Meet the brains behind popular YouTube series Abafana the boys vs Amantombazane the girls

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Sanele Nkosinathi pictured with the kids behind Amantombazane the girls vs Abafana the boys.
Sanele Nkosinathi pictured with the kids behind Amantombazane the girls vs Abafana the boys.
Instagram/Sasenathi Studios

Mshayiwesinqa, Boss Lady, MaGumede and Nkhalakatha. If you are hearing people talking about these names, then they've been watching South Africa's recent favourite series, Abafana the boys vs Amantombazane the girls.

The series is currently available on YouTube and this group of 9 and 10 year-olds from Durban are taking the internet by storm. 

Sanele Sikhakhane (24) is the founder of Sasenathi Studios, which produces the series. He is responsible for the editing and writing of the episodes that focus on topics such as women empowerment, gender-based violence and financial independence.

They started small and fast forward to three months later, and the talented youngsters have over 56,200 YouTube subscribers and over 2,444,023 views on their videos combined. 

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"The series aims to teach and educate through a comedy. We talk mainly about issues that we all know here in South Africa. From gender equality, respecting women, how to be a good man etc. Those topics are what we aim to address," Sanele tells DRUM. 

"With boys, as we are growing up, we do so with a very patriarchal mindset and it all leads to the mistreatment of women and girls. This is what I want to address very early in these boys lives so that they know that they have to outgrow this mindset someday and to teach them through these skits that change is necessary to become better men. 

"This series is constructed mainly on how children are brought up or the conversations that happen in the environments that they grow up in. My biggest concern is that people think that these topics are not age-appropriate and I want to urge them that they are and it's important that people see that this is what is happening and also factor in a teachable moment for both the girls and boys," Sanele says. 

"With uBoss Lady, she oozes confidence and is independent and tries to influence other women through her character. She speaks very much on independence, gender equality and that's the meaning behind her name as well," he says. 

"uMshayiwesinqa even though he's portrayed as a player, his character is critical in teaching the other boys or young boys in general about what's right and wrong, and how women and young girls should be treated. 

"We try and create a little drama here and there that the kids will enjoy portraying but at the centre is our aim to address these topics at a young age for them and in talking about it, young kids will grow up with a proper mentality and achieve change through our videos."  

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Despite their battle with equipment and resources, Sanele holds a firm belief that from small and humble beginnings come greater things. 

"Our YouTube and national fame doesn't necessarily mean that we are big production team. We only have one camera and use one mic that we have in shooting our scenes. It truly is teamwork because as I am maybe behind the camera, one of the kids will hold the mic for us. We're using what we have to produce this quality content.

"People were saying that they hope I am not eating or withholding money from the children but before we blew up, it was coming from a place of enjoying and loving what we do.

"Sasenathi Studios is not a big production company. All it is is one man from Ntuzuma with a dream, a R1500 camera, a microphone, an old laptop that works sometimes and a bunch of kids who love having something to do and look forward to." 

See the video for a behind the scenes look below: 

"We just monetized on our YouTube channel and hopefully one day we'll be able to afford more equipment and through any donations and funds we make from this content, we can create opportunities for children in our local communities. 

"We are also holding out for a sponsor for the equipment, it will help a great deal with our creation of the content," he says. 

Even though he has even bigger hopes for Sasenathi Studios, he appreciates the love they have received over this series. 

"I have a very big vision for Sasenathi Studios. It is a film production company in progress. YouTube is a stepping stone and the love we have received has been amazing," he tells DRUM. 

"We started as a very small group and each kid that has joined the team has something to do and looks forward to do every day instead of idling on the street. 

"It took off so quickly, one tweet took us from 1k subscribers, then 10k and then 20k and the numbers haven't stopped growing. 

"We [also] appreciate the criticism, and each comment made motivates us and the amount of love outweighs the small amount of hate we have received," he says. 

"Every share, like and view means a great deal to us, it takes one step closer to our dreams. I know that from here, even bigger things are going to come."

Here's a look at their very first video of the series that premiered nearly 3 months ago. 

Watch the video below: 

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