5 Minutes with… Tshililo waha Muzila

5 Minutes with… Tshililo waha Muzila

  • Tell us about yourself – who are you and what do you do?

My name is Tshililo waha Muzila, born and bred in the little village of Mauluma in Nzhelele, Venda. I moved to JHB in the early 2000’s to pursue a career in the film and television industry.  After graduating from Wits University, I worked in the television industry first as a Runner, Cameraman, Editor and now I Direct and Produce Shorts and Feature Documentaries.  Most of my career focus has been on the small screen, working mainly on SABC-commissioned productions both as Director and Editor. 

  • What are you currently up to? Are there any exciting projects ongoing?

I am currently in post production for a feature documentary project named Negrito del Congo (A little black man from the Congo) funded by the NFVF.  This is one of the few projects that I have deep personal attachment with,  and I’ve allowed myself to be part of the narrative and we have shot the film in 3 different countries namely South Africa, Senegal and Spain.  The film focuses on displacement and follows stories of 2 Senegalese immigrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea in make-shift boats into Europe.  

  • What’s your best project/work to date?

I was assigned to work on a documentary project in Ghana, in which we travelled all regions with young local Ghanaians Doctors who were determined to change lives around their communities.  It was an eye-opening as well as a humbling experience. I have projects that have personally touched my life but I have to mention this as a highlight of my career. 

  • Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by community service workers, these are my everyday real life heroes.

  • When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

If I am not travelling, I volunteer my time in mentoring and assisting a children’s organisation, Ditsala Children’s Shield & Projects.  This girl-child organisation is a brainchild of the late Ontlametse Phalatse and Former Little Miss S.A. Reabetswe Mmekwa.  These marvellous kids travel though the length and breadth of rural South African to help the needy and empower other little ones, so whenever there is an opportunity it’s always a pleasure to tag along.  

  • Finally, what tips or advice could you give to other documentary creatives, just starting out or to the most experienced creatives needing a bit of encouragement?

It is at those dark moments that greater stories are waiting to be told. Never give in, grab your gear and keep shooting.