EC’s Mqolomba beats all provinces to clinch SAFTA

The work of Nceba Mqolomba from Kariega (Uitenhage) to develop the Eastern Cape through film earned him an award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) held recently in the North West.

Mqolomba is the Founder and Director of the EC Film Festival which is held every December.

Mqolomba came home with the Outstanding Provincial Contributor Award, coming up on top in a pool of creators from other provinces.

This award is given to someone who has played a significant role in the development of film and television in their province.

“I think my work to develop the province is what made them choose me. Many people asked to nominate me because of my contribution, so I agreed,” Mqolomba told I’solezwe lesiXhosa.

Mqolomba said he cannot contain his excitement. “I am excited about this award because it means that out of the nine provinces, I am at least the best this year, which is no small thing,” he said.

Mqolomba, who is also the Chairman of the Eastern Cape Film Forum, started the film festival in the province seven years ago. He always strives to improve the skills of the province’s filmmakers by training them in various fields.

Mqolomba joined the film industry in 1999, and since then has worked in a number of productions including the Toasty Show, All You Need Is Love, Khumbul’ ekhaya, Walala Wasala and many more.

Mqolomba’s love for movies started at a young age. “At home I used to sit in front of the television, and I kept saying that one day I will go there and do this,” said Mqolomba who studied Speech and Drama at Natal Technikon.

Mqolomba, who has flourished in several skills, has also done radio stories that were broadcasted on Mhlobo Wenene.

He has three awards in his bag now. In 2013 he won a Music Mobility Fund award which awarded him money to visit the UK and France for six weeks.

In 2018, he received the Eastern Cape Cultural Award for the work he did for the province’s film industry.

“I hope that at least now this award will open doors that were previously closed,” he said about his SAFTA.

Mqolomba urged the government to give attention to the film industry as one of the jobs that put food on the table.

He gave words of encouragement to the youth. “I want the youth to look at me as an example of how a child of the soil can come from nothing but put his name, town and province on the map.”