Sabelo Mgidi, aka Subz, The Movie Writer, is a well-known South African screenwriter and author of 3 novels. The 30-year-old is originally from Pretoria and started writing at the age of 18.
His first novel, “The Split of Gary Oliver”, was followed by “The Exit Interview” and “The Gautrain Heist”, which became an independent bestseller. Subz began screenwriting after finding that he was just as passionate about writing for film and television as he was about writing novels.
Recently, Subz was appointed to write the movie “Bare”, an adaption of the No.1 bestselling book written by Jackie Phamotse and head writer for a new TV drama titled TLOU under Ferguson Films.
His debut movie Silverton Siege, an action-packed blockbuster, is currently in production as a Netflix Original.
Q&A with Sabelo Mgidi, aka Subz, The Movie Writer
Tell us a bit about yourself and what your job entails on a daily basis.
The name is Sabelo Mgidi, although some recognise me as “Subz The Writer”, the name says it all, I guess. I’m a screenwriter, more specifically a MOVIE and TV writer. After much learning, hard work and experience, I am now a Movie & TV producer. I grew up in Pretoria, started writing at 19, and after winning my first short story competition, I never looked back.
Writing! Writing! Writing! Is all I do. Reading and watching a ton of material from contemporary to the classics is all I do on a daily basis. It’s a serious discipline. Not many people would actually want to go through some of the things one has to do to play at the highest level like I am so fortunate to do.
How did your journey in the industry begin?
When I started writing, I wrote novels (books) and became one of the youngest bestselling authors in the country. When that wasn’t challenging anymore, I was introduced to screenwriting by chance. And when I discovered the fact that I could write words, anything I wanted, and those words could come to life on the silver screen; I totally and immediately fell in love. I write movies and TV now. That’s it!
What are some of your career highlights?
In my short career, I’ve had so many highlights. Some of them very personal. The one that stands out is writing the Netflix hit Kings of Joburg and having the show go no.1 in the country and all over the continent and even in Jamaica. And not just that but having the longest standing No.1 Netflix original show in all of Africa. That, for me, was bigger than life. I looked at it and realised… that’s me!
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on KINGS OF JOBURG SEASON 2. My (first) debut movie is dropping in December of this year. It’s also a Netflix Original titled “SILVERTON SIEGE”. And I’m in the development of my very own Telenovela. So, it’s a bit hectic, and there are no days off at the moment, but we love it.
What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?
I think this is such a great platform for people to get insight into the industry and really get a close up on the ins and outs of this world. This business is very difficult or almost impossible to get into, so the fact that Fame week has spotted the gap is such an amazing thing. We need more of this. I also feel like Fame week Africa should expand on how they share content. Let’s see a channel on national TV, let’s see more events, what you guys have is incredible.
What do you think the future of the creative industries looks like for Africa?
For me, Africa is the end game for all entertainment. Especially music and film. I see this generation breaking out and competing on the world stage in a serious and aggressive way. Unapologetic. Fresh. New. And inspiring. And that’s me. I’m a part of that. I see my movies, our stories being told all over the world, and it will happen. It can happen for you too. You just need to believe.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer someone wanting to get into the industry?
There’s no one piece of advice for this industry. But I’d say you have to have an overwhelming amount of confidence—a ton of determination. Believe in what you do. Once you believe, the job is done. Lastly, you will need to love whatever it is you want to do because you’ll need to work on it all the damn time. I became a professional when I started writing like one.
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