and editing studio.
Stefanie Payendee is inspired to create beauty in the world. She completed her studies at Tshwane University of Technology in 2004. Since then she has been working in the film & television industry as a makeup artist. She started with an internship on the “Egoli” TV show. She continued building her skills on eTV’s soapie, “Scandal”. Afterwards she freelanced for more than ten years. Eventually, she returned back home to eTV where she worked on the eNCA 24hr news channel.
Stefanie has worked on popular local TV shows such as “High Rollers”, “Top 20”, “Hulletts Sugar” and “Speed Stars”, to name a few.
Of her many achievements, a highlight was becoming Max Factor / Elle New Talent Make-up Artist of the Year in 2010. She has found her second passion as a lecturer at CityVarsity and continues to further herself as an academic.
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