The Rudeboy Collective welcomes Director Monde Gumede back to South Africa

Monde Gumede has spent the last five years based in LA, working for music labels and creating content in over 7 countries across the world for artists such as J. Cole, the Marley family, Charlie XCX, Tove Lo, Daniel Caesar, Adidas and Hlomla with members of his moniker one.fiction. Whether directing, writing, producing, assistant directing or creative directing, Monde refers to the past years as ‘the sponge period’ – soaking up as much industry know-how as he can. His experience working on all aspects of the content creation process now sees him joining a new wave of directors in the country. These directors are rising through the ranks by not only directing commercials in the traditional sense but by teaming up with agencies far earlier in the creative process. They know the youth market, they know how to connect with that market and what resonates with them and they are damn enthusiastic to collaborate on all aspects of the commercial making process. Now that he’s returned home, Monde has joined the esteemed team at The Rudeboy Collective and is ready to disrupt the traditional agency/director relationship and you should be too.

Obsessed with fashion, music and popular culture, Monde is excited by brands that cleverly align their campaigns and beliefs with artists, celebrities, sports stars or even influencers to create branded story-driven content. But above all else, he is interested in collaborating with agencies to articulate contemporary African stories. Born in Maryland in the US of A, Monde grew up in Durban after his parents returned to the country post the ‘94 elections.

Still jetlagged from the trip home, Monde’s charm and determination already peaked our very own Queen B, Bonang Matheba’s interest and he was asked to direct the online short for her new MCC brand ‘House of Bonang’ – he proudly adds: ‘Bonang is the first black woman to join the MCC board, so it was extremely special for me to be part of this project.’ With the help of Rudeboy, Monde is also currently in post-production for his first short film ‘Hooked, A Mami Wata Story’, which he shot in SA on 16mm film and is currently being processed at Cinelab in London – one of the few places that still develop film.

View more of Monde’s work

I’m not an end-product director, I’m a process director. I want to work alongside an agency to create content that truly resonates with an audience, and I will do that all day and tomorrow.’ – Director Monde Gumede

iDidTht: Now that you’re back, what kind of commercials are you excited about getting involved in?
Monde: This may be arrogant, but I believe people are complex and complexity is a very dangerous thing to obscure, particularly amongst people that have been previously marginalised. So I most enjoy, whether it’s consuming or creating, content that acknowledges and promotes a broader spectrum of diversity, especially in Africa.

iDidTht: How do you personally want to approach directing work that speaks to the youth market?
Monde: It’s about putting the right people in the room and giving them the agency to speak up about what they feel. Which is also why Rudeboy is so great to me, there are all sorts of people representing in these rooms. That Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner would never even have happened if the right people were in that room.
iDidTht: Haha, preach!
Monde: I love being involved in those initial phases when agencies are aligning ideas to a brand’s identity. I believe that when a team, from creatives to the director, collaborate on a commercial, the end result will always mean more. I’m not an end-product director, I’m a process director. I wanna work with the agency and I will do that all day and tomorrow.

Apart from the sexy allure of having gained significant experience working with some of the top artists and production companies in LA, Monde’s enthusiasm for contemporary African culture, his drive and excitement to graft hard from ideas phase through to calling ‘that’s a wrap’ on set is infectious. Add to that the invaluable support from an established production company like The Rudeboy Collective and yeehaw! He is a new generation director that any agency, wanting to speak to the African youth market, would be lucky to have in the room.

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

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