Daniel Thebe is obsessed with media. But not just that; the Cape Town-based entrepreneur wants South Africans to own and produce the media they consume.
Thebe is the founder of the Township Film Festival: a festival that showcases and celebrates township-owned and inspired films and connects junior film-makers with their more established counterparts.
He started the festival as a way of challenging the South African film industry’s insularity. “There aren’t any platforms in South African townships where local township films are screened, but also the industry is largely white and male-dominated. I wanted to change that.”
Thebe’s obsession with media doesn’t end there. The Raymond Ackerman Academy graduate is also the chief executive officer of online video-on-demand service Uhuru TV.
The online TV station currently has a ratio of 80% international media and 20% local content, but Thebe aims to exclusively air local content in the next five years. At the end of the day, he just wants South Africans to tell their own stories.
“It’s one thing to consume media, owning the narrative behind that media is a different ball game altogether. We’re not there yet, but we’re slowly getting there. It’s about time we told our own stories.”
Thebe’s firm- Uhuru Consumer Electronics has since invested in the TMT sectors. Uhuru’s entities include Isidima Brands Multimedia, Uhuru TV, Uhuru Phones (first and only African owned, controlled and managed smartphone brand in the world), Uhuru Mobile (operational as of October 2018).
Find Thebe on Twitter: @DanielKThebe