Image by: Mlungisi Mlungwana | Editor: Mandisa Vundla
Profile by: Lebohang Dlodlo
Actor spaces couldn’t celebrate its birthday month without reflecting on the Iconic Actor Spaces box, that has now become a great part of the Actor Spaces journey and is an integral part of the Actor Spaces legacy. When you trace the Actor Spaces Lineage, you will find that this box is the firstborn member of the Actor Spaces Team, although it looks frail and is chipped around the edges, it is held together by duct tape and by the spirit of every legendary actor that has touched it. If this box could speak, it would tell you of all the Actors who’ve embraced it, those who have broken it and those who’ve inquired about it before posing for the camera.
The Actor Spaces box has grown a significant life of its own. If you have no idea what I’m rambling about, scroll through the portraits on our website and you will witness for yourself, how each Actor relates to the box differently.
As the white iconic Actor Spaces box is placed on my desk, I take the opportunity to observe and play with it. The word “Actor” appears enlarged in the middle with the word “Spaces” appearing beneath it in a smaller font. I become even more intrigued to hear what inspired its design.
Ayanda Sithebe, CEO, and founder of Actor Spaces begins the story by laying claim to the box. “This box of mine or should I say, Kamo’s box.” My eyes widen with eagerness, and my first question is: “Is this the same box since the beginning of Actor Spaces?”
“Yes!” He smiles with pride in his response then continues to explain how the box has truly become an iconic piece for Actors Spaces. He notes that this box is how people have come to identify Actors Spaces –which is truly amazing and so is the story behind its design.
Ayanda approached his good friends Kamo Keswa and Sabelo N who have a branding company that specializes in print and design, he asked them to design an Actor Spaces ‘microphone flag’: a microphone grip, designed to fit around a mic with the company logo emphasized on it.
While caught in the excitement of Actor Space’s first premier coverage, ‘mic flag’ wasn’t exactly the term Sithebe used in the brief he gave his friends;“Guys please can you make me a microphone-box-holder?” he asked,“I need it for my first movie Premier: Mrs. Right Guy. We are going to be doing interviews.”
Kamu the daring designer who has been friends with Ayanda since childhood responded confidently by saying: “Ahhh sbali, that’s going to be easy, we can do that for you.” And that is how the gentlemen concluded the product design meeting.
When Ayanda received a call from Kamu, informing him that the ‘mic-flag’ was ready, Sithebe took a microphone with him so he could do a test to ensure that the ‘mic flag’ was the right size for the mic. To his disappointment, the microphone flag was way too big.
“Dude what is this?” a furious Ayanda asked, “Where is this going to fit huh?” Kamu, holding the box in one hand and the microphone in the other, consoled his friend by saying:“No, don’t worry this is a measurement thing. There are no mistakes in design, you will find use for this thing.”
Kamu may have made a grave error by getting the size of the mic flag wrong but it turns out he was right when he said: “there are no mistakes in design,” and what was meant to be a mic flag, is now a totem of pride for Actor Spaces.
The Actor Spaces Totem made its debut at the first ever Actor Spaces photo shoot, with Pallance Dladla, on the set of Isibaya and after.
A few shots later, something sparked Pallance’s curiosity on the floor. He pointed at the box and asked Ayanda “What is that?” Ayanda picked it up, casually saying: “Oh this, it’s just this box thing.”
“Let me hold it?” Pallance asked, impulsively… And you know what they say… The Rest Is History!
Ayanda believes that it is the actors themselves who have made the box come alive. He goes on to say that in the spirit of celebrating iconic and ground-breaking actors, the Actor Spaces box also gives an inspiring feel for the young person with the hope of being an actor to say: “I am going to work so hard so that I can hold the box.”
The box has become a symbol of hope for younger actors and a token of appreciation for the actors who have contributed immensely to the South African Film, Television and Theatre Industry.