Phathutshedzo Makwarela

Television writer & story editor

Phatutshedzo Makwarela is the story editor and scriptwriter for the SABC series Muvhango and when he took over he shook up the viewership and hauled it up to well over the four million mark.

He’s worked on the innovative Rockville on Mzansi Magic and he is involved in many other shows that include Skeem Saam and an upcoming drama, Uzalo, due out in 2015. He is a strong voice on South African television and his storylines tap into the very essence of our culture and history.

“I think that television in South Africa has to move beyond entertainment because we are a developing nation, it’s important to have stories that impact the audience,” says Makwarela. “We try to cover real issues that people face today, such as alcohol and emotional abuse, and find the balance between entertaining and informing.”

Makwarela believes that the purpose of shows such as Muvhango is to tell authentic South African stories that resonate with the audiences and that reflect African communities.

“Human stories are the same no matter where you are and that’s what feeds my creativity and my ability to tell stories,” he adds.“There is so much that needs to be done here after 20 years of democracy, the new blood is coming of age in politics and in industry and it is up to us to fight a different fight. They fought for liberty and we have to fight for equality.”

Makwarela wants to see more women in the industry and wants to be a part of changing the landscape to tell a different South African story going forward.

A firm believer in the power of education, he offers up a nugget of advice to ambitious young South Africans: “One
of my first directors told me ‘Make yourself indispensable
and you will never ask for a job’. I have never been without
a job in the eight years I have been in this industry.” — Tamsin Oxford