As Cape Town-based Okuhle Media reopens its studios for television production with an essential services permit, the team strides into this new world on the energy of being of service again, and, rather auspiciously, on the euphoria of two recent SAFTA wins.

The 14th South African Film and Television Awards, held as a virtual ceremony during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, honoured Okuhle Media with two Golden Horns. Best Competition Reality Show for the internationally loved Ultimate Braai Master, and Best TV Presenter for Entle Bizana from the revolutionary Hectic on 3.

A 4th SAFTA win for the Ultimate Braai Master, show host and creator Justin Bonello says this latest win speaks volumes of Okuhle Media’s South African crew as well as of the appetite of South Africans for local home grown content that celebrates who we are.

‘Kudos to the crew, contestants, and all our fierce fans for joining us on this crazy trip.’ says Bonello.

And it is a crazy trip. Crazy in the beauty of its South African landscapes, crazy in the demands of its challenges, and crazy in the delicious inventiveness of its braaing contestants. Broadcast on, the world’s toughest outdoor cooking competition follows some of South Africa’s best braaiers as they sizzle their culinary magic in one stunning location after the other, fiercely facing each other off for the ultimate title.

And while this SAFTA win is ‘another one under the belt’ for the popular reality show, the Best TV Presenter award for Hectic on 3’s Entle Bizana was a first scoop for the ever charming 19 year-old.

While Bizana says the prestigious win is ‘just extraordinary’ for someone her age, she also says that the award goes far beyond the honour. ‘It is a symbol of hope, a hope that every young black girl like myself from a place like Tsolo Eastern Cape, where I am from, can also dream big and know that their dreams are valid.’

Bizana teams up with her fellow presenters Dante Poole, Caitlin Pillay, and Siphelo ‘Speech’ Bayana to bring tween viewers plenty of play, creation, and inspiration on Hectic on 3. From DIYs and demos to pranks and skits, young viewers are immersed in a fully interactive television experience about the wonders of the world we live in.

For television network SABC 3, it is a vital platform to reach out to its 8-12 year-old viewers. In fact Okuhle Media’s Hectic on 3 and its teen-centred magazine show Hectic Nine 9 (SABC 2) are both daily live shows that keep the youth of South Africa connected, both serving as important vehicles for public messaging.

And these are the shows that called the buoyant Okuhle Media team back to production during the COVID-19 pandemic as an essential service.

‘We’re stepping up to the plate like never before,’ says Okuhle Media Managing Director, Production & Executive Producer, Wilna van Schalkwyk. ‘These are days of isolation and uncertainty, and our youth needs a strong, collective guiding light. It is not only up to us guide them in awareness and communicate the most up-to-date information in their own voice, but to give them back their platforms so that they get to have their own discussions, find their own creative outlets, and stir their own inspiration.

‘It is a new world for all of us, and as the Okuhle Media team, we have used this unusual reprieve of lockdown to have robust conversations, dream new possibilities, and explore new ways to remain relevant to both our audiences and our clients, continuing our philosophy of delivering beyond expectation.’

And in this new world, the company starts with Hectic on 3 and Hectic Nine 9, both back on air as of 21 April 2020.

Those at Okuhle Media not actively dedicated to the daily youth shows continue to champion their particular brand of creative excellence in various stages of the production process, including conceptualisation, pre-production, post-production, and delivery.

Because new world or old, this is an award-winning media organisation that knows how to create a legacy that lasts.