Second SAFTA award for AFDA alumnus Ntobeko Dlamini

News, 08 May 2020

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AFDA alumnus Ntobeko Dlamini’s passion, patience and perseverance behind the camera keeps reaping handsome rewards. At the 2020 SAFTA awards held recently he was rewarded with the Golden Horn for Best Achievement in Cinematography for a Television Drama, for his work on Mzansi Magics TV drama, The Republic. At the 2018 SAFTAs Ntobeko also received a Golden Horn Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography, for his work on Mzansi Magic’s Telenovela Ring of Lies. Ring of Lies was consecutively nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography at the 2019 SAFTA Awards.

“2020 marks my 15th year as a cinematographer and this award couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks to every single person who has always believed in me and everyone who has congratulated me on receiving this award. To every young cinematographer who has been inspired by my work, I hope this award inspires you to never give up on your dreams.” says Ntobeko.

Ntobeko graduated from AFDA in 2004 with BA in Motion Medium Picture, majoring in cinematography. His body of work since includes TV Dramas, Telenovelas, Short Films, Public Service Announcements, Documentaries and Music Videos.

During his honours year at AFDA Ntobeko was nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography and he received The M-Net Best Student Award. He also held a lecturing position at AFDA where he tutored first and second year students in Cinematography and Film Theory.

“My work is inspired by passion, integrity and respect for my craft, and an insatiable appetite for excellence in every project that I get involved in. Every shot that I film has to be a work of art in terms of lighting and composition, but over and above that my cinematography has to serve the story and character journey.” says Ntobeko.

Ntobeko’d very first TV Drama Series Tsha Tsha, won a Golden Camera Award for Best Health Education Series and Two Silver Screen Awards at the 2006 US International Film Festival. His short film work has been screened at The Zanzibar International Film Festival and The Durban International Film Festival. In 2016 he worked on Sokhulu and Partners which got a nomination for Best TV Drama at DSTV’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

Ntobeko is also becoming a jack of all trades. At the 2019 SAFTA Awards, his directing debut work on ETV’s Telenovela Gold Diggers was nominated for Best Achievement in Directing and Best Telenovela at the 2018 SAFTAs.


Ntobeko draws inspiration from the works of master artists such as Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Vermmer. I’ve also studied the works of Master Cinematographers such as Conrad Hall, Roger Deakins, Janusz Kaminski, Robert Richardson, Rodrigo Prieto, Emmanuel Lubezki and Matthew Libatique. He is inspired by Directors such as Antoine Fuqua, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Steve McQueen, Steven Spielberg, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Dave Meyers and Michel Gondry.



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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
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