Rosie Motene has had many years in the media industry covering an impressive array of careers. These include Talent Manager, Actor, TV and Film Producer, Radio Presenter, Speaker, Activist and Media Proprietor. Having experience both in front of and behind the scenes, she gives valuable advice to our readers.
What role are you currently filling the most?
I am a Pan African media Proprietor. A Media Proprietor refers to a successful entrepreneur or businessperson who controls, through personal ownership or a dominant position in a media accompany, media that is consumed by a large number of individuals. You get to a position like this with a lot of experience in various aspects of media.
What do you to do on a day to day basis?
My three passions in life are Women, Africa and the Arts. I started as a TV presenter and went on to play Tsego Motene in Generations for 5 years! I was studio host for a pan-african lifestyle/travel show called Studio 53 where I trained as director and producer, staying in this position for 6 years. I realised there was a need for representation and began helping actors on contracts and training – and Waka talent agency was borne. My first feature film as co-producer, Man on the Ground, won 15 global awards.
As an activist I campaign to bring an end to violence against women and children. Training through POWA, I became a volunteer and counsellor, eventually joining the board of directors. As SA Ambassador for UNWoman Africa Unite campaign I conquered Kilimanjaro raising R20 000 for the Tomorrow Trust. Watch out for my new series and autobiography to be released together!
Why did you choose a career in Media?
As a child I was a dancer and I loved the arts. My parents encouraged me to continue with higher education to succeed further.
What part of what you do, do you enjoy the most?
I live by helping women and children and creating awareness. I love my continent and what it has to offer. I love the fact that I can assist and nurture someone in reaching their dreams.
What have been my challenges as a woman?
Sexism is real in this industry, but my tears and passion helped me persevere. After resigning from a particular acting position I was lauded by other actresses for taking a stand.
Our global premier at the Toronto film festival – seeing your name up in lights in the credits is phenomenal! Acting and traveling with John Kani. Opening my office of Waka talent agency. Reaching UHURU on Mt Kilimanjaro.
Winning an abuse case and receiving an apology. In other words, my highlights are made up of times where I persevered, worked hard challenged myself, and never gave up!
Three important qualities for this industry?
Determination – the industry may seem glossy but it takes long hours of gruelling work to succeed. Study – know your craft. Communication – you need people skills.
Advice for learners who wish to enter this industry?
Learn about all aspects of the industry. Ask questions all the time. Find a mentor. Learn, study and follow industry leaders. Starting out I failed every audition being told my acting ability was ‘too big for TV’ . My strong theatre training stood in my way, so I studied TV actors and waited for the next opportunity to try again. I succeeded in the Generations audition and a small part became a lead.
FINAL WORDS? The road to any success is a long and interesting one. Accept betrayals and challenges – keep going, and share your time with real friends. Strive to be in a positive environment. Practice self-love, understand and know your self-worth.
A tip – make a vision board and appoint someone who will hold you accountable for achieving your goals and actions. And finally – Study! Equip yourself with the right skills for your industry. Always be adding to the value you have to offer in Media.
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