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Witbooi pressing the right buttons

FRUSTRATED with the idea that when local artists move to bigger provinces they take their talent along with them, Ginsberg entrepreneur Sibongiseni Witbooi is using his skills in the hope he will gain lasting publicity for local artists with his music videos.

After qualifying as a graphic designer and photographer at Buffalo City FET College, Witbooi soon focused his talent on experimenting with video. “From an early age I was exposed to a variety of music because of what my dad used to listen to. Everything from reggae to gospel and even mbaqanga,” he said.

“I taught myself how to create music videos. After my camera broke, I was sponsored a new camera for stills. But I realised that it also had a video option. At first it was confusing because I didn’t know which cards to get to use this option, but Google and YouTube have been my go-to places for all my information.”

To date, Witbooi has already created two music videos and is working on his third, all shot at various Eastern Cape locations. He has also been working on a documentary about Mdantsane artist, DJ Tulz. The documentary was shot earlier this year and Witbooi is currently editing it.

He has also designed CD sleeves for local artists such as Zama and Voice Ministries, Ruth Nongongo, Phumla Mfene, Vovee, TACC and Mashava. Witbooi is open to working across musical genres, from gospel to hip-hop, jazz and Afro-pop.

“The most fulfilling part of doing what I do is to see the result and the final product in the end – to be able to see what I’ve done and sometimes even surprise myself,” added Witbooi.

“I think it’s important for so many artists to know that it’s so important to brand themselves and having a music video can help them do that, whether they are signed to a label or not.

“I want to cater to the needs of people in the Eastern Cape. There is a lot of talent here but a lot of that talent relocates to other provinces. I want to show them that you can make it here and even through my own example I want to show them that in my profession I can make it here.”

Witbooi said the name of his business, Versatile Multimedia, spoke for itself, explaining the essence of the versatility in his work. He hopes to expand his business into an empire, touching and promoting the lives and talents of Eastern Cape artists from all spheres. “I want to create an entertainment company and empire that offers my clients everything from music videos to sleeve design and photoshoots. I want to own a store that will become a platform for artists to sell their music, whether they are signed or not,” he said.

l To view some of Witbooi’s works or to contact him visit his Facebook page at Versatile Multimedia or on Flickr at Sbongs’ and even You Tube. —

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