Every Wednesday we will be publishing our interviews with one of your favourite South African Christian “creatives”. Get to know why they do what they do and how they are using this platform to advance God’s kingdom. We have watched Gospel Unplugged as they featured some of the SA CHH artists we know; now get to know the producer personally in this week In Sync with producer Sibusiso Mthiya.
…in Matthew 28 vs 18 – 20, Jesus says (let me paraphrase) I have given you authority on earth to Go ye therefore teach and make disciples and when you are done baptize them in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. It is our duty today to carry on serving our purpose on earth through media.Sibusiso Mthiya
34-year-old Sibusiso was born in Tembisa, Gauteng on the 2nd of July. “I’ve always wanted to be in the media field since I was 6 years old. So, I did a couple of kids shows when I was young, you guys are too young to remember them. Lol. I stopped to focus on school because television can be too much when you’re a child/teen. After high school, I studied Radio Broadcasting, Film, and Television, BA Communication Science to expand my knowledge in the media industry. After university, I went onto Radio to present and produce then decided to work on a couple of TV shows as actor, presenter, director, and producer. It has been a great and difficult journey, however, my goal has not changed; I still want to tell stories that connect me with the viewers,” explained Sibusiso. He further on shared that Jesus is the pioneer of Christian Med, “in Matthew 28 vs 18 – 20, Jesus says (let me paraphrase) I have given you the authority on earth to Go ye therefore teach and make disciples and when you are done baptize them in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. It is our duty today to carry on serving our purpose on earth through media.”
Sibusiso remarked that the challenges he has faced as a Christian producer are “Distribution, niches, globalization, viewing habits, everyone is ‘producer,’ social media, interactivity, and risk.” He likes different producers for their different qualities in creating, treating, and developing content. But for now, he aspires to work with Thokozani Nkosi, Proverb, and Basetsana Khumalo. “To the rest of the producers, I believe in your work.”
Apart from producing Sibusiso Mthiya spends his time studying, watching a lot of TV shows for inspiration, and in the gym. In his SA CHH playlist, you will probably find the Dube Brothers, Jhey Dot, Church Boys, Phlo-girl, Last Days Fam, JD Crosson, Blaque Nubon, Lily Million and MaWat. Sibisuso shared that “SA Christian Hip Hop does not get enough exposure because we don’t have enough shows that are celebrating SA Christian Hip Hop musicians and sometimes it’s the connotation with the History of Hip Hop culture, the famous hip hop artist are seen smoking weed, drugs and with trousers baggy. So, Christian shows are like ‘NO – that’s improper in Christian culture.’” One show that is doing the is on the Sibusiso produces; Gospel Unplugged.
Gospel Unplugged is a contemporary and urban gospel music show created by Thabang and Jo Masanabo. The show is a mechanism that exclusively caters to contemporary music, with an emphasis on various genres of urban gospel music including hip hop, house, RNB, and Reggae gospel music. Each episode is a musical extravaganza that puts music at the forefront of its gospel message. Always beginning with the week’s upbeat and in-tune “Praise Party” with DJ13SA featuring his Gospel, House and Hip Hop mix for the week, followed by a vibrant and energetic Performances from our guest artists. It includes features such as; Top Three Local Chart Music Video Count Down, followed by “Word and Rhyme”( a spoken word, poetry segment) and live performances. “ On the Urban Christian music show, you can look out for is poetry – word and rhyme sessions, unplugged jam sessions with up and coming musicians, The Spotlight on the various urban Christian musicians, there’s a lot, trust me.” Sibusiso further shared that in live performances he looks for lyrical content, performance, and dress code… “All the musicians that I invite on Gospel Unplugged SABC 1 bring the best performances ever, all of them have been my BEST and more, I am super proud of our Gospel Artists.” Catch Season 2 Gospel Unplugged on SABC 1 every Sunday at 5:30 pm. A few of your favourite artists and more have featured on this season of Gospel Unplugged.
Sibusiso elaborates that both concept and quality are important in making a hit music video, “We need a strong storyline with characters or no characters but it needs to have exposition, climax, resolution. You need to determine your setting/location, plot, characters, and narration to tell your story in the music video. Also, you need to get the right Film crew with vast experience in capturing the story about your song. Don’t forget to invest in the right gear for a proper outcome.” His personal creative process is a series of questions that serve as building blocks to his final product, “I always ask myself two questions: Does it serve a purpose? And is it different from what I’ve created or experienced before? Once I’ve answered both questions, I create based on purpose and uniqueness. Let me leave it here. I could spend the whole day on this topic,” he added laughingly.
He is currently working on a new Christian drama series called Isinqumo Sami, a new music show called Rhythm Avenue, and reruns of his other projects; Teen Gospel Live & The Chosen Generation. You can catch them on Hope Channel or SID Media Digital on YouTube or SID Media on Facebook. Sibusiso aspires to produce a movie that preaches to people to choose Jesus as their personal Saviour because He is coming back very soon to take us home in heaven.
Sibusiso Mthiya lastly encourages South African Christian media creatives who want to be part of the media industry, “to go to school, study the terminology and the business. Understand how this industry operates in order to make money. You can’t rely only on talent. You need something to enhance your skills. Again, this industry is not for the faint-hearted, you need to be patient with every production you work on. Viewers take time to get your concept and when they do, they run with it on social media.” The interview was insightful and inspiring to us, and it should at the very least encourage to not sleep on our purpose but go out there and take our place in sharing our voice in the media industry for we have the hope this world needs. Follow him on all social media platforms @SibusisoMthiya and don’t forget to keep it locked on SACHH as we bring you all things SACHH.
SACHH raises the flag and raises the bars!!!