PASSION, storytelling and creativity, those are the ingredients needed for one to become a good filmmaker. That is according to Limpopo born award-winning television, news and current affairs producer and filmmaker Molatelo Mainetje.
She said filmmaking and broadcasting are art types that are not taught but acquired in order to creatively put a message across. The Information Technology (IT) graduate from the University of Limpopo is set to fly to Rwanda and rub shoulders with the who’s who of African filmmaking at the African Movie Academy Awards.
Speaking to the African Times about her work and winning awards, Mainetje reveals her latest documentary When Babies Don’t Come has been nominated in the best documentary category alongside Winnie, the documentary: Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s life.
The nomination is for the African Movie Academy Awards, Africa’s equivalent to the Oscar’s, which will take place on September 22 in Kigali, Rwanda.
“This is big. I’m very excited and can’t wait to fly my country’s flag high at the event,” said Mainetje, who adds that she is also passionate about youth empowerment and skills development.
When Babies Don’t Come happens to be her own personal account where she shares her battles of trying to conceive and dealing with infertility.
“I found out in 2006 that I can never fall pregnant naturally hence that prompted me to tell the story that a lot of people are scared to come and say in public. As a storyteller, I felt obliged to tell it and I started documenting it in 2007.’
“As a storyteller/ filmmaker you probably expect people to jump out of their comfort zones and tell their stories and when that happened to me, I knew I had to share my story as well regardless of how uncomfortable it was. I had to do it,” said Mainetje.
Born in rural Ga-Modjadji in Limpopo, the filmmaker said she is a big fan of imparting knowledge of the industry in the rural areas where filmmaking and TV production are still in their infancy.
“My passion is to impart these skills that I got through initiatives set by the government, just imparting these skills to the other ones as well. We set up an office in a rural village called Mokwakwaila in Bolobedu where we produced films like The Ghetto and Nollywood when they started. We produced our first film called Nnakotse and it was screened on Mnet (Mzansi Magic Channel). It is the response that we got from the movie that gave us wings to fly. We believed in the initiative because people loved it, local people resonated with the film as it was a Khelobedu movie,” she said.
Mainetje shunned the big lights of the cities to hone young talent in rural areas while taking money from her own pocket to keep the productions afloat.
“I was working at ABC Australia, I then moved to eNCA, and I would use my salary basically to support the projects. For me, it was feeding my soul. To sit back and see people’s lives changing and turning ordinary people into stars and seeing a young girl holding a camera shooting gave me joy,” she added.