About Us

know our story

Know Our Story

Sisters Working in Film & Television (SWIFT) is a non-profit organisation committed to championing empowerment and access to equal opportunities for women in a previously male-dominated industry, by advocating for change from the historical imbalances and a legacy that discriminated against women in South Africa. SWIFT advocates for gender parity and intersectionality, across the audio-visual sector and content production ecosystem.
SWIFT promotes career & personal development, knowledge exchanges through skills training & mentorship, and creates industry networking opportunities for its members. United by a common purpose, SWIFT members work together to enable transformation so that real diversity and representative South African narratives are reflected on all media platforms in the country.
SWIFT wants women’s voices to be heard, their talent recognised, their stories told and for them to have an equal share in all available opportunities – including access to markets, and positioning of audio-visual womxn practitioners locally and internationally as SA brand ambassadors.
SWIFT currently has representation in Durban, Johannesburg, Limpopo, and Cape Town with expansion planned for all 9 provinces in the long-term.

SWIFT Community Guided by Common Purpose

SWIFT came about when a collective of women informally sat together at the Durban Film Festival in 2017 and identified the challenges that were common and unique to them as practitioners in the film and television industry locally and globally. This meeting ignited a flame to find collective purpose and create a network that aimed to challenge the status quo and bolster the creative and professional success of the women and non-binary people in the audio-visual industry in South Africa. SWIFT provides a networking and collaboration space for women to engage on issues of common interest, encourages knowledge & talent exchanges, celebrates individual and collective successes, as well as pursue growth and innovation through engaging content and partnerships with external stakeholders. Our core programmes are designed to advocate, engage, honour and celebrate the collective. Empowerment, transformation, and valuable content are key drivers that form a strategic platform that connects everything we do both in front of camera and behind the scenes. This is the essence of the SWIFT Sisterhood, to amplify the female voice and represent the intersectionality of women content creators and storytellers across the value-chain in South Africa. The SWIFT logo is a unique representation of the stories that live in the creative minds of the SWIFT Woman. The symbolism of the film reel demonstrates the ongoing content ideas, imagination and thought leadership that the SWIFT brand aspires to become.The Headwrap captures Sisterhood’s self-expression, a headstrong community that is unique to “Audacious African Sisters”.

Our Vision

SWIFT aims to be recognised as an innovative organization that is a catalyst for gender equality, championing industry transformation and the empowerment of its members through collaboration and networking.

Our Mission

SWIFT exists to monitor, facilitate, and report through strategic interventions the closing of the gender disparity gaps in the content-creation ecosystem and to create economic access for women across the audio-visual industry.


  • Collective of women guided by purpose
  • Lead with intergrity by industry practitioners
  • Championing industry transformation
  • Empowerment of members through      collaboration and networking


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Comms & Marketing

Sisterhood Cinema


Skills & Mentorship

Zanele Mthembu

Zanele is a broadcast and media executive and owner of Brown Panther Films an independent audio-visual company specialising in sports, arts, culture and music content. Zanele boasts over 25 years of experience in media and offers diverse expertise, gained through her work in local, regional, and international markets. She brings a robust understanding of the business of broadcasting, production, and distribution.
Zanele has served as the first Executive Head of Channel of Newzroom Afrika, a premier South African Black Owned 24-hour TV news channel and as Group Head of Content at Sabido Investments (now eMedia Group)
Zanele is the current Board Chair of Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT), a non-profit advocacy organisation committed to creating equal opportunities for women in audiovisual sector. She has also served as a Council member of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) an agency of government responsible for developing and promoting the South African audiovisual sector.
She has served as a juror for the International Emmy Awards, Wildscreen Panda Awards, Guangzhou International Documentary Festival Awards, and the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).
She is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Natalie Delport Louw

Natalie is currently the Deputy-Chair of Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT)), a voluntary non-profit organisation advocating for equal representation of women in front of and behind the camera and creation of safe working space for women working in the South African audio visual sector. Natalie has served as a board member of the MICT (Media Information Communication Technologies) SETA from 2014 to 2018, serving on the EXCO and FINREM Committees. She was a director and Chairman of the Board of SACIA (The Southern African Communications Industries Association) from May 2016 to May 2018, She also served as the Chairman for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Skills Forum, from 2012 to 2017. From 2004 to 2007. Natalie was the Chairman of Animation SA (ASA), a section 21 company promoting growth and education in the animation industry in South Africa. During this time she was also a member of the Gauteng Film Commission (GFCy's Film Partnership and a member of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Advisor Panel for Audio-visual Communications. In 2012 Natalie joined the eMedia Group as the General manager of Training and Development, and two years later she started the Sabido eAcademy, where together with her team, they successfully upskilled hundreds of broadcast and media learners.

Pearl Munonde

Pearl Munonde has a solid foundation in production having built her career by rising through the ranks and gaining extensive knowledge at each level. She is an accomplished Producer and Line Producer who has produced hundreds of hours of award winning content for different broadcasters including SABC, Mnet, Mzansi Magic and Etv. She started her TV career as a Script Co-ordinator and Translator for Soul City Series 3-5, and later moved on to become a Script Development & Production Co-ordinator. Pearl is passionate about training and mentoring young female filmmakers. She has been training young girls in production for over 10 years and has produced many great production personnel in the industry. She owns her company called NwaChasiya Media which opened in 2016, where she employs more females than males. In the 21 years that she has been in the industry, she has noticed the discrepancies between male and female practitioners in the film industry. At the time, there weren't a lot of opportunities for black females as there are now. With great mentors, Pearl vowed to give back to the industry by training just about any young girl who wanted to break into the industry and has been doing that for over 10 years. "Being a SWIFT board member will help me to continue pushing boundaries and to ensure that more females are empowered without fear of being discriminated against based on their gender."
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Lindi B Ndebele-koka

After many years in the Cultural and Creative industry including Government: playing a pivotal role in the South African film industry, I have driven and implemented many-a strategic industry initiatives and policies towards the development and promotion of the South African Film industry nationally and internationally. Amongst numerous achievements is: the Film Interim Fund in 1997 as a prelude to the establishment of the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF): conclusion of Film Coproduction Treaties etc Strategic partnerships like the Mnet New Directions training program; - SAFW craft Fushion project, Design Indaba Emerging Creatives; Southern African Film and TV Market (Sithengi)’97, Film Content Strategy in preparation for the Film Incentives,- introduction to major international Film Festivals, hosting the SA-UK Film Summit, the African Film Summit ; international cultural programs: the Olympics, World Cup, Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day, Miss World, inaugural Africa Month in 2015 and many other projects; - the Creative Industry Growth strategy (CIGC), the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE), driven several Ministerial Task Teams, the CCI Masterplan, establishment of the Art Bank of South Africa, BRICS Film Festival, the first South African Film Summit in 2019. I have recently exited government to continue my interest in the creative industries in different capacities. “I believe that the creative industries have the ability to attain a balance between the social, educational, commercial imperative and artistic expression as a voice for both the artist and the community at large”.

Londeka Mlawuza

Londeka's career started off in the Marketing, Advertising and PR industries where she worked with a number of international award winning advertising agencies as well as international festivals such as Durban International Film Festival, Time Of The Writer, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience and Poetry Africa. She’s worked across different genre's i.e feature film, tv series, music videos, documentaries, commercials. She is an aspiring Producer whose passing is telling social issues, mental health and cultural stories with the aim to educate, inspire, empower, uplift and instil hope. Growing up in a matriarchal powered home and having worked with plethora of amazing women from all walks of life has really fuelled her activism for women empowerment and equality in all disciplines. She is currently serving as a board member of Sisters Working in TV and Film, a member of the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective and Writers Guild of South Africa

Simangele Lekhuleni

Simangele is a Screenplay writer who writes stories that inspire, entertain, or address social issues. She believes in using her writing and her life experience to learn, help people, and being an advocate to stand for what is right. She is a member of the South African Writers Guild South Africa a nonprofit organisation whose mission is to protect, develop and empower performance writers. She is also a board member of Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) involved in the promotion of women in the South African Audio-visual industry and creating a support hub for women. She has over 10years of experience in Corporate Social Investment in Enterprise Development has successfully managed businesses in different sectors, working with non-profit organisations involved in youth, education, and managing a Scholarship programme. She believes the biggest force to bring change is women supporting each other and women being empowered. The narrative of "Behind every great man there's a great woman" needs to change to Women don't stand behind men, they lead".