Khanyisile Magubane

Khanyisile Magubane says she is driven by the fact that she lost her parents when she was 20. “I had to sink or swim, and I chose to swim.” The fear that has always helped her to keep her head above water propels the ambition of this spoken-word poet, who is published in three anthologies and has “shared the stage with Lebo Mashile and Napo Masheane and performed around the world”. She also presents two shows on SAFM — The Friday Edition and the Sunday gospel show, Living Sounds. But it’s her work as a documentary  filmmaker that she says makes her feel as though she’s coming full circle in her career, especially after the warm reception last year of her six-part documentary series, Why Are We So Angry?, which probed, among other topics, xenophobia, gender violence and race. The series, which, she says, she conceived and fought to see to completion, was the realisation of a dream that had been maturing since she was at university. Magubane had originally planned to go to the Afda film school but when she saw the fees she put away the brochure. “I did not take it [the brochure] to my mother. I decided to take [my ambition] to the streets; I knew that even if I could not come out with the skills on paper, I could gain the experience myself.” She’s been a reporter at Radio 702, a news anchor at YFM, a magazine features writer and senior content producer for the SABC’s archives audit project. At the end of last year she started her company, Zinokwanda Media and Communications, which, she says, is still in its crawling stages. She rattles off a list of projects she has underway. “My man tells me I go too hard, but I have to; I don’t know anything else.” — Joonji Mdyogolo