Introducing Olamuk, generational legacy
Olamuk is a full-service production company that represents a roster of vibrant directors and photographers. Although the team offer a diverse skill set, they maintain that they all coincidently do exactly the same thing, which is of course to… ‘Make dope sh*t’. Having launched over a year ago, we caught up with the 100% black-owned one-stop-shop to find out more.
With decades of experience in the production and stills industry the team at Olamuk is responsible for creating an impressive portfolio of commercials, content, long form, photographic campaigns, magazine covers, car photography, YOU NAME IT. By representing both directors and photographers, the company is able to offer agency and clients a streamlined, integrated, money-saving and collaborative production process. An example of this is their latest spot for Sanral, where the team were responsible for shooting the TVC, content and stills.
Sanral TVC directed by Olamuk’s Mzi Kumalo
Stills for the Sanral Campaign shot by Olamuk’s Jeff Rikhotso
Olamuk is passionate about creating compelling work while nurturing talent to freely express their artistic creativity. ‘Maybe this sounds very esoteric, but at Olamuk we see ourselves as custodians of culture. As a group of directors, photographers, filmmakers and creatives we have an opportunity to use storytelling to shape and inspire our South African culture and people, even if it’s in the smallest way. That is an opportunity we don’t take for granted.’ – Director Mzi Kumalo.
Executive Producer Joe “King” Nkosi, who has years of experience producing work across the continent, says: ‘Not only are we a roster of talent with the right tools to deliver commercial film and photography creatively, Olamuk is backed with the experience to produce high-end work, on time, for your budget.’
What’s in the name?
For those who didn’t spot it immediately (ahem, we did ), Olamuk is ‘Kumalo’ spelt backwards. The name is a way of paying homage to Alf Kumalo, a leading South African photographer and photojournalist and the late father of Olamuk’s Mzi and sister Nonhlanhla Kumalo. ‘Olamuk is an ode to my father’s life as one of our country’s most prolific photographers, artists, historians, politicians, however you want to remember him. He would have loved to go into film, but unfortunately the way the country was designed at the time, that was never possible for him, so this, in a way, this is us trying honour his dream.’
Meet the Olamuk Team
Director Mzi Kumalo
Mzi is a director who is passionate about culturally relevant storytelling paired with compelling visuals. From comedic work to more sentimental pieces, Mzi brings a vast experience of the production industry, being instrumental in the success of major campaigns. Joe King adds: ‘Mzi truly respects the creative idea and always tries to go beyond the brief by offering a fresh perspective or angle.’
Steyn City Commercial
Multichoice Valentines Day
Photographer Jeff Rikhotso
Jeff has always been obsessed with experimenting with different techniques, a quality which has lead to a bold, detailed and varied body of work in the commercial and lifestyle sector. His imaginative shooting techniques and vibrant visuals have seen him collaborate with some of the biggest car and magazine brands in the world. Mzi adds ‘Jeff is a true craftsman.’
Director Athi Petela
Commercials, TV & Film director and the latest addition to the Olamuk team, Athi Petela also brings with her extensive experience as a writer for some of South Africa’s most popular TV drama series. ‘As a commercials and film director, Athi is drawn to the lesser told stories and has a sensitivity in which she approaches those subject matters, creating nuanced complex work. There is a lot of valuable insight that she brings in terms of what the company has to offer and a maturity in her approach to the work.’ Says Mzi Kumalo.
Umzi Watsha (Film scripted and directed by Athi Petela)
Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner
Photographer, Director and Editor Austin Malema
Last but most defintely not least is another new addition to the growing Olamuk team; accalimed photographer, content director and award-winning editor Austin Malema. In 2019, Austin appeared in the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list, testament to his influential career that spans over a decade. Austin has shot for Cassper Nyovest’s Fill Up concerts, AKA’s Supa Mega shows, as well as a range of award shows, where online audiences flock to his Twitter page to see the best shots of the night. If Twitter is not your thing, you could always join his over 70k followers on Instagram, hello man-about-town, jeez!
‘Austin is one of the best known creatives working today. He is incredibly respected in the industry and beyond and has a keen sense of the South African creative landscape.’ Says Mzi Kumalo.
Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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