W4A: Your background has been in dance, choreography and theatre, and then you started a television career as a presenter and also acting, landing roles in a number of films and one known to a lot of us ‘Hotel Rwanda. You then trained as a producer and director; you are also a voice over artist – the official voice of South African Airlines. Wow! Is there anything you haven’t done? Where do you find the time and energy to do it all? How do you plan these things?
Rosie: I am learning the art of time management. My first loves are dancing and acting, but as the entertainment industry is very tricky and unstable, one does many things. I am also moving towards establishing my brand on a level where I can act or present in my own projects. Over the years I have created synergies and made things happen for big production companies and networks. I am now working on securing my legacy.
Also being a women in a male dominated world is tough as you know, so in order to succeed and step over the boys clubs, you have to be on top of your game at all times.
Schedules and lists are my things.
Robyn Sharma’s readings have introduced me to the 5am club. I rise early, gym which forms part of my meditation, plan and do. The first hour is Rosie time. If during the day I’m feeling drained, I stop, relax, if I can take off my shoes and find grass, grounding myself and then move on.
W4A: Recently you started your own production company ‘Rosie Motene Productions cc’. Tell us a bit about this and what you hope to achieve?
Rosie: When working on studio 53 I produced my own inserts. My aim for productions is to produce projects that will impact lives. I co-produced ‘Man on Ground’, I’m now working with ‘Vday’, the ‘Eve Ensler’ campaign called one Billion rising! I’ve been an activist on women and children’s rights issues for years and I now want to document those types of stories. Not saying that I will also venture into commercial projects, but ones with a positive message.
W4A: How easy or how difficult has it been for you as an African woman to achieve all that you have so far? What has been your driving force?
Rosie: At times easy, times frustrating. Many South Africans have not see my other work since Generations, as Studio 53 went outside of SA. There’s a strong perception that actors are not capable of much especially actresses. So crossing over and proving myself as a producer has been a challenge but rewarding.
I’ve learnt to toughen up, be weary of sharing ideas and database. – have also learnt how to seek assistance.
Dr Felicia Suttle-Mabuza once told me that “always be ready when working with men, as they will schedule meetings without you, they will cut you out of important meetings and decisions, so be ready to walk in, let your presence be heard and let your knowledge and pride stand tall”. Another great woman Jenna Clifford, said “always play the game like a woman for centuries women have tried to adapt the male psyche, it doesn’t work”. We are far more intelligent than that.
W4A: You have been rated as one of South Africa’s most stylish women. How important would you say that fashion/style is to a woman’s appearance?
Rosie: For me it’s about happiness and comfort. My body has fluctuated over the years and I’ve adapted my style to that. But I do believe that if you feel good, you look good and you will do good.
W4A: What words of encouragement would you give to any women aspiring to get into media?
Rosie: Study, seek advice, always be learning. Grab opportunities. My first year of Studio 53 I realised there were no female producers or directors, I asked and watched. At first my boss was reluctant but I pursued, spoke to the other producers asked to be trained, listened and learnt. Do not let anyone’s judgments or misconception stop you from shinning.
There are a lot of negative people out there, be aware of them, send them away with love.
Explore, love, laugh and live.
W4A: Your mission statement reads ‘Accept nothing less than the champions’ league’ Please elaborate on this statement for us.
Rosie: Always aim to achieve the best. Aim for the best in life, relationships, work, everything. You are royalty. That also applies to how you treat people so always aim for respect, loyalty and truth.
W4A: Tell us one thing about Africa that you love.
Rosie: The generosity!
Africa has so much to give and there’s so much to explore. It’s a continent rich in colours, tradition, pride and vibrancy. I wish many South Africans would stop separating themselves for the continent and get rid of the negative attributes. Granted there are many but every country in the world has its negativity. The two times I was mugged was in London.
Instead of seeing it as deep dark Africa, rather see it as deep, intrinsic, powerful!
Thank you for granting W4A this interview
For more info visit: www.rosiemotene.com
Follow Rosie on twitter: @PrincessRTM