Manaileng Maphike is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa with over 10 years of extensive experience in the legal industry and is one of the Co-founders of Women in Music South Africa.
She has had an illustrious career having represented Heads of State, Politicians, World-renowned Businessmen and women, multi-national companies, government, state-owned entities, creative agencies and entertainers (musicians, actors, producers, influencers and content creators).
Manaileng has participated in numerous workshops, television and radio programmes and panels geared
towards educating the creative industry, especially on music licensing and contractual matters applicable to the entertainment and creative industries as well as legal commentary on news channels.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what your job entails on a daily basis.
I am an admitted attorney of the high court of South Africa (Legal Practitioner) with over 10 years experience within the legal profession from working at boutique law firms, large IT companies as well as at the largest collective management organisation on the African continent. I am currently practising within the following areas of law: Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property Law, Commercial Law, Information Technology Law, Media Law and Commercial Litigation. I am a co-founder of Women in Music South Africa, Founder and Director at Yateletata Services and Managing Director at Maphike Inc. a specialist boutique law firm based in Johannesburg.
My job entails providing legal services to my clients through my legal services consultancy – Yateletata Services. We are a legal services consultancy for the creative industries with clients ranging from musicians, producers, TV production companies, actors, IT companies, SMMEs, influencers, PR and Comms companies as well as corporate South Africa. We provide advisory services and drafting, negotiation and review of agreements within our areas of practice. We also provide advisory services and registration of intellectual property namely, Trademarks, Designs and Copyright. In respect of Maphike Inc. we assist our client with Media law disputes such as drafting complaints to the press ombudsman, BCCSA as well as defamation claims arising from social media posts. We also litigate on behalf of our clients, i.e. institution of legal proceedings on behalf of our clients.
No one day is the same. My area is dynamic and incorporates various areas of the law.
How did your journey in the industry begin?
In the beginning stages of my legal career and during my studies, I was surrounded by and befriended people who were either art students or working within the arts and entertainment industry. They would request I assist them with reviewing their contracts. Following my admission as a legal practitioner, I then decided to learn more about the legalities within the entertainment and creative industries. I then registered Yateletata Services which led to the incorporation of Maphike Inc.
What are some of your career highlights?
I have represented 3 former heads of state on the African continent, politicians and the public broadcaster which were my biggest career highlights in the earlier parts of my legal career. In 2021, I had numerous career highlights such as providing legal services on behalf of my client on a t-shirt collaboration with one of the biggest retailers in South Africa, Negotiating a licence deal on behalf of my client, a television production company, with a broadcaster. Speaking at Midem Africa 2021 was another highlight as well as my participation at the inaugral FameWeek conference.
What projects are you currently working on?
Due to the confidentiality of my work, I cannot discuss this however, I am currently providing legal services on a television commercial. I have recently been retained as the legal services provider for a movie currently in production. I am also in the process of negotiating a license deal for a client with one of the major streaming platforms.
What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?
It can offer a one-stop shop for creating meaningful connections for creatives and those in the business of the creative industry. There is synergy and cross-pollination between the various elements of FAME which speak to each other. You cannot have film without music. Having industry players in the music and film industry under one room is invaluable for all roleplayers.
What do you think the future of the creative industries look like for Africa?
The future is truly Africa. African creatives are influencing trends be it in music, fashion and art. The African creative industry is on the verge of being a world leader/influencer. Africa is a trendsetter.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer someone wanting to get into the industry?
Like with any other industry, focus on the paperwork and the administrative side of the creative industry that is where the biggest mistakes happen. As creatives, the paperwork is the boring part of your career however, it is extremely important because the contracts you sign will define your career path and your ability to make a living in perpetuity. One bad contract can affect your career – I have seen it happen to many within the creative industries who end up losing their intellectual property as well as the right to use their stage names.
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