Entering the Ayanda Duma era, Robot’s director is unleashed and unafraid.

Ayanda Duma’s pursuit of challenging the status quo coupled with her passion for exploring South African culture, black identity, queer culture and femme culture is what drives her as a director. She proudly stands by her values especially when it comes to breaking down stigmas and stereotypes. Ayanda is earnest and bold in her approach to filmmaking, she is also an absolute damn joy, warm, generous with her time and her razor-sharp wit. Even when navigating sensitive subject matter, Ayanda always remains at the core of her craft, as exemplified by her latest project – an 8-episode series titled ‘Sex and Pleasure’ created for Showmax.

‘Ayanda represents this new wave of really perceptive filmmakers whose creative sensibilities are finely tuned with the cultural climate. She believes in the potential and power of advertising and is passionate about reflecting a new voice in the commercial landscape, an authentic voice that is also very much true to her own. Ayanda also has this rare ability to blend humour into her work, she has a keen eye for fashion and a deep understanding of music and the culture that goes with it. She is truly unique and I think all of these things set her apart as a creative force to be reckoned with.’  Says Robot Executive Producer, Liam Johnson.

Since joining Robot two years ago Ayanda has quickly moved from emerging director to establishing her space in commercial filmmaking. She’s not only directed for ad land and was entrusted with a first-time campaign for Mobicred, she’s also done work for an international project spearheaded by actor Cara Delevingne titled ‘Planet Sex’, a doccie series which explores sexuality in all its forms across the world. Of the series, Ayanda says: ‘Planet Sex moved me closer and closer to a world that I’m deeply fascinated by and invested in. The underlying conversation of the whole series is consent, whether that is in a kink BDSM space, a spiritual practice or a monogamous love relationship, always the underlying message is consent. South Africa is a country with a terrible GBV problem, which is why I’m deeply invested in this topic.’

Mobicred ‘Glamping’

Mobicred ‘Shiny’

Planet Sex Trailer

Ayanda, who is a musician in her own right, was also approached to direct a series for Boiler Room and Ballantine’s titled ‘Deconstructed’. The series was a look at how top musical artists deconstructed their viral tracks, breaking it down stem for stem. ‘I think that’s one of the reasons was approached for this, because I also make beats. I understand the interface of Ableton, so when someone is talking to me about an individual stem or a baseline, I know exactly what they’re referring to and I can feed the questioning from a place of knowing and I’m able to then also translate that in an accessible way for an audience.’ Says Ayanda.

Ballantine’s x Boiler Room True Music Studios
‘Episode 3 – Mellow & Sleazy’

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios
‘Episode 4 – Buruklyn Boyz’

Ballantine’s x Boiler Room True Music
‘Episode 5 – Aveiro Djess and Slasha Le Young’

The doccie experience she gained from ‘Planet Sex’ and ‘Deconstructed’ was the perfect launching pad for her next project ‘Sex and Pleasure’, a series that became one of the 10 most streamed titles on Showmax in South Africa in 2022. Ayanda adds: ‘I am very interested in debunking the taboos and myths around sex, periods, intimacy and pleasure and this is was where I really got to do that.’

Each episode of ‘Sex and Pleasure’ explores different elements of sex in relation to a different topic, such as sex work, parenting, love, drugs, orgasms, disability, age, and spirituality and the show also has appearances by big names like the inimitable Lesego Tlhabi aka Coconut Kelz and Moonchild Sanelly.

On how the project for Showmax came about Ayanda says: ‘In this industry, both in longform and commercials, there are incredible relationships that women filmmakers have for each other. This job very much came my way because of one such relationship. One of my good friends, director Yoza Mnyanda-Siboto (represented by Osu Creative Productions), was first approached to direct ‘Sex and Pleasure’ but she texted me immediately when she heard about the project and said B*tch answer your phone, the perfect brief came through for you. That sisterhood in such a competitive industry is really powerful.’

Ayanda’s commitment to challenging norms, dismantling stigmas, and embracing diverse cultures is a testament to her passion as a director. Her ability to infuse humour, her musical background, and her dedication to debunking taboos make her an inspiring talent in our industry, one who will no doubt leave a meaningful mark. We can’t wait to see big brands see her potential, here’s waving at you Libresse.

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Executive Producer: Liam Johnson

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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