The month of August really started with a bang by highlighting how women have contributed to growing hip hop culture through Castle Lite’s #HipHopHerstory campaign. Although the month will soon be reaching its end it doesn’t mean that the appreciation for women doing amazing things in variety of industries stops. Castle Lite’s #HipHopHerstory concert is still on the way and we’re continuing our conversation with some strong & empowering women who have built their careers in different career paths. And this time around HYPE had a chat with one of South Africa’s leading/ award-winning film directors, Zandi Tisani, to find out more about how she’s dealt with all her challenges within her career, as well as how she thinks the world can continue to appreciate women.
First off all we highly praise your accolade of achievements. How has working behind the camera influenced the way you perceive the world?
It’s made me a more observant and consequently more empathetic person. Being more aware of others in a way increased my own sense of self awareness, as a whole being on set, or behind the camera forces you to be present and in the moment, and generally I find it tends to spill over into other areas of my life.
What have been some of the hardest challenges you’ve had to overcome to get to the level that you’re functioning in today?
I think the biggest challenge is always overcoming your own self-doubt and insecurities. People who have managed to survive in tough industries are not people who have avoided failure but those who manage to come back from it. My advice is to accept challenge as an integral part of the broader creative process and not some avoidable consequence.
This month Castle Lite have really taken their women appreciation initiative to a whole new high since launching their #HipHopHerstory campaign. What do you think makes this Castle Lite #HipHopHerstory campaign and concert so important with regards women empowerment not just in SA but the world?
It’s important not to erase the women who have helped build and shape Hip Hop culture over the years, locally and internationally. Beyond Hip Hop, it’s about seeing women as more than just passive consumers of culture, our voices need to be given a platform to be heard and stages like this one are a reminder of that.
Women within the creative industry seem to always must go beyond the call of duty to prove themselves. Within your industry, have you ever had to go beyond yourself to get the respect that you deserve? If so, how did you handle it?
I feel like I’ve always worked hard to earn peoples respect, it’s not even an event anymore. My focus has lays been bout the work I produce and making sure I have consistent output of high quality work. I handle these conditions by being good at what I do, and unafraid to speak up if and when I feel disrespected.
How does having an all-female concert make you feel? What was your first reaction when you heard the exciting news?
I think it’s a step in the right direction and a sign that things are changing but we would need to keep the momentum of this event going. It’s important to make sure this isn’t a once off thing and part of a movement to shift the culture in general.
Just to start ending this off, what impact or message would you like South Africa and the world to embedded within themselves through the #HipHopHerstory experience?
That women have always participated in the creation of culture and will continue to do so.
What inspires Zandi Tisani to carry on each day?
I suppose a thirst to be better then I was the day before – I’m just trying to outdo myself.
Name some of the women that have motivated you to be who are?
I’m inspired by a wide range of women: Audre Lorde, Melina Matsoukas, Issa Rae, Roxane Gay, Beyonce…
In your opinion, what else can the world do to further appreciate women?
We’re are so far from appreciation at this stage just basic human respect would do.
The Castle Lite’s #HipHopHerstory takes place on 8 September at the Gallagher Convention Centre and you can get your tickets right here.