College old boy: shooting for the stars

2009-05-07 00:00

IF you’ve been watching SABC or this week you might just have spotted a new Coca-Cola advert about the Fifa Confederations Cup. What you don’t know is that it was directed by Maritzburg’s Mfundo Mkhize.

The Maritzburg College old boy was chosen to do the project after a friend told him the company was looking for submissions from young black directors.

“I thought I had nothing to lose, so I sent in a treatment and storyboard and they asked me to come in and do a pitch,” Mkhize said. Coca-Cola clearly liked what they saw because he was asked to direct not just one but two adverts for the company — the first of which aired on SABC1 on May 4.

Asked what the commercial was about, Mkhize, who grew up in Lincoln Meade, said: “I have tried to give people an experience of being a fan at an extraordinary game of soccer.”

The 21-year-old film student, who is studying at AFDA in Johannesburg, is working on the second advert, which is due to be broadcast on SABC1 on May 25.

The advert features Coca-Cola ambassadors, but exactly who they are is being kept under wraps.

Asked how he was feeling, Mkhize said: “I’m just a regular guy trying to make it out there with my hunger for success, so this opportunity is God answering my prayers … ”

Directing the commercials is not, however, his first taste of success. In 2005 — when he was still a pupil at Maritzburg College — he won the best director award for the stage play, Asinamali, penned by Mbongeni Ngema.

Asked about his plans, Mkhize said he is keen to do both short films and a feature film, but initially he intends to concentrate on doing more commercials to get experience of the filmmaking process.

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