Young, Gifted & Killing It: Simoné Bosman
by Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna) “Hello Baby” has taken on a new meaning. In isiXhosa, it’s “Molo Sana”, and now it’s become Molo Sana Films. This new production house has assembled a pool of black creative talent, ranging from established film directors to photographers, content producers and writers. Molo Sana, says Simoné Bosman, executive producer and founder, “is on a mission to create work that truly speaks to the hearts of black South Africans and the rest of Africa”. This young and gifted creative tells us how she and her colleagues are working on killing it!
Veli Ngubane: Tell us more about yourself: where did you grow up and what did you want to be when you were growing up?
Simoné Bosman: I am from the city where taxi guards hail “Mowbray-Kaaaap”. Back in the early 2000s, my heart was set on becoming a journalist and saw me graduating with a degree in film and media.
VN: Please explain what you actually do and how an average day looks for you?
SB: My colleagues call me “Super Hustler” so, as an executive producer, everyday sees me seeking and pushing for creative opportunities. To find work opportunities for my company’s talents to dig into and produce outstanding film and photography work.
VN: What is your philosophy in life that influences your creative work?
SB: When you are real, you will always do real.
VN: Tell us about Molo Sana and how it came about?
SB: Molo Sana is an integrated production house that represents the country’s coolest black creative film directors and photographers in the country. We were born due to there being a lack of creative black talent that has the ability to influence commercial work differently, to push for transformation in the commercial production industry. As are result, we have brought to the industry talent who [is] experienced in film and photography. In film we represent Keitumetse Qhali, Que Ntuli, Yash Lucid, Lineo Sekeleoane, Kenny Mumba (Zambia) and Adasa Cookey (Nigeria)… And on photography (going into mixed media), we represent Lebo Lukewarm, Ricardo Marcusk and Austin Malema… and growing.
VN: Where and when do you have your best ideas?
SB: I often try to find a solution when people see a problem. So a lot of my ideas are sparked from this.
VN: How have things changed since you got into the business?
SB: Things became pretty real very quickly. When I was a senior ad agency TV producer, I have to admit that I was pretty sheltered. Now that I am open to the world, I see more of reality and how things really work in our industry. Opportunities and support come from everywhere and not necessarily from the places you thought it would naturally come from.
VN: How do you perceive yourself as a woman leader in the creative industry?
SB: I see myself as an instigator for change and aggressively pushing for transformation. It’s a cutthroat business, where you have to prove yourself as a black woman with creative black talent that [the] ad industry is being introduced to. There are not a lot of black female executive producers in the commercial film and photography industry. And, as Molo Sana is an integrated production house, it makes me the only black woman exec producer dancing in this space.
VN: What advice can you give to people wanting to get into the business?
SB: If you can prove that your business is a solution to a dire need, then don’t be selfish — start it.
VN: What do you like most about your job? What is most challenging?
SB: It brings me joy when we receive a PO for a treatment we presented. But it brings me greater joy when I see Molo Sana’s creatives work airing on TV or is on a billboard. The challenging part is presenting authentic creative solutions that speak in the current tone of the target market. We see that, while creatives are open to authentic solutions, they are often pulled back to stick to the thinking of what their clients has signed off. Coming from agencies, I do understand this dilemma. But the onus is on us as the creative producers of ideas to create authenticity that presents a true and creative reflection of our markets. We need a mind shift in our industry that, when bringing creative producers on board, we all have to work together and trust each other in producing work that is true.
VN: What is your favourite ad campaign, past and present, and why?
SB: Back in the day when I still an ad agency producer, I produced a piece of proactive work for Wimpy called Wimpy Braille. It was heartfelt to document a blind person being given the opportunity to know what they are about to eat by placing a description of their meal on their burger bun by using seeds and placing them in braille. Currently, under Molo Sana, we are working on a few campaigns that will soon become my next favourites.
VN: What has been a highlight in your career?
SB: Receiving the CIPC document that secured our name, Molo Sana Films ☺ — it only hit me then that “we are doing it!”
VN: As a creative, how influenced are you by current trends?
SB: Always! To be relevant and authentic, you need to know what is happening [in] our country. You cannot only rely on the internet to be on par with trends. You actually have to go out and have a bunny chow, gatsby or iskopo with your fellow peeps and know what happening on the ground.
VN: What exciting projects are you working on at the moment?
SB: I have signed a lot of confidentially documents so cannot reveal much. But what I will say is that some digital agencies are developing strong tactical ideas that are changing the way we get across to markets. With minimal budgets, we are working together with these agencies to push for work that has craft and has the ability to pull in great numbers. We are assisting them to push for better budgets, and hope that clients will see that the digital space is a realm that needs great investment as it reaches a lot, real, click-through.
VN: Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
SB: In 2017, we are pushing for “give us back our land”. Well, in 1995, my father and his late mother spearheaded a movement to get back the land where they grew up. The place is called Riemvasmaak, situated in the Northern Cape — close to Augrabies Waterfall. In 2005, Riemvasmaak became the first successful place to have benefited from the land restitution act. And saw it change ownership from the SA military training ground to being home to the Xhosa and Damara people [who] once lived there before. I come from that background; hence my fight for transformation and change for black people to participate fairly within the economy.
VN: Please would you supply two or three pieces of work you have been involved in?
For more, go to vimeo.com/molosanafilms.
Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna) entered the world of advertising with a passion after completing his BSocSci (law, politics and economics) at the University of Cape Town and a post-graduate marketing diploma at Red & Yellow, where he also currently serves as advisory board chairman. He is the chief creative officer and founding partner of one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country, AVATAR. A full-service marketing agency with digital at the core, its clients include Brand South Africa, FOX Africa, National Geographic, SAA and Chevron. Veli hails from Kosi Bay in the rural KwaMhlaba Uyalingana area of KZN. In his monthly column “Young, Gifted & Killing It”, he profiles award-winning, kick-ass black creative talent in South Africa.