10 Things x Lebogang Rasethaba

The director on his best work, summer getaways + desert-island saviours


Design: Keshia Chapman | Images: Supplied

If you’re not familiar with this Joburg-based director by name, there’s a 99% chance you’ve encountered his work and never knew it. Always heightened with a distinctly sharp South African point of view, the work of Lebogang Rasethaba spans screens locally and internationally, the most reputable of which includes his MTV-famous documentary trilogy The People versus, along with Nike’s Birthplace of Dreams featuring Caster Semenya and, recently, Superbalist’s Impress Yourself summer campaign. Here, we get to know a little bit more about the man behind the work, including the phrases he admittedly overuses, how he survived lockdown, his desert-island emergency pack (because… you never know the way things are going this year, right?) and the summer destinations that are topping his local travel list this summer.


The People versus... [A trilogy: The People versus The Rainbow Nation, The People versus Patriarchy + The People versus The People.] A project that allowed me the space to grow as a filmmaker, but also a contributor to the conversations that are going to help imagine a different, if not better, society. (The trilogy counts as three.)

Future Sounds of Mzansi. Discovering the bountiful talents in the country, the road trips, the parties. It was joy to discover the talents of the country as we explored our own as storytellers.

Nike’s Birthplace of Dreams featuring Caster Semenya. Imagine getting a tour of Caster’s youth, curated by Caster. But that shoot was wild. At breakfast, we would be standing in the dining room discussing yoghurt and parenting. I would forget who I was talking to until I turned around and people were staring.

Shell Helix Ultra Cup campaign. A massive job with hundreds of moving parts that all required my equal attention. Being that focused that long has made me believe I can levitate, if I apply my mind. (There were two executions…)

Prisoner 46764: The Untold Legacy of Andrew Mlangeni. It’s a film about one of the people instrumental in liberating the country and I got very close to him. He shared with me some amazing first-hand anecdotes of some of the most important figures in our history.

Mutant. A new, unreleased documentary I co-directed with Spoek [Mathambo]. It’s the best documentary I have made.


Disclaimer: "Some are a little old, but I watched them in 2020."

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Re-watching classic sitcoms like 30 Rock and Seinfeld
  4. Watching my son learn to feed himself
  5. Not feeling the compulsive capitalistic construct to do stuff
  6. Not doing stuff
  7. Investing in my most important relationships