Caribpress’ Samantha Ofole-Prince catches up with South Africa’s General Consul

A seasoned ambassador, Cyril S Ndaba recently spearheaded a tour for a delegation from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

Why was it important for a South African delegation to visit Hollywood and meet with the powerbrokers of the entertainment industry?
Hollywood is the leader in the film industry. Everyone in the world looks up to Hollywood.

What is the ultimate goal for the meetings and Hollywood connections made by the South African delegation?
To understand the inner workings of the film industry and get to know the real power players in the industry.

Why do you feel South Africa is becoming a preferred destination for such Hollywood productions as “Safe House,” “Invictus,” and “Blood Diamond?”
South Africa is the whole world in one country. From the icy mountainous Drakensberg area, to the semi-desert Northern Cape plains, to the sunny and hot-fruit producing Limpopo, and the 1,000 hills of KwaZulu-Natal to its battlefields, to the golden beaches on the Durban coastline, to the Cape of Good Hope where the cold water of the Atlantic Ocean meets the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Plus English is spoken throughout the country.

 Do you feel there’s any competition with Bollywood, and the productions coming out of Nigeria?
There is no competition with Nigeria. South Africa works with both the Bollywood and Nollywood film industries. There is a market for Bollywood and Nollywood in South Africa, as there is a market for South African productions in both Nigeria and India.

What is the population of South Africans living in the U.S?
You’ve got three sets of people that came from South Africa, so it’s very hard to pinpoint that figure. A rough number would be 60,000 – 70,000 in the U.S.

We have the movies Winnie Mandela and Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom examining the lives of two prominent South African leaders. Have you seen either movie and what are your thoughts on them?
I saw Winnie and I thought it was fantastic, but I would also like to see a South African playing Winnie and also Nelson Mandela.

When you look at the 54 African countries, South Africa appears to be the most stable. What are your thoughts on the remaining countries and their economic stability?
7 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Rwanda is one of those.  Angola and Nigeria are tipped to overtake South Africa as early as 2016. It’s the commodity crude oil and it would appear one country after the other in Africa is striking crude oil.  For Rwanda, since 2010 it’s been registering double digits of economic growth. It’s a success story. Recently, Uganda and Ghana struck crude oil, so 7 out of 10 are your success stories. Currently, South Africa has 25% to 26% of Africa’s total GDP so Angola and Nigeria are going to overtake South Africa in the not too distant future.

Pictured: (L-r) South Africa’s consul general Cyril S. Ndaba with Carol Coetzee, Mmabatho Ramagoshi, Welcome Msomi and director Joe Brown.

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