‘Grab life by the horns and hold on’

2007-12-14 00:00

HIS father’s dream was for him to become a farmer, but instead Ayanda Hadebe (27) became a film producer and public broadcaster.

Hadebe is the owner of One Eye Productions in Bedderford in Pietermaritzburg, where he makes documentaries, advertisements, films, drama series and music videos.

In an interview with The Witness this week, Hadebe spoke about how he grew up in a township in Richards Bay. “It was my father’s dream for me to become a farmer,” he said.

Born in Richards Bay, Hadebe attended the Old Mill High school in Empangeni and matriculated at Damelin College.

He later moved to Emandleni College where he completed a two-year agricultural course, in pursuit of his father’s dream. Hadebe then decided to change to a career in the film and media industry and moved to Johannesburg to successfully complete a three-year course in television and broadcasting studies. He then went on to study film and photography at Movietech College in Durban.

He received his grounding in the industry while working as a freelancer for SABC news and went on to work on 15 productions.

In 2004 he worked on a production for the Fina World Cup tournament of water sports in Durban, and in Cape Town in 2005.

It was this experience that led him to dream of owning his own television production company. Aptly named Greater Durban Television, Hadebe’s new company searched for young people who were fresh out of school as recruits for the company.

Now based in Pietermaritzburg, he is the proud owner of One Eye Productions and together with business partner Manelisi Potwane, they run Lasco Productions, which grooms young artists for the spotlight.

With a finger in many pies, Hadebe is also involved with the Vukasiphephesa Foundation, which is a non-government organisation that focuses on promoting moral behaviour. He is currently working with King Goodwill Zwelithini’s sister, Thembi Zulu, to expand the reed dance concept. “Through the organisation we encourage young women not to lose their virginity,” he said.

Hadebe is also the owner of a coffee shop franchise called Shisani in Pietermaritzburg.

He was awarded the City of Umshlatuze Best Film maker at the Port Festival in 2001.

When asked where he sees himself in a decade from now, “On top of my game” was his immediate response.

“I’ve managed to succeed by not separating my job from my life because my job is my life!” he said.

His advice to other young achievers is “Don’t separate yourself out. Dream as much as you can. Set your goals according to each year. Know when you are going to plant and know when you are going to reap. Eventually what you reap you wear on your crown”.

When asked to describe an indelibly etched memory, he said: “My teacher once told me that I must use the analogy of a bull.

“He said ‘Ayanda, if life challenges you like an angry bull, you must ensure that you grab it by the horns. If you fail to do that, ensure that you find another way to grab life. And when you succeed ensure that you make the best of it.’

“Life is a three-way street; do not get lost on the way.”

Fact file: Ayanda hadebe

Favourite colour: Pink.

Pet hate: People who lose their values.

Leisure time: With friends discussing new ideas and indoor soccer.

Favourite soccer team: Kaizer Chiefs.

Favourite music: classical, house, African jazz.

Role model: His parents.

Future goals: Seeing himself as a more successful man.

Motivation: His family of winners.

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