Showmax’s new docu-series Orgin’s showcases an exclusive glimpse of stories that shaped the country’s brightest story tellers
An age-old tradition – The art of story telling is an intrinsic convention that has shaped the identity of humans in many parts of Africa. Establishing its roots from a primordial time, the communal bonding formed over sharing cultural parables has eminently become embedded in our gloriously unique way of existence.
Focusing in on this inimitable quality is Multi-Choice, who have partnered with a group of the most exciting creative forces, showcasing uncompromising and passionate devotion to their crafts, to unearth their origin stories. This month, the Showmax Original docu-series Origins has flighted as one of a kind perspective into the lives of five disruptors: Jazz composer Mandisi Dyantyis, photographer and visual artist Tony Gum, performance artist, musician and designer Manthe Ribane, Historian, writer, researcher Zikhona Valela and filmmaker and creative researcher Sanaa Mothabisa.
The five episode mini docu-series follows the lives and stories of each creator, amplifying how they distinctively communicate their methodologies through the exploration of different mediums. Music, film, design, literature, performance art and photography take centre stage. All interlinked, intermeshed and integrated into the nuanced identities of each creative who collectively have a common connection – storytelling.
SA Creatives had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the experienced creative researcher and emerging filmmaker Sanaa Mothabisa who has been working on film and commercial sets since he was cherry during his final year studying Film & Television at the University of Johannesburg. As a top achiever, Mothabisa attributed his extra-circular projects as the cuase of his polished skills, positioning him as a stand out film student.
Following his formal schooling, Mothabisa gained experience was a director and creative researcher at BOMB COMMERCIALS. During his tenure at the agency, he learnt how to adapt this skill set on a large production set. When asked on the contrast of shooting his projects singularly to having film crew assistance, he responded by saying, “The difference when shooting with a crew is that you have the opportunity to focus on your role which is great, however I have a hard time stopping myself from trying to adjust things on set, such as fixing the lights, or doing the gaffers job because of how involved and hands on I’ve had to be when shooting my own projects. People have always had to stop me.” he laughs. “I cannot sit in a director’s chair, I need to be involved with everything that I direct or shoot. I need to feel that connection with the subject and everyone on set.”
At the tail end of 2021, the Soweto-born film director announced the debut of his feature film Zion which screened at Mangrove, Johannesburg. Zion follows the film’s protagonist, uNomusa Dingane, as she begins to question the existence of God after her mother’s passing. The film debut programme spanned across two days which incorporated a Process Documentary about the Zion Shortfilm, Visual Art performance & The Shortfilm Screening. – Directed by Sanaa Mothabisa. The second day delivered an intimate setting with a sequel show entitled, ‘The Last Supper’.
In Mothabisa’s episode, the young South African filmmaker who uses his mobile phone to tell the story of his subjects, takes us on a journey through Soweto, capturing the essence of the places and people that inspire him. Moulded by the magic of a multilingual, multicultural monument of history, he was born and blessed by Soweto’s iconic streets. Moments once ordinary, he transforms into the spectacular through the lens of his camera.
Affirming the beauty of all that he captures, he forges a memorable connection between subject and audience. “If there is one thing that you anyone will always have on them, no matter where you are, its their phone. It’s the most accessible thing. There are so many moments that I can capture, I love using those moments to show people that they can explore what they want to create with no intimidation.”
Watch Showmax Original docu-series Origins here !