Young woman aims high

2016-11-23 06:01
Obakeng Malope (left) and Haylene Liberty-Nel, chief executive officer of the Eskom Development Foundation.

Obakeng Malope (left) and Haylene Liberty-Nel, chief executive officer of the Eskom Development Foundation.

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Entrepreneur Obakeng Malope loves venturing into the production of films and clothing labels.

This young woman, who grew up in Bloemfontein and now lives in Brits in the North West Province, wants to build on her initial achievements to reach greater heights.

Obakeng has been a finalist in a few competitions and has also won in some.

Her co-operative, Maalkop Trading and Projects CC, was among those shortlisted for this year’s finals of the Eskom Business Investment competition and the Global Entrepreneurship Week held recently.

She missed out on top prizes, but received recognition certificates. Last year she was also on the shortlist in the two competitions.

Obakeng views being shortlisted for the finals of the two competitions as a stepping-stone towards building her own empire of film production and clothing labels.

She founded the cooperative in 2010, and started to brand T-shirts on a small scale, growing it to be sustainable.

“We buy T-shirts from a manufacturer, print on it and then sell it as fashion brands. My future plan is to expand it into fashion labels, and produce caps, hoodies and trousers,” said Obakeng.

In 2014 the Absa Centre of Entrepreneurs offered her business mentoring training to ensure sustainability of her cooperative entity.

Obakeng’s film production Fighting Homophobia won the M-Net Special Mention Best Sound award in 2012.

“The latest project that I’m working on is a reality show. I have written a 160-page production. Everything is set and I’m marketing it to broadcasters.”

For Obakeng, film production is also about capturing storytelling about South Africa.

“It all started in 2008 while I was doing my second year in college. I was bitten by the bug of wanting to do stories about South Africans, stories that will change people’s lives.”

Obakeng has a qualification in Television Production from Boston Media House. She graduated in 2011. She also enrolled for an intensive training course in filming at the Big Fish Digital School of Filmmaking and successfully completed the course in one year.

She has also been abroad, attending worldwide film festivals in the United Kingdom, France and the USA to learn about film production.

In 2015 she was sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry to attend a film festival in France.

She is currently based in Johannesburg to do film production work.

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