After failing to make it as an actor, Mthokozisi Shange changed direction and moved from in front of the camera to behind it.
He is one of many young South Africans benefitting from the technological age, which has seen multi-media businesses being started to meet the growing demand for social media videos and short documentary films.
Shange (31) of Kagiso in Gauteng used to get work as an extra (actors who play minor roles in the background) on several popular TV drama series.
The self-taught photographer and videographer says that while he was passionate about acting, he has found his place behind the camera after struggling to secure acting roles.
He established his film and photography company, Preparing Future Film, in 2016 after working as an extra cast member for drama series Isibaya.
Through hard work and determination, Shange recently received R60 000 in funding from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), which enabled him to buy a camera and drone.
The NYDA Grant Programme assists young businesspeople who are determined, show promise and are in the early stages of their careers. These entrepreneurs are mentored and receive business consultancy services, market linkages and business management training programmes, among others.
Shange, who hails from rural Msinga in KwaZulu-Natal’s midlands, says his business specialises in filming private and corporate events, short films and promotional videos for social media.
“When I first set foot on a television set, I realised that there were many opportunities other than acting.
“Multi-media production has many elements, especially on television. These elements are all provided by different people, and they make money out of them. Sadly, very few are aware of such opportunities,” he says.
Young entrepreneurs who want to apply for non-financial and financial support from NYDA can call 0800 52 52 52, visit their local NYDA branch or download an application form from www.nyda.gov.za