Thabang’s performance driven approach to commercials stems from a lengthy and successful career in long form film making that takes root in a background of various forms of visual artistry. His father, apart from being actively involved in the political struggle, was an artist in his younger days and Thabang soon became intrigued by this medium of expression; “from a blank image I could evoke a mood and feeling, I could capture a moment in time that would resonate with people forever, I knew something was truly special about art.”
Thabang studied at City Varisty in Cape Town where he was awarded numerous awards. These included Best Short Film at Sithenghi Film Festival (JAMESON AWARD) his Public Service Announcements won awards both in Dubai and South Africa (VUKA AWARDS), while his short films were selected for Cannes International Critc Week, Tampere Film Festival in Finland, 16th Africa Film Festival in Milan (as well as having the privilege of being the youngest director to compete in that Festival). His showreel is extensive in the drama genre, having directed JOZI H, an international medical drama series which was aired in South Africa and Canada; as well as Jacobs Cross, The LAB, Zone 14, Sokhulu and Partners which got an IEMMY Nomination and SAFDA win for Best Series.
Thabang moved into the realm of commercials after joining Bouffant. He has worked with some of the top advertsing agencies in the country and directed commercials for clients like DSTV, MTN, Hansa and Coke. Thabang finds it extremely important to empower, motivate and inspire others and he often gives guest lectures at institutions like Boston Media House, City Varsity, AFDA and various high schools. His priority when approaching a script is the authenticity of telling a story: “It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I have learned how to handle challenges and obstacles – they are ultimately there to make me a better storyteller.”
His recent KFC Streetwise 3 commercial for Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg has received enthusiastic and positive feedback from the public. The commercial features South African musician and rapper Khuli Chana. Thabang and agency create a tongue-in-cheek take on Chana’s ‘Mnatebawen’, showing the playful side of the brand. The protagonist’s reluctance to share his new Streetwise meal evolves into the hit song’s chorus line “he eh”.