SWIFT Team

Meet the Board

The Board’s post-covid focus is on raising SWIFT’s visibility and pivoting the organisation into a digital-first collaboration space for the organisation’s activities and growing both membership and strategic partnerships with stakeholders across the audio-visual and digital media content creation ecosystem. Appointed in September 2021 the new team has reviewed and set out SWIFT’s strategic objectives for their 2-year tenure and identified projects which prioritise the organisation’s sustainability through enhanced collaboration and sourcing of additional funding and member support (financial & non-financial) to grow SWIFT’s local and international footprint.

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."

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.

Comms & Marketing

The operation team is responsible for all SWIFT brand and PR activities supported by a Marketing and Communications sub-committee that collaborates with member volunteers to form a content & editorial panel. The panel will ensure representation of the members voices in planning and execution of key SWIFT projects and identify key growth opportunities for the Sisterhood. The panel will also focus on sourcing sponsorship and brand partnerships required to build the creative, production and publishing skills within the SWIFT network for project related briefs and coproduction initiatives. The support requirements include skills training, technical equipment, other related content, and audience development resources.
Through collaborations with broadcasters, brands, content creators & distributors, OTT media and film festivals etc., various brand activations and engagement sessions will be hosted to explore topics relevant to SWIFT members and women in general, while celebrating the emerging female talent and honouring the work of women who have pioneered representation in the industry and continue to run successful enterprises.

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".