Be Part Of A Young Man’s Journey: Tshidiso Mabote’s Story

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Sep 18, 2011 / 0 comments

Be Part Of A Young Man’s Journey: Tshidiso Mabote’s Story

In 2008, www.explr.coms Director & Founder, Jenny M. Buccos, met 19-year-old Tshidiso Mabote while working in South Africa. Tshidiso was one of five students from Mpontsheng Secondary School selected to participate in’s Student-to-Student project, a hands-on education program created to teach high school students communication and professional skills through the use of digital media.


The township of Katlehong, where Mpontsheng Secondary School is located, is one of the most under-served districts in the sprawling Johannesburg area. It has one of South Africa’s highest unemployment rates, estimated at 75%. This nearly unimaginable figure paints a somber picture of the obstacles a young graduate in Katlehong must surmount.

Though he had never held a video camera before, Tshidiso quickly impressed Jenny with his keen eye and natural talent as a cinematographer. Strongly believing in his ability as a visual storyteller, she encouraged Tshidiso to follow his dreams. Sadly, career opportunities are few and far between in this field, especially when the cost of film school far exceeds this young man’s means.



Now age 22, Tshidiso is striving yet struggling to make his way in the film industry. Three years of closed doors have not dampened his determination. He speaks with equal passion of his affinity for the work of fellow countrymen Mfundi Vundla and Duma Ndlovu, as well as Steven Spielberg. Like many American youth, he enjoys the work of Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, and even Bruce Willis. Tshidiso appreciates the excitement of Hollywood blockbusters, but is personally driven by the hopes that one day he can bring the emotionally-charged, intriguing stories of his country and culture to life on the screen.

Tshidiso’s big break has arrived! Jenny has invited him to become a member of the documentary crew for the upcoming series in Central America.

October 23, 2011 will mark a series of monumental firsts for Tshidiso: he will board his very first flight with his first passport in hand, on a journey that will not only cross an ocean, countries and continents, but classes and cultures. After an epic trip the real adventure begins when he sets foot in a new country joining the crew as Assistant Director in Belize, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.



Become Part of Tshidiso’s Story

Be an active participant in Tshidiso’s success story by sponsoring his apprenticeship with Help him to manifest his dreams while inspiring others to pursue their own.

Please view his wish-list to sponsor a portion of his travel and accommodations costs. All donations to, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-deductible as allowed by U.S. law. will be recording every step in Tshidiso’s extraordinary journey; from his South African township to the rain forests of Central America. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter to follow his adventures.




Upon the completion of this production, the crew will assist Tshidiso in crafting his CV, creating a demo reel, and will mentor him during his search for a job in the South African film and television industry. Of course, Tshidiso's contribution to our Central America project will also help millions of students around the world learn more about this vibrant and diverse region, as seen through the eyes of someone experiencing the world for the first time.



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