Aphiwe Mkefe takes the Lead

Photographed and written by Tatum Russell

With back to back leading roles, awards and collaborating with next- generation film makers, learned screen writer and director Aphiwe Mkefe will definitely be ushering in a new age in South African film making.

New comer on the scene, Aphiwe grabbed the attention of many with his first leading role in Mzansi Magic’s Drama, Nkululeko. A coming of age story set in the streets of Khayelitsha – which to many was all too relatable.

“Nkululeko is a young boy from my home town Cape Town. He was an alternate version of myself, he was the boys I played with in the townships growing up and he was my family too. Nkululeko was easier for me to breath life into as that life was all too familiar with me.”

Aphiwe Mkefe

Being in front of the camera isn’t something new to you. Takes us on your journey in the industry and how your experiences have shaped your passion?

A: Although not new, it was quite nerve wrecking as a new actor (am I still allowed to call myself this?). My introduction into the industry was on a grand scale with many people watching and a high standard was set, these pressures molded the diamond that was my performance there after. I have learned so much so quickly and will never stop learning and growing, I have found my confidence and stride and right now my understanding is that all that is in front of me no matter how challenging, I have the ability to conquer.

Aphiwe’s second leading role is in A Vusi Africa Film “Letters Of Hope” coming out in early 2020. The film produced by Ndiyathemba Modibedi and written by Naledi Bogacwi, Letters of Hope is yet another big picture by young South Africans telling South African Stories.

Film out nationwide, March 2020.

A: YES! YES! YES! A great feat for us all, extremely proud of everyone who worked on this project and it was an added bonus working with young black like minded people. This was a first time film for us all and we really had to trust one another. I worked closely with Vusi and he allowed me the freedom I needed to be able to best convey this story through my medium.

 Letters of Hope won the “Artistic Bravery Award” at the 40th DIFF ( Durban International Film Festival) 2019. What was it like working with a crew of young aspiring creatives such as Vusi Sindane and Naledi Bogacwi? 

” I really had to research into the life of a young 16 year old back in the 70s of Apartheid. As well as really get into the psyche of a young boy living in that time with ambitions of becoming a police officer (Tricky! I know right!)”

Aphiwe Mkefe

As a fresh lead in South Africa, what unique opportunities do you think you will bring to the emerging creative and film industry? 

A: I am a learned screen writer & director, these two passions of mine are yet to be showcased commercially but I am well on my way working on some amazing new projects of mine independently and I along with my peers and collaborators will definitely be ushering in a new age in South African film making

Follow Aphiwe’s journey below


CDFA/ Vogue fashion fund winner, creative director and founder of Brothersvellies.

Aurora James is a New York based model/ creative director who founded Brothervellies in 2013. The brand consists of traditional African footwear hand made in South Africa, Kenya & Morocco. The artisans are local African men and women who handcraft African inspired shoes and sandals made from pure leather, recycled denim and tyres.

 Aurora James & Brothervellies are inspired by the traditional handwoven techniques and natural materials from Africa. They strive to make a difference by employing local artisans who receive both wages and skill training with efforts to help create a sustainable jobs within Africa.

Brothervellies has been recognized by magazines from Elle to Vogue and has caught the attention of celebrities such as Beyoncé & Kanye West and taken NYFW by storm for Spring 2016.

I personally love Auroras vision of seeing traditional African wear as something of the future, creating a spotlight on the influences of  Africa, culturally and the skills wise. Showing that we do have the potential to feature in a much bigger industry.

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