Funnyman and Gabz FM radio show host Umaga (born Jethro Ndebele)’s vision of being one of the leading film producers and content creators in the country is slowly taking shape.
Following many cameos on some low-budget flicks including appearances on the popular Radijo flicks, Ndebele headed to school.
The 36-year-old is now an AFDA School of Film graduate and is already making his presence felt.
On the 4th of March, the Natale native will host a delegation of talented actors and actresses from Ndmax Movies Production.
This is one of the fastest-growing movie companies in Nollywood under the leadership of Sylvanus Nduoma who acts as the Chief Executive Officer, Director and Producer.
Through his company, Tear Drainers Crew (TDC)- registered in 2015, Ndebele approached the Nollywood company in 2019 where a deal was struck to shoot a Botswana movie.
“They’ll be here for four months. Plane tickets have been paid for, and all that is left is for us to get to work,” he said.
Ndebele further told The Voice that his decision to study Film Production at AFDA is beginning to open a lot of doors for him. “I’m in a position to be an employer, and that is what I plan to do,” he said.
The multi-talented “Umaga” said it was necessary for him to learn production after realising that their old productions were lacking in quality.
“Everything was amateurish. Sound, lighting and camera work was just not good enough. I went to school to increase my knowledge and now this collaboration with Nollywood will further enhance that knowledge,” he said.
The man who goes by the motto: ‘Sweat and live well’ says he believes the Nigerians four month stay in Botswana will open doors of opportunities for many local actors.
“We’re going to conduct a two week course for aspiring actors and we’re calling out to locals to come in large numbers,” said Ndebele.
“One thing I’ve realised is that a lot of our creatives do not get many opportunities to showcase their talents which has led to many giving up early. My advise to them is that, there’s no limit to whatever you want to do or achieve as long as you have your God given talent,” Ndebele told The Voice.
Meanwhile the film producer further revealed that at the end of the Nigerians’ four month stay, another production team from the UK will arrive to team up with TDC for a movie earmarked for the African Film Festival.