The young filmmaker, Nigel Lehasa was born and bred in Naledi, Soweto one of the most well-known and developed townships in Gauteng. Lehasa is the founder and creator of the Youth Eye TV, in which run as the platform for young people who want to outshine their talents in the film industry.
The 32-year-old says he’s determined to play a role in a fight against youth unemployment, and he came with an idea of creating a television production for the youth of South Africa. He said young people pleaded with him to establish the television production, as they have acknowledged he’s been doing a brilliant work in the industry of film and television.
Lehasa added that the film industry has been one of his big dreams since from his early age, and he’s looking forward to go toe in toe with community television stations such as Soweto TV and Tshwane TV, in which he believes both industries, have not yet reached the stage of helping young people or young film makers to promote their work.
Lehasa begin in the industry, working as a film producer for the local content, shooting movies with young people from different provinces and townships such as: Free State, Limpopo, North West, Soweto and Vaal. His charismatic skills helped some of his colleagues to go abroad with their talents, and he’s priority from now on, is to also help young people to get a lime light and get opportunities from big productions in the country.
“It was painful for me to see young people sitting in the corners of streets without doing nothing, and for some of them have exceptional talents but their dreams and talents are fading away, due to illegal activities they end up getting themselves into.”
“My project came in a rescue, to help young people from this hard-core lifestyle they got themselves into. We helped those who thieves and those who were previously drug addicts,” added Lehasa.
Apart from his television experience, Nigel played a huge role in the struggle against the apartheid regime at his youngest age. He was a freedom fighter and for safety reasons he was forced to go into exile and train with the army formerly known as Umkhonto We Sizwe (Spear of the nation). He returned back to the country in 1994 and played a role in the South African politics and joined the South African defence force, he then retired from the army in 2001.
With his departure from the army, Lehasa saw that youth are struggling with unemployment, however they have some incredible skills and talents from various career paths. He then thought about interacting with youth and find alternative solutions to help them and sharpen their skills.
“When I retired from the army, I set back and realized the suffering and the poverty our people were going through, and I came to a point of establishing something solid for youth.”
The Soweto born created the television production named Youth Eye TV last year in hope of uplifting young talents. Lehasa says is only the two of them in the production team, and his duties includes managing the production, monitoring and broadcasting programmes, while his colleague market the brand. Apart from the production team, they have a group of cast presenters, actors and actresses for various fields.
The Youth Eye TV in collaboration with Kassie Magix, broadcasts local dramas, music videos, fashion shows, beauty pageants, graduations, wedding events, local sports and music videos.
Lehasa says it was a bit ramshackle at first. “When we launched in Youth Eye TV last year, we were all over; trying to learn the market, looking for funds for the transmission and to present everything.”
“Today, Youth Eye TV is a smoother operation, we have young people submitting their content to us, in order to broadcast it on our online TV website,” claims Lehasa.
The film-maker also added that he’s in negotiations with the Multi Choice to provide a channel for his production, for people without an access to the internet, to view it on DSTV.
However, Lehasa said he was on a national TV’s educational programme ‘Shift on SABC 1’ asking for donations, but even at this moment, there’s no one who offered to help him to grow his production, he ended up using his last pennies to maintain his production.
Lehasa hopes that if people can offer some money on the trust fund he launched for his production, this will enable the Youth Eye TV to have its own studio centre, and compete with successful productions such as Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood.
The Youth Eye TV can be found on the following website: www.youtheyetv.com