27-year-old Sibusiso Zeus Feni is a Johannesburg-based digital content creator, fitness influencer, model, strategic director, and passionate filmmaker.
The multi-talented creator, who holds qualifications in marketing and advertising and mobile marketing from the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, is somewhat of a digital chameleon, thriving on creative freedom. Design Indaba chatted to Feni about his biggest inspirations, what he learnt working on an HBO Max film and how he incorporates fitness into his journey.
1.What drew you to film production?
My love for films growing up. I used to (and still do) watch a lot of movies, and I always thought to myself that I wanted to create my own one day. I know every kid dreams of making it big, but I knew how real it was for me when I would take the train to school and just watch people and create stories in my head about these random individuals who were commuting to and from work. Sometimes I would almost miss my stop because I was daydreaming and creating movies in my head.
2.What is your biggest career highlight to date?
Working with a director named Phumi Morare from South Africa, who is based in LA. The film we worked on won a NAACP award, got shortlisted for an Oscar, nominated for a BAFTA LA, was acquired by Warner Brothers, won a Student Academy Award and is now streaming on HBO Max. So, I am pretty stoked about the possibilities of my own films because now I have seen what can happen.
3.Apart from your filmmaking, you also work as a content creator, fitness influencer, model and strategic director. Describe a day in the life of Zeus Feni.
It is pretty busy, but I like it like that – it keeps me energised. My day actually starts the night before when I write the goals I want to achieve the next day! A typical day for me starts with gym for about an hour, followed by breakfast and a phone call with my business partner, Sisanda Mgedezi (we work on films together). Thereafter I set out a content calendar for the week for content I want to post for both my fitness and lifestyle pages. Then it is castings and auditions till midday. I spend the rest of my afternoons doing consulting work for agencies. My day usually ends by 8pm, but depending on what day of the week it is, I will try to slot in some social football with some friends earlier in the evening.
4.Who or what is your biggest creative inspiration and why?
Lately, I have been a big fan of Issa Rae, Donald Glover and Kevin Hart, and it is mostly for their work ethic. Particularly Donald Glover – he will sing, rap, produce a series, and act, but you wouldn’t even know he has the talent for the other thing until you see it. It is his freedom of doing what he wants at that very moment and making a success out of it that inspires me.
5.What does being selected as one of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives for 2022 mean to you?
Being seen for the effort I have been putting in on my work, and the opportunity to be on the same platform where I have seen my favourite creatives, entrepreneurs and artists, like Tony Gum, Russell Abrahams, Laduma Ngxokolo, Mzukisi Mbane and Virgil Abloh… It means the world to me, and I hope it also opens up a new world for my career.
6.Can you tell us about any exciting upcoming projects you’re working on?
Early next year I have a Netflix project I am working on, but I can’t really say much about that. However, for the rest of this year, I will be shooting a fitness show which I am pretty excited about.
Credits: Sibusiso Zeus Feni