Rethabile Ramaphakela, Award Winning TV Writer, Producer, Creative Director & Producer Of Netflix’s Seriously Single opens about her entrepreneurship journey and support she received from IDC to make this movie a reality.
Your feature film “Seriously Single” is out on Netflix, what did it take to achieve this?
It’s been such a journey into getting this film to where it is today. I am extremely excited about the fact that it will be seen worldwide as it is a truly universal story. We responded to the call for the Emerging Black Filmmakers Transformatio n Fund (EBFTF), and were fortunate enough to be shortlisted. Where we pitched to a panel that Included the IIX, NFVF and DTI. We were successful with the pitch and thanks to these institutions, we were able to bring what was on paper to life.
How has your business journey been like from where you started?
It has been a learning curve_ Starling a business is one thing and anyone can do it, but sustaining a business is something else and only a few can successfully do this. I started out as a kid’s presenter on SABC and IMET’s KTV before I decided to focus my talents to being behind the scenes, I had really big ideas about running a production company when we started in 2005, thought getting TV shows would be easy, but it wasn’t. I learned that even in a creative industry it’s important to know about the various aspects of running a business from cash how projections to strategy and business plans.
IDC has been involved in funding”Seriously Single”, what impact did their support have on the project?
Without the support of the IDC through the EBFTF, our film would probably still be struggling to close financing, especially since it’s our first feature film, Closing finances on a fiIm is a difficult process in South Africa, given that the box office numbers don’t always guarantee a return on the investment, It was through IDC funding that we were able to make a product that people will get to see on Netflix. The funding helped us bring the Film to life. We look forward to partnering with the IDC on future projects.
You are both the manager and creative director, how do you juggle these responsibilities?
It’s important to know where your strengths lie and solely focus on that. That’s why when starting a business, It is vital that you partner with people that compliment the skills that you have. I’m fortunate to have my talented brothers on board as the workload can be divided.
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
Running a successful global film and TV company where we continue to turn out quality productions, and owning a lot more of the content we make.
How many employees do you have?
We have about five permanent employees, but on any given production we could employ up to a hundred people or more, depending on the scale of the production_
What advice would you give to women planning to start their own businesses?
If you can do any short business management course – do it It’s important to have realistic expectations about what you want to do, If you just want to handle the creative side, then partner with trusted people who can run the business side.