Motene says her three long-time passions remain women, Africa and the arts. Her Waka Talent Agency manages to combine all of these with a powerful roster of African presenters, actors and influencers.
“My brand was and is still revered across the continent. ‘Waka’ is a kiSwahili word which means ‘shine’. I chose it because it represents Africa, but is also a name that would sound the same in any language,” she says.
“I’ve been very blessed in terms of getting talent on board, as many of them came to me. I started with former colleagues of mine from Studio 53 and then got recommendations as we went along. At present, we have a footprint in SA, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, the DRC and Angola.” The firm also offers casting services, production consulting and on-air training.
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Motene’s vision is to create crossover synergies between African countries. “For instance, we secured placement of our Ghanaian award-winning actor, Chris Attoh, in the South African film, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word. For one of my South African clients, Jerome du Plooy, we’re producing an online series aimed at proving that through hard work, faith and determination, you can succeed. The journey’s documented on Instagram TV. We push the Pan-African agenda in everything we do,” she says.
A victim of abuse by a former boyfriend, she’s retained a relationship with People Opposing Women Abuse and sits on its board.
“The #Metoo movement is very close to my heart. I’ve been assisting and counselling many actors, actresses and survivors since some personal events in 2015, when I was forced to leave a production due to gross disrespect. I know what it feels like to be broken and deal with perpetrators who have powerful allies and who use their connections to intimidate survivors. I want women to know that we need to stand collectively.”