The ascent of a music journalist expert : Nontobeko Sibisi: Nontobeko Sibisi is a young South African media personality and creative entrepreneur who is passionate about African arts, culture, history, heritage and indigenous knowledge. When she’s not on-screen as a TV Talk Show Host on DSTV’s ‘Show Me Love’ or acting as Sheila on Mzansi favorite telenovela GOMORA, she’s working on her directorial film debut. Some may remember her as an arts and music journalist advocating for cultural diversity on broadcast news platforms that inspired a viral revolution #RespekTheDoek #DoekTheNewsroom #DoekForNonto raising a global conversation on cultural diversity and inclusivity in work spaces. See even more information on Nontobeko Sibisi.
Nontobeko has since foundered her own brainchild Okay Sho! Media. A creative media production and virtual solutions company focusing on original African stories and indigenous content focusing on arts, culture, history, heritage and indigenous knowledge. Nontobeko has extensive experience in broadcast TV – conceptualizing, producing, directing, and scripting content for local and international audiences. Her work has been scheduled on various platforms such as Mzansi Magic, SABC TV & Radio, Kaya FM, The Mail & Guardian, eNCA/ETV, City Press, Standard Bank Arts, and The National Arts Festival, DSTV Moja Love Channels, and BET Africa.
This has opened both on and off-camera business opportunities, from an acting debut on Mzansi Magic’s telenovela Gomora and being a TV Talk Show host and producer on DStv’s Show Me Love – to ultimately evolving my media and TV production business to include working with brands such as Mzansi Magic, Bet Africa/Paramount Africa, The National Arts Festival, Standard Bank Arts, Moja Love Channels and Rhodes University. I’ve found being honest about the work in a selfless and transparent way really has a way of igniting future collaborations. I love helping businesses tell their brand stories and histories in a very sacred and true way. I really want to bring forth a lot of the energy work in my film work.
The media talent also had her first international trip via Nigeria after being selected as part of a cohort of 36 young African storytellers trained to cover the buildup of the 2010 World Cup as well as the African Cup of Nation. The Twenty Ten Project, an initiative by World Press, Free Voice and Lokaalmondiaal. Her work would go on to win local and international awards such The Siemen’s Profile Award in Doha, Rhodes Top 100 Students including our station’s Best News Anchor, Best Radio Presenter & Station’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Documentary Filmmaker and Creative Media Producer – The long and colorful journey finally comes full circle for the versatile media talent and creative entrepreneur. Nontobeko has been recently selected for the 15th edition of Durban Talents, A Berlin International Film Festival initiative part of 6 Berlinale Talents across the globe. Here, she is being mentored by the continent’s leading filmmakers and producers such as Sarah Bletcher, Nadine Cloete, Bongi Ndaba, Iman Djionne, Mohamed Siam, Akosua Adoma Owusu to name a few. She is determined to make stories and storytelling accessible to anyone and everyone who resonates “there’s a demand of African stories and original African content – meaning there’s much bigger interest than ever before in who we are and how we are – we just have to tell and share our stories in intentional yet re-imagined ways” says Nontobeko. When she’s not working on content for audiences she’s intentionally healing on her Higher Ground Africa platform.
Making Nontobeko Sibisi a unique triple threat in her versatility is her passionate and engaging on-screen presence. Nontobeko Sibisi plays a featured character called ‘Sheila’ alongside Zodwa (Sannah Mchunu) on Mzansi Magic’s much-loved show GOMORA. Before that, she was for years a prime-time TV Talk Show Host on Moja Love’s ‘Show Me Love’ alongside fellow panelists KG Moeketsi, Unathi Nkayi, and Abigail Visagi. Some might remember Nontobeko’s vivacious energy as an innovative and award-winning arts and entertainment TV journalist who called out her former employer for their discriminatory “no doeks on-air” policy. This saw thousands dawn their doeks in support of #RespekTheDoek #DoekForNonto #DoekTheNewsroom. Find additional information at Nontobeko Sibisi.
Honors & Awards
– Selected for Durban Talents, A Berlin International Film Festival Initiative. Issued by Durban FilmMart Institute · Jun 2022
– Proud alumna puts an innovative spin to 1st virtual National Arts Festival Issued by Rhodes University & National Arts Festival · Aug 2020
– Arts Journalism Awards Arts Journalism Awards Issued by National Arts Festival AND Business and Arts South Africa · Nov 2016; Associated with eNCA
– Commendation; Science and Journalism Profile Awards
– Commendation; Science and Journalism Profile Awards Issued by Science and Journalism Profile Award · Jan 2014
– Science and Technology Award (Student Category) Issued by Siemens Africa ; Profile Awards (DOHA) · Jan 2011
To date the company has successfully collaborated and produced creative media productions, virtual conversations, web-series, Arts & Entertainment TV Shows on a variety of platforms with a core focus on television, radio, digital media, virtual and hybrid events. The filmmaker and TV Director’s work has been scheduled on various platforms such as Mzansi Magic, SABC TV & Radio, Kaya FM, The Mail & Guardian, eNCA/ETV, The City Press, Standard Bank Arts, and The National Arts Festival, DSTV Moja Love Channels, and BET Africa / Paramount Africa. “The industry has changed so much over the last few years especially the needs of audiences – I get really excited offering my clients creative solutions that meet their needs. I work with a lot of passion to add a “different spark” to our projects, this ensures we create honest and resonating content that’s always meaningful to the client and most importantly audience everywhere.” This is just one example of how Nontobeko is using her skills and personality to make a difference in the lives of others.
How did you end up in the world of media? Oh my gosh! I’ve always-always been such an eager beaver for broadcast. Absolutely loved and still love it so much – it was just impossible to not see it for myself growing up. I’m a product of many hours of the Oprah Show. I’m also a product of many hours of listening to the news, on the hour every hour, quickly running to the mirror trying to remember what was said just so I could sign off at the end. Hilarious really.