Team

Engage Entertainment Management

Sibusiso Ngobeni:  Managing Director / Executive Producer

Sbu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Motion Picture Medisbu-ngobeni-01um which he attained in 2008 at AFDA, more about the institution at http://www.afda.co.za/index.php. His career started in 2008 and through the years has grown from production co-ordinator to his current position of MD and Exec Producer. As exec producer Sbu is responsible for the creative direction and production management of all Engage productions. His key performance areas include various pre-production tasks, content direction and approval, creative direction (conceptual, shoot direction), client liaison on the various projects, budget drafting and controlling working closely with the production accountant when reporting to client on budget recons.

A key career highlight was his involvement with the Engage production team to produce live television shows which broadcasted on SABC 1 during the 2010 World Cup. He assumed the position of a content producer for a daily live soccer review show which broadcasted throughout the month during the World Cup festivities. He went on to work for Red Pepper Pictures as a freelance producer and just recently at Vusion Media as the Managing Producer. I reported to the company CEO. Currently I hold the position of Managing Director & Producer at Engage Entertainment and I am in the process of acquiring shares in the business.


Stephen Lorenzo:  Executive Director on behalf of Riverbed Media

stephen-lorenzo-01Steve’s primary focus is Riverbed Media, and developing content for worldwide markets.

Steve has been producing television for the past 19 years, having previously worked in FMCG sales and marketing.

He began his career at Cadbury’s, and after 7 years of creativity with chocolates, he crossed over into the TV world, spending a further 7 years producing for Rapid Blue.

In 2003, he founded Engage Entertainment. He has produced documentaries, game shows, children’s series, music and magazine, short films and Sitcom. In 2015 he founded Riverbed Media, focusing on developing film and TV series packages.

He holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree and IMM marketing diploma.


Joseph Modibedi:  Producer Manager

Joseph has been with Engage Entertainment since April 2008. He began his career as a driver, but always demonstrated initiative, insight, diligence and loyalty. Since then he has been on various training and development courses, and grew through the ranks of Production Assistant, to production Co-ordinator, and has held the position of Production manager for the past two years. Joseph is key to maintaining the day to day operations of Engage.


Tracey Strydom:  Operations and Finance Manager

Tracey completed her BCOMPT (Bachelor of Accounting Science) and TIPP articles (Training Inside Public Practice) in 2004 whilst doing her articles at Moore Stephens. She stayed in the auditing environment until 2009 when she joined Nolands (formely Fordham &Oshry) to managed the accounting department, providing financial management services to various clients. One of those clients was Engage Entertainment, and in 2010 she joined them full time as Financial Manager, and after a short break to have two strong boys, she rejoined in 2014 as Operations and finance Manager. Tracey has a strong understanding of managing production finances in the public finance sector, ensuring compliance with best accounting practices, and balancing the creative and cash flow demands of an independent production company.


Riverbed Media Executive Team

Simon Lerefolo: Group Chairman

simon-lerefolo-01Simon studied Mechanical Engineering at Wits University. Simon has also done courses in Basic Financial Management, Peace Building and Conflict Transformation. Simon has worked as a Project Engineer at Unilever.

He has also worked as a consultant at Opus Dei Advisory Services, a project management and strategy consulting company.

Simon has worked in Germany as part of the German Bureau of Standards.

Simon currently serves as an Executive Pastor at His People Church and is on the Board of Heartlines, Africa Peace Network (APN), Director at AGES (Africa Geological & Engineering Science).

Simon and his wife Lindi are passionate about healthy marriages, nation building and discipleship and they have 3 children.


Ndabezinhle (Zin) Mabaso: Chief Executive Officer

zin-mabaso-01Zin Mabaso is a business and marketing consultant. Prior to this Ms Mabaso worked 14 years for Tiger Brands at a senior executive level. Her last assignment at Tiger Brands was Managing Executive heading up the Cereals business in the Grains Division responsible for Breakfast Cereals and Sorghum Beverages. Zin was previously the Managing Executive of the Groceries division which is comprised of Pasta, Canned Fruit & Vegetables, Condiments and Tomato products, Jam and Peanut Butter. In her tenure, Ms Mabaso led the strategy that resulted in the strategic acquisitions of Crosse & Blackwell and Mrs Balls that brought significant top-line growth for Tiger Brands.

Ms Mabaso has extensive experience in managing complex business, manufacturing entities, marketing strategy, corporate strategy, strategic acquisitions as well significant capital projects management.  Zin has over 10 years of marketing at a senior level and has a passion for brands. As marketing executive of the Culinary business she managed the largest portfolio of brands within Tiger Brands that is All Gold, KOO, Hugo’s, Black Cat, Fattis and Moni’s. Under her leadership these brands have been elevated to South Africa’s most loved brands, gaining market share and leading the categories where they compete. Ms Mabaso has developed robust portfolio strategy for the abovementioned portfolio of brands which has successfully driven brand growth.

Zin Mabaso is responsible for some successful innovations/renovations that have been margin enhancing for Tiger Brands. She is well versed in 360 Degree communication and has been instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of great brand campaigns for the SA TOP brands varying from premium to economy brands.

Zin has worked for a number of companies such as Robertson’s, Colgate Palmolive and Novartis mainly in the field of marketing. She has an MBA from Milpark Business School.

Non Executive Director Experience:

For the last 2 years, Zin has been serving as a non-executive director in East Africa Tiger Brands which is a Tiger Brands Ethiopian business entity. Zin is an active member of society and has participated as Non- Executive Director in a number of Jo’burg Municipality Owned Entities such as City Parks and more recently Metropolitan Trading Company.


Stephen Lorenzo: Chief Operations Officer

The power of story to positively shape and influence lives is the driving force behind Steve’s career as a producer. With a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree and an IMM Marketing diploma in hand, Steve began his career in FMCG Sales & Marketing at Cadbury Schweppes. After 7 years in marketing, Steve has spent the past 18 years producing a wide range of television genres including documentaries, gameshows, children’s series, music and magazine, shortfilms and Sitcom.

In 2003, he founded Engage Entertainment. As Producer & Exec Producer, he has produced award winning shows on various broadcast platforms, including the SABC, Multichoice, and eTV.  These include the sitcom, Gauteng Maboneng 1,2&3, six seasons of Gospel Gold, plus Psalted, Artcha and Curious Culture. He has produced 8 documentaries, including the SAFTA award winning series sports Playback.

SAFTA Awards include:

  • Best Magazine Show 2013 (The Edition on eNews),
  • Best Comedy, Best Technical Team in comedy and Best Post Production in comedy: 2012 (Gauteng Maboneng on Sabc 1),
  • Best Sports Magazine show 2011 (Sports Playback on Sabc 1).
  • Gauteng Maboneng II – Best Lead Actor and Best supporting actress for a comedy: 2016

Current project focus includes a development slate of feature films and drama series.


Craig Gardner: Executive Director – Creative

craig-gardner-01Craig Gardner is a professional writer, director and producer.

He began his career in Los Angeles as an actor/singer, performing in stage musicals and co-starring in several TV series, including “Chase” (NBC) and “The Young and the Restless” (CBS). During a vacation to South Africa, Craig was cast in the “Westgate” Television Series, moving on to a variety of other TV, films and stage roles.

He began directing musical specials for the SABC then expanded his career into production – writing, directing and producing comedy segments for magazine-type TV series, as well as corporate videos.  He soon started “The Shooting Party”, a multi-award winning below-the-line production company.

In 1993 Craig turned his attention to sitcoms. He wrote, directed and co-produced the groundbreaking “Suburban Bliss”, the first TV series to poke fun at racism in SA.  The show won multiple awards for writing, directing and Best Comedy Series, among others.  He was also Co-Creator/Writer/Director and Supervising Producer of “Joburg Blues”, another multi-award winning sitcom. Additionally, Craig directed, co-wrote and produced the mockumentary “Miss Pilchards” for M-Net. He also directed over 200 episodes of “Scandal” for E-TV, as well as writing over 300 episodes. “Charley Jade”, “Madam and Eve” and “Backstage” are among other TV series for which Craig contributed his services.

Craig’s talents also extend into the wildlife documentary arena. He has written, directed and produced award-winning shows for Nat Geo, Discovery, Animal Planet and the Smithsonian Channel.

“My Father’s War”, a feature film written and directed by Craig, was released in South Africa in 2016, and will be distributed internationally in 2017.


Nosipho Makhanya: Finance Director

nosipho-makhanya-01Nosipho is the Riverbed Finance Director and a CA(SA) CFA Charterholder Education: Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, University of Cape Town (“UCT”) Bachelors of Business Science (Honours) in Finance and Accounting, UCT.  She completed her articles in 2013, in the Nedbank CA Training Programme.

She has gained a wide-range of experience in the 4 years she has worked at Nedbank. She was a financial manager in Nedbank Capital, performing financial reporting tasks for the investment banking, global market and treasury teams. She worked as a research analyst for the investment banking team, in London and returned to South Africa to become a credit manager for large corporations in the resources and agriculture sectors, in Nedbank Corporate.

She worked as an analyst then as an associate in the corporate finance team of Nedbank Capital, gaining corporate advisory experience through her involvement in business valuations, capital restructures, rights offers, mergers, tender sales and other corporate transactions.


Mark Eccles:  Executive Director – Business and Legal Affairs

mark-eccles-01Holding a Masters in Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Mark is an admitted attorney with over twenty years of commercial and corporate experience, both in private practice and in corporate settings.

Mark was a shareholder and executive in a venture capital firm, managing a technology start-up fund, for a decade, before returning to legal practice and pursuing his interest in the Film & TV industry.  Mark has extensive deal-making experience and is mastering entertainment law and finance. Mark, a history buff is fascinated by the role that Film and TV play in cultivating values and promoting social change.

Since joining Steve Lorenzo as a business partner in RMC, Mark has travelled to both the American Film Market (2015) and the European Film Market (2016) to promote the Feature Film “A Kings Heart” which is to be shot in 2016.  Mark is responsible for legal and commercial negotiations.  He is also the corporate and legal advisor to the Board of Engage Entertainment.


Sibusiso Ngobeni: Executive Director – Production

Sbu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Motion Picture Medium which he attained in 2008 at AFDA, more about the institution at http://www.afda.co.za/index.php. His career started in 2008 and through the years has grown from production co-ordinator to his current position of MD and Exec Producer. As exec producer Sbu is responsible for the creative direction and production management of all Engage productions. His key performance areas include various pre-production tasks, content direction and approval, creative direction (conceptual, shoot direction), client liaison on the various projects, budget drafting and controlling working closely with the production accountant when reporting to client on budget recons.

A key career highlight was his involvement with the Engage production team to produce live television shows which broadcasted on SABC 1 during the 2010 World Cup. He assumed the position of a content producer for a daily live soccer review show which broadcasted throughout the month during the World Cup festivities. He went on to work for Red Pepper Pictures as a freelance producer and just recently at Vusion Media as the Managing Producer. I reported to the company CEO. Currently I hold the position of Managing Director & Producer at Engage Entertainment and I am in the process of acquiring shares in the business.

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