Getting the world to see Africa from a different perspective requires the ability to harness the power of storytelling through the visual media, and that is where South African tv and film production company, Sorele Media, comes in. Talented and highly experienced founders, Stephina Zwane and Salamina Mosese, are on a mission to not only produce great content, but also to create a powerful online tv platform to get the right messages across to audiences.
LoA had the pleasure of meeting this creative duo last month to find out more.
What does your company do?
Sorele Media is a TV and Film Production company that uses video to tell stories. We launched an online TV station in 2015, called AzaTV (which means Powerful in Swahili). The TV station is available online as well as on the android app stores and iOS. There are 8 different shows on the TV station under the following categories: Inspirational, Talk, Entertainment and Lifestyle. We have a feature film, Love and Kwaito that we filmed in 2016 that was the official selection for the Joburg Film Festival and we are currently working on our second one to be filmed in September 2017. We also help companies tell their stories by filming their corporate videos, as well as their conferences and awards ceremonies. We are looking at going into branded content soon.
"We wanted to try and do things slightly differently in that we wanted to own the content which we were producing, which isn't always the case in South Africa."
What inspired you to start your company?
We wanted to portray the African child in a positive light, in the way we see ourselves and not as the world sees us. My business partner and I grew up working on kid's TV as presenters and actresses. After graduating from university, I went behind the scenes as a Producer, Director and Writer while she continued acting. Once we had reached a point where we wanted growth, we then decided to start our own company. We wanted to try and do things slightly differently in that we wanted to own the content which we were producing, which isn't always the case in South Africa. Starting an online TV station was the best way we thought we could do what we love, while growing as well.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We make sure that the client feels that their brand is still in line with their vision, even in video format. We are professional and highly skilled in the field that we are in. We are able to make things even easier for our client because storytelling is what we do best.
AzaTV aims to reach the Afropolitan viewer and connect with them.
"Starting an online TV station was the best way we thought we could do what we love, while growing as well."
Tell us a little about your team
Currently it's the two of us, Stephina and Salamina, and we have to wear different hats depending on what the business needs. We mostly use a team of trusted freelancers who have been with us since we started. We are a dynamic team and are able to combine both tried and tested methods with innovative methods easily.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
We don't come from a traditional entrepreneurial background. I always say that we are first generation entrepreneurs in our families, which makes this journey an adventure. When we started out, our main focus was on launching AzaTV, and it was only in 2016 that we moved to making sure we grow all the business units within Sorele Media. We are creatives first and foremost, that is our strong point; we had to be business-minded quickly, which meant that we still made a few rookie mistakes. We learn something new everyday as entrepreneurs.
"We have a feature film, Love and Kwaito that we filmed in 2016 that was the official selection for the Joburg Film Festival and we are currently working on our second one to be filmed in September 2017."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
We aspire to grow AzaTV into a formidable brand across the continent, to also be able to vary the content on the platform by licensing content from other independent producers. For Sorele Media, we hope to be the first point of call for brands and corporates as their first choice for a video production company. We hope to also get to a point where we are releasing our films across the continent and not just in South Africa.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
We get the greatest satisfaction knowing that we've made our clients happy and have impacted the life of someone during our interaction, whether it's a staff member, viewer or client.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Be prepared to go on a roller coaster ride if you are looking to start up. It's one of the best journeys you will take in your life because you will learn things you never even knew you needed to know and you will meet the most amazing people while you are at it. You will find strength you never knew you had. So, DO IT!
Contact or follow Sorele Media
Why LoA loves it….
At Lionesses of Africa, we love meeting fellow storytellers who turn their passion into a business, and for the creative entrepreneurial team behind Sorele Media, this has definitely been a recipe for tv and film success. Co-founders Stephina Zwane and Salamina Mosese are both passionate about creating great visual content for their own distribution and for clients who have corporate video and storytelling needs. They are living the media production dream and building a great business and content distribution platform along the way. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa