Duo wants to tell own stories

2018-11-01 06:02
Friends Zikhona Mnyani and Thandokazi Tyindolo run their own filming company.

Friends Zikhona Mnyani and Thandokazi Tyindolo run their own filming company.

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Lack of opportunities for young black women in the male dominated filming industry has inspired two friends to start out on their own.

Thandokazi Tyindyolo and Zikhona Mnyani(both 25), are friends and film graduates from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

They have decided to quit their respective jobs and start their own filming company aptly named Twoman Crew in July this year. This after failing to get recognition from the industry in almost two years.

Crossroad’s Tyindyolo and Mnyani, from the Free State, say they have always been passionate about filming and storytelling, and saw in the film industry a way towards realising their dream.

But challenges and lack of recognition and support forced them to start their own thing.

Since their partnership though, say they have managed to gain some form of recognition.

Tyindolo said they started working for numerous production houses in 2016, after completing their studies in 2015. At the same time, they ran Twoman on a part-time basis.

“Around July this year we decided to stop working to focus on our company,” she said.

Even though they had no equipment and no budget, that proved to be a master stroke.

They managed to get themselves some cameras and set the wheels in motion.

“While we worked for other companies, we never touched a camera. We were made to do minor jobs like paperwork,” she said.

Today, they are proud owners of their own cameras. They film documentaries, weddings and various events. However, it seems there still have a mountain to climb.

“There is a lot of rejection, but when you get a yes, you do your best,” she said urging other young people to be strong and stay focused. “You just need to stand your ground and be strong. It is going to take time to grow big.”

Tyindyolo’s sentiments were echoed by Mnyani. She agreed that the industry was male dominated with some jobs largely seen as a men’s task. She added that women are perceived as people who should do make up and minor jobs, not to touch cameras.

“Some people don’t take you seriously, but you have to persevere,” said the 25-year-old. “This is about breaking those barriers and for other women to do the same.”

In addition to the challenges, Mnyani said the industry was seasonal.

“You don’t have something to do until someone comes up with something, and you have to learn everything,” she said. She added that it also gave them an opportunity to mingle with people from different backgrounds. Mnyani said starting and owning a company was dream come true. “We would talk about this in our room late at night, and That is why it was not so difficult to start our own company.”

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