A pioneer and mastermind behind the conceptualisation of Generations, Mfundi Vundla was born on the 10th September 1946, in the Western Native Township, Johannesburg.
He’s the sixth child of a family of 11, and education has always been a focal point for the Vundla household. Vundla says that he has made a significant contribution, so in that respect, he can be seen as a pioneer.
Vundla went on to study at Fort Hare University, and enrolled for a BA in Politics, Philosophy and English. In 1968 he was expelled from the university for underground political activity. Mfundi went into exile in the USA, and continued with his education, remaining an active member of the ANC.
In 1973, Vundla met Karen whom he later married in 1976. The Vundlas moved to New York where Mfundi worked as a playwright, where he highlighted the social injustices of apartheid in his work.
As an active member of the ANC, Mfundi gave speeches in California to raise awareness about apartheid, fighting for its abolition. After the dismantling of apartheid, Vundla came back to settle in South Africa in 1992.
Vundla says that the African people were victorious in the sense that democracy came into being, with the removal of Apartheid. He adds that black, Indian and coloured people had been denied a voice for centuries.
I was writing our story from the perspective of the victors.— Mfundi Vundla, executive producer of Morula Pictures
In 1993, an opportunity arose to submit a proposal for a soap opera to the SABC. Mfundi created Generations, which has had an enormous impact on South Africans, being the first local television show to focus on the needs, dreams and aspirations of black people.
The government of South Africa has failed people who create content from owning content.— Mfundi Vundla, executive producer of Morula Pictures
Vundla says that creators of Isibaya or Generations don’t own the properties that they created. He adds that the government continues to fail us in an era where jobs are critical.
We have Governing Ministers in charge of these Departments who don’t know what they are doing says Vundla. He adds that the cracks of the issues are that creators of intellectual content in television do not own anything.
Every television producer in South Africa who creates a TV show just survives on the production fees and that is it. They do not own what they create.— Mfundi Vundla, executive producer of Morula Pictures
What they create is daily stolen from them by television networks.— Mfundi Vundla, executive producer of Morula Pictures
On the topic of Generation 16, Vundla adds that he was the target because of ignorance and petty jealous. He adds that what occurred with the Generation 16 cast members was misdirected.
Generation 16 had an issue with the SACB so they targeted me to fight the battle for them, and I refused to be used like that says Vundla. He adds that he doesn’t understand why the cast members couldn’t understand how it wasn’t his fault.
Maybe it’s a black thing of PHD or pull him down syndrome. I have no idea as to why I was this target.— Mfundi Vundla, executive producer of Morula Pictures
Some of those actors and actresses had careers that were on an upward trajectory says Vundla.
Where are they today? The whole thing was stupid and it was sad.— Mfundi Vundla, executive producer of Morula Pictures
In 2000 Mfundi obtained a contract with e-TV for a new youth soap opera, and so Backstage was born. Vundla broke new ground with the show, using it to develop and showcase South African talent.
Vundla was also the Executive Producer of the movie 'In My Country', which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche. As the Executive Producer, of the award winning children's animated television series Magic Cellar, Vundla saw the show win over 29 international awards.
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[WATCH] Mfundi Vundla in studio chatting to #WeekendBreakfast host Phemelo about his rise to success.