Firecracker film-maker finds her own voice

2012-09-28 00:00

FIRECRACKER. That may be your first impression when talking to Noxy Mavundla. And you would be right. The film-school graduate in motion picture medium and live performance left a management position after seven years because she was unhappy about “operating within pre-existing systems that did not allow me to have my own voice”.

And Mavundla demands that she has her own voice; one so strong that you will hear her. You may listen with admiration or exasperation, but listen you will.

“I wanted to hear myself,” says the 31-year-old Richards Bay resident. “What did I have to say? What were my opinions about sensitive subjects? Was I brave enough to stand for those opinions? I wanted to be among the people who are not just listened to because they have platforms and can talk but I wanted to be heard … big difference! More importantly, I wanted to create my own systems that suited my vision for my life. Naturally, I resigned.”

In 2010 Mavundla registered Bancamile Productions, which she describes as her own platform “to voice, to share, to empower, to inspire, to mentor, to tell stories and to be myself unapologetically”.

Bancamile works on two levels — the creative and the corporate. The former focuses on the creativity of film and television productions and the latter entails working with corporates in a sales and marketing capacity.

“My biggest challenge at the moment is convincing corporates to look at new and innovative ways to sell and market.

“Companies are afraid to take risks because money is involved. I’m working on compiling case studies to use in my presentations [to detail why innovation will work in their favour],” she says.

While shifting the corporate mind-set may take some time and a fleet of front-end loaders, the creative aspect has borne fruit. Mavundla was co-executive producer on a David Max Brown feature film called This Boy that picked up an award at the July 2011 Durban FilmMart for best South African Film Project.

In January this year, her documentary The Zulu Maiden was screened on eTV.

Being mentored by Allon Raiz, incubation guru and CEO of Raizcorp, has provided Mavundla with the business backbone most start-ups can only dream of.

“Raizcorp has given me support, knowledge, skill, resources, publicity and confidence,” she says, touting Raiz as her professional role-model.

“He is a true entrepreneur, a super intelligent with an ocean of experience, knowledge, solutions and strategies.”

But if you are looking to credit anyone for the creation of this bold, mile-a-minute-talking, chess-playing firecracker, look no further than Sebenzile Mavundla, Noxy’s mother and her role model.

“She is a powerful woman who came from an impoverished background. She single-handedly raised two children, gathered the resources to enrol them at a private school and, with guts and sacrifice and having the audacity to demand success for her kids, is today the mother of two dynamic young women in my sister and myself,” says Mavundla.

She says she sometimes forces herself “not to comment on certain things”. But Mavundla doesn’t hold back when it comes to her opinions on the government’s role in small business. “Often government and the private sector have conflicting requirements on how small businesses should operate. This leaves us at a dead-end when it comes to securing regular contracts,” she says.

“Am I a success yet? I’m not close to where I’m going but I’m on track. I’m working extremely hard. There are good moments and sometimes not so good. The key is to keep moving forward,” she says.

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