Director Teboho Mahlatsi on the new Shaka Zulu drama series
5 Aug 2019 ARTS & CULTURE
By Zuko Komisa
Teboho Mahlatsi who is a Writer, Director, Executive Producer recently sat with Bridget Masinga, to share his journey as the co-founder Bomb Shelter which has brought South African some iconic stories on Yizo Yizo, Zone 14, Isibaya, Jacob’s Cross, The Road and so much more.
As a company director of The Bomb Shelter Film Company (Pty) Ltd, he has gone on to becoming South Africa’s most sought after award-winning commercials director with a knack for telling authentically South African stories.
The Genesis of Bomb Shelter
Bomb Shelter a highly acclaimed creative company that has been bringing breathtaking South African stories with Desiree Markgraaff, Angus Gibson, Teboho Mahlatsi steering the ship. A relationship with that has spanned for over two decades he reflects on how he and Angus Gibson met. “Me and Angus met first, I was an intern and had just graduated from film school. he had a company called Free Filmmakers at the time, a collective of independent filmmakers, based in Yeoville.”says Mahlatsi. They later got together to form the company.
Through the history of the company they have given actors their big break, having stories that stand out. Mahlatsi explained what has made them so efficient.
“We put a lot of emphasis on research, also talking to a lot of people who are close to the story we are exploring. On set as a director, I know my preferred method is to always say that the script is just a blueprint, and as an actor, I am giving you space and freedom to explore the character.”
Amongst his accolades as a creative In 2018, at the USIBA Awards, hosted by arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa he was honored for groundbreaking work in the Audiovisual and Creative field.
Shaka Zulu ‘From Outcast to King’
Photos: Bomb Shelter
Bomb Shelter is in the process of bringing the story of the Zulu warrior Shaka Zulu to life. Speaking to Bridget Masinga he shared his view on the iconic screen adaptation of his story where Shaka was played by Henry Cele.
“A great Nigerian writer once wrote, ‘Until the lions have their own historians, the story of and the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’ I think think this applies to the story (uShaka), until we reclaim that story, and tell it from an African’s point of view, as opposed to a colonial gaze.”
The first season of the story will be taking the viewer on Shaka’s journey from birth to being a King exploring a series of event that transpired in the late 18th century, in the Nguni kingdoms of SouthEast Africa where one visionary leader, uShaka seized the Zulu throne, determined to unite them all.