Transform SA Digital Issue 29 - Magazine - Page 37
FROM TV SCREENS TO
Leaving a best paying job to start a business is not an easy decision.
Lindane Mbense (39) was born and raised in
Pietermaritzburg, in Kwazulu Natal province. Upon
completing his high school, Mbense pursued a
qualification in journalism and communication. In
2001, he relocated to Johannesburg where he did
his internship with SABC. That was the beginning
of a successful broadcasting career.
Mbense started working as a news reporter and
did other broadcasting related duties. At some
point he was a presenter for MorningLive, SABC
Africa and a show called 180 Degrees. He later
went on to become an SABC continuity presenter
and moved to the sports department. Despite his
busy schedule, Mbense always found time to do
voice overs. His work gave him an opportunity to
cover soccer, rugby Olympics and All Africa Games
traveling all over the world.
After spending 14 years with the public broadcaster,
in 2016 Mbense decided to try something new, he
tells TransformSA all about it:
Tell us about your journey in business.
One thing I knew was that even though I was
moving away from presenting, broadcast was what
I really enjoyed. So I decided to move behind the
scenes. That’s how I started my company.
What inspired the name of your company?
Well, the name of my company is called Nyathi
Empires. The name comes from my clan name
“nyathi emnyama” which means black buffalo.
What type of production does your company
My company basically does a number of things.
Namely, TV broadcasting and filming. When I
started I knew that there were a lot of companies
that were in that space. One of the things that I
targeted was documentaries. I always felt that in our
country we don’t do a lot of documenting of things.
I opened an opportunity for private companies to
get a platform to document their own activities. I
wanted to give people a chance to document their
own stories as well.
What is your role in the company?
I am the owner of the company. Basically, I do
the entire concept for the client. In the actual
production, I become a director and producer
and operate my own cameras. However, there
is a camera team that we have. We also have a
sound operator and a lighting specialist and a
make up artist.
What impact do you think your company has?
The kind of productions we do are very personal to
the client. As a production company, it becomes
much easier for corporate companies to work with
us. While we have so much to learn, there is also
room to grow. We strive to make our production
as world class as possible.
What are some of the challenges that you had
to deal with?
One of the challenges of starting a company is
that you are on your own. By that I mean there is
no salary and you have to use your own resources.
And there is a nagging fear of not knowing if your
business idea will work. One thing that I wanted
was not to be one foot in and one foot out.
Where do you see your business in five years?
One thing I want to achieve in five years is having
enough content. I want to do more documentaries
and reality shows, and get more corporate clients.
Over and above that, I want my company to
What is your take on transformation in your
I think transformation is important. Most of us got
an opportunity because of transformation.
“One thing that I wanted was not to
be one foot in and one foot out.”
Volume 27 • 2020