Alumni Profile of Portia Victoria Sejeng Mogosetsi
I started at Tsogo High School in 2001 with Grade 10 and finished Grade 12 in 2003. Earlier I attended Molapo Primary School, in Ga-Rankuwa, Zone 2 I studied BA in Journalism at UJ, Kingsway Campus, and I’m currently studying film at Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking, in Milpark. Currently, i am studying film and doing my film learnership at Magic Factory. I’m fascinated by the art of film and the entire process of taking a concept and developing it into a motion picture. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Visual elements of motion picture have universal power of communication and they keep on evolving; and I want to take part in that evolution.
I’m also a member of the Clearwater Lions Club, a non-profit organisation that serves disadvantaged communities around the world. The club has national and international branches with a network of about 1.3 million men and women in 205 countries who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities all over the world. The objectives of the Club are to encourage service-minded people to serve their community without personal reward, to encourage efficiency as well as to promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public world, and private endeavors. Every month our Gauteng branch holds fundraising events to help those who are in greater need.
Tips for those trying to get into the film industry:
Getting a job in the film industry can be challenging. Many employers and employees rely on reputation and networking as part of their communication.
After I finished my Journalism degree I knew that I wanted to pursue television and film, so I thought of going back to school to study film. During that time an opportunity arose in 2010 where Siyayinqoba Beat It was looking for Gauteng Community Journalists for their TV programme. I applied for the position and I was chosen to be one of their Gauteng Journalists. In 2011 I then enrolled to study film at Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking. I felt that going to school was necessary for me as I wanted to expand my knowledge of film.
I have worked on a number of Mnetproductions as an intern and I realised that once I am on set everyone expects me to act as a professional; high quality work is always expected. I constantly strive to be the best at what I do because I have to convince my employer that it is not only worth it to keep me for that particular job but also to hire me for the next one.
The film industry in South Africa is very small so everybody knows each other. It’s always important not to burn bridges behind you in case you want to return back to the people you once worked with. Maintaining good relations and having a positive attitude is very vital. Moreover, it’s not just whom you know and what you know that only matter, but also what you have done lately. Like they always say, “you are as good as your last job”; credibility is a big deal. So it’s important to always position yourself well for the next job while you are maintaining your current job.
Again, in this industry people are always adjusting their schedules because working hours can get overwhelming. You never know when you will be home because you can only go home when the project is done for the day. So if you want a nine-to-five kind of job, this industry may not be for you. Flexibility and passion for the job are required.
Not everyone who is working in the TV and film industry went to school for it. Some of the people in fact learn the job while they are in the job. You have to be willing to learn and show the ability that you can do the job. If you are interested in working in this industry, you can start by making contacts with the local production companies. Contact local films and see if they can’t let you volunteer on their productions. Internships are also the best way to get started. You have to be willing to learn and grow within the industry, even if it means that you have to also make coffee, sweep floor and be a runner while you are at it. It’s better to start at the bottom and build your way up so that when you are at the top you are well rounded and you understand what goes at all levels. That’s how many great producers and directors started out anyway.
On inspiration: I’m inspired by life itself. Waking up in the morning is another opportunity to be better than yesterday; there’s always room for growth and improvement. I’m also inspired by people who come from difficult backgrounds but never allow their circumstances to hold them back from going after their goals. Again, I love story telling and reading motivational books; I find my inspiration from sharing in others’ experiences.
Be the best at what you do. It’s one thing to have a job, but it’s another thing to have a job and do it with excellence. Most importantly, as you pursue your personal and career goals, don’t get so caught up so much that you miss your purpose in life. Your life is bigger than your career.
To current Students
High school is a crucial part of career decision-making. This can be a confusing and an overwhelming stage for some, especially when you don’t know what you want to do or study after high school. For those who aren’t so sure about what to study, taking a gap year isn’t a bad decision at all. It can allow you time to find your field of interest. Some of the things that could help guide you in making that career choice is knowing your gifts, abilities, interests and what is closest to your heart. For those who already know what they want to do after high school, go for it. There is nothing as fulfilling as doing something that you really love.
Again, never let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. In life there’ll always be those people who will try to make you feel like you are inadequate or that your goals are too big to be attained, but don’t believe that. I’ve always believed that the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself is to believe in yourself when no-one else believes in you. Do not surrender to the opinions and expectations of others. If your background wasn’t good, don’t despair. Sometimes our success comes from our deepest hurts, which allows others to also find healing in our very wounds. Find a mentor who will help you channel your goals and continue to grow.
I have so many great memories of Tsogo. The one that stands out the most however, is that of my grade 10 English teacher, Sister Geraldine. I was fond of her and I used to look forward to her class. She was funny without intending to be, which made class more interesting and fun. I also loved going to the school masses; the amazing sound of the marimba is still resonant in my ears.
My Significant Achievements: In 2009, after completing my degree in Journalism, I was honoured by the Golden Key International Honour Society for being one of the top 15% students with an overall academic excellence at the University of Johannesburg.
Connect with Me
Other Web Profiles: In 2010 I worked as a Community Journalist for Siyayinqoba Beat, an HIV/AIDS educational programme that airs on SABC 1 and other Community television stations. My profile can be viewed on http://www.cmt.org.za/siyayinqoba/community-journalists/
More Alumni Profiles
- Alumni Profile: Mapela Motshabi-Custodio (Tsogo 1997)
- Alumni Profile: Portia Victoria Mogosetsi (Tsogo 2003)
- Alumni Profile: Tshepo Kgobe (Tsogo 1991)
- Alumni Profile: Vukosi Marivate (Tsogo 2003)
- Alumni Profile: Mpho Mokgadi (Tsogo 2004)
- Alumni Profile: Omphile Modibela (Tsogo 1999)
- Alumni Profile: Dr. HM Molamu (Tsogo 1980)
- Alumni Profile: Thurston Sebotsane (Tsogo 1991)
- Alumni Profile: Gabisile Simelane (Tsogo 1996)
- Alumni Profile: Thabo Ncalo (Tsogo 1997)
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