Tebogo Malope

As a child growing up in Soweto, Tebogo Malope knew he wanted to be a storyteller. By the time he was a teenager he had already started gaining work experience in the dramatic arts: directing community theatre plays and earning money by tuning and tweaking his neighbours’ TV sets. He worked as camera assistant on the sets of the TV series Hard Copy and The Lab, paying his dues by rolling cables and “pulling focus”, before serving as second unit director on the award-winning A Country Imagined, starring Johnny Clegg. Today, he is a prolific director of music videos and advertisements across the continent and has published an anthology of photographs with Pako Magabane, called Black Ambition: Life in Two Lenses. Back home, the 29-year-old’s work as director of popular dramas such as Skeem Saam 2 and Tempy Pushas, now streams on to those rickety TV screens he used to fix. — Rudi Benadé