Rapid Blue, the multi-award-winning production house, has announced that it has promoted Ziyanda Mngomezulu, to become its new Managing Director in 2021.
Mngomezulu, currently Executive Producer and Business Director at the production powerhouse, will officially take up her new role from April 2021 reporting into Duncan Irvine, CEO.
She replaces Kee-Leen Irvine, who will step down as MD after almost a 30-year tenure that has cemented her as one of South Africa’s most cherished and celebrated television executives.
Ziyanda Mngomezulu joined Rapid Blue in May this year. With over 20 years’ experience in the television industry, Mngomezulu’s previous roles at eMedia Investments and SABC have seen her, in her roles as Group Content Services General Manager and Programme Manager respectively, bring to screen hit shows such as SA’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing SA. Since joining Rapid Blue, her role has covered projects including The Alibaba Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes Entrepreneurship competition and shaping new project ideas for both television channels and OTT platforms.
Mngomezulu said: “I am hugely excited to take on the role of Managing Director of such a formidable and highly respected production company both here in Africa and internationally. I hold great respect for Duncan and Kee-Leen from working closely with them both over the years, as we share the same ethos, values and creative ambition. I am drawn to their professionalism and ability to produce world class television.
“Kee-Leen will leave some big boots to fill after such an admirable career leading a strong and talented team. I look forward to carrying forwards the energy she’s been instrumental in instilling, that of respect for people first. Building on this legacy, I am ready to continue to grow Rapid Blue’s range of productions and to help entertain even more viewers here and abroad in the years to come.”
Kee-Leen Irvine, former Managing Director and co-founder of Rapid Blue said, “I am delighted we have got someone of Ziyanda’s calibre to pass the baton on to. With her expertise and creative vision, I know she will be a huge success and I am excited to see her thrive at the helm. After over 30 years in the television industry and 28 years leading Rapid Blue, I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved. The team, to me, are the best people in entertainment television in Mzansi. As much as I’m stepping down on a high note, I’m going to miss my colleagues immensely because of the bond that exists between all of us and the passion and excellence they bring to everything they do. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work alongside them and be able to make great shows, from nine exhilarating seasons of Dancing With The Stars, eight seasons of the captivating SA’s Got Talent, six seasons of the hilarious Come Dine With Me South Africa to matchmaking on the likes of The Bachelor and First Dates South Africa amongst many other hits.”
Alongside the appointment of Mngomezulu, Rapid Blue has confirmed additional promotions to establish a new leadership team for the company, championing some of South Africa’s very best creatives.
Kim Thwaites, currently Head of Production, has been promoted to Head of Television, taking over from Ed Worster, who after a successful 40-year career is emigrating from South Africa. Tsubi Mapiyeye, currently Line Producer has been promoted to Supervising Producer and Adi de Lancey, recently joined as a Senior Executive Producer.
Rapid Blue starts 2021 with an exciting collection of upcoming shows including The Bachelorette SA and Love Island SA for M-Net and new Come Dine With Me South Africa for BBC Lifestyle.
Duncan Irvine, CEO of Rapid Blue said: “I am hugely excited to have Ziyanda step into the role of Managing Director and lead Rapid Blue into what is already shaping up to be a busy and promising year for the company. Ziyanda has been a fantastic addition to the team so far. Her wealth of experience and eye for what makes a good production is hugely encouraging for what’s to come. When myself and Kee-Leen formed Rapid Blue 28 years’ ago, we could only have dreamed of what has been achieved together. I am hugely proud of what we all as a team have built and created for audiences around the world so far and am confident that our vision will be carried forward in an exciting direction with Ziyanda.”
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