- Her film Cradle is currently showing on Showmax
The ardent media personality has a film called ‘Cradle’ currently playing on Showmax. She runs her own production house, Mediawrap Africa, as an Executive Producer. Outside of production work, she is a digital content creator and a social media influencer who works with brands seeking to reach audiences.
As film and television keeps growing, young media graduates are redefining that space by bringing forth fresh content. Lorato Orapeleng, who began in 2013 as a television presenter at the age of 17, is one of them. “I began as front of the camera talent, doing what I love most, TV presenting,” she told Executive Life this week.
“This was rooted mainly in watching shows like Mantlwaneng, Live AMP, Oprah Winfrey and many others which had incredible presenters whom I saw bits of myself in. Following my passion meant that I eventually needed to monetise it, and like many iconic media personalities, I followed a blueprint that works and explored the behind-the-scenes aspect of the industry.
“I love the boldness that comes with being a creative. Because it is considered to be an informal career path, you enjoy the true meaning of being yourself because your unique being is what sells and makes you stand out. In addition to that, there is room to grow and network with many people across the world because film is an international language understood by all through different narratives.”
When her career began around 2013 and 2014, she had to do a lot of groundbreaking work for herself. Her tenacity landed her an opportunity to work with brands like Sky Girls, Yarona FM, Red Pepper, G3 Agency in South Africa, online radio ICE100, Magari Land and DSTV. “In my years of acquiring experience through these brands, I enjoyed the opportunity of shadowing and executive roles as a cast manager, production assistant, presenter and assistant public relations manager and so on,” she said.
“I have engaged with these different brands on an individual level which later translated into my company, Mediawrap Africa. It has been validating for me to continue following my dreams. Outside of being a filmmaker producer, there is the social media influencer which exposes me to the work of content creation. This keeps me in touch with what is happening in the industry and ignites my creativity for my production company.”
Of the many things she has achieved on her journey in the film and television industry, she is more than happy to have had an opportunity to be a part of the MultiChoice Talent Factory, an initiative that enhances African story telling. “Every year has had its own set of highlights, but to-date nothing comes close to being one of the Multichoice Talent Factory alumni,” Orapeleng noted.
“This opportunity birthed the businesswoman in me. I am from a family of hard working women but the opportunity to be in the academy allowed me to have a different perspective on the business side of film. Another highlight was having my company, Mediawrap Africa, as the first company to produce DSTV on air promos, allowing us to extend our portfolio and have referral work.”
Film and television being a growing industry, Orapeleng said more times than not, the odds are always against them in terms of structuring their industry, funding for projects and quality control, which is still a problem in her opinion. Even so, she believes there is a future for students pursuing film and television. “I truly believe there is a future for film graduates and there has never been a greater time than now to have an academic background in this industry as when we compete internationally, there’s a level of educational competency required,” she explained.
“The more knowledge you acquire, the greater the chance you stand to be hired or create your own business. So yes, there is a future and we still have the workload of structuring it. There is definitely room for growth, comparing to neighbouring countries. But not all is lost as there are platforms that have been designed to buy local content from time to time like Upic TV and NowTV. There are also a lot of talented young people who are exploring their talents in this field. We are well on our way to the big markets. I have seen short films from Botswana being put on the map through film festivals.
“One of my films, Cradle, is currently showing on Showmax. With the number of talented people who are on the rise, we will one day be among part of world players. We just need to create a structure and respect the roles of each person in crews. For example, we need to have telenovelas on our local channels that talk back to who we are as Batswana in the modern day and in our history. Create more and new shows for our local viewers.”
Orapeleng is currently working on documentaries and pitch decks for TV shows and is looking to expand and collaborate with brands. “Outside of this, we are still in the business of advert production for businesses,” she said.