Khayelitsha’s innovative cinema entrepreneur

Khayelitsha’s Buhle Sithela has the innovative edge when it comes to the cinema­. This after he founded the Vuma Pop-up Cinema, a mobile cinema that uses solar power to operate. Sithela (22), a former Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) events management student, is an entrepreneur who started off cleaning refuse bins in his community.

His inspiration for his foray in the theatre stemmed from working in film and events production. “I saw there was a gap in township (film industry), with no access to cinemas. So I wanted to bring the cinema to the people,” said Sithela.

Sponsored by the World Wide Fund, an international non-governmental organisation working in the field of the wild animal preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment, Sithela’s aim for his cinema was to create a space where the community can engage and gain knowledge while being entertained by screening African and local films.

He supports and promotes the local film industry by showing short films, animation and South African films. His choice of using solar power works out cheaper and is better in the case of load shedding. “I want my business to leave a low carbon footprint and be unique, so that even if we screen in a community without electricity, we can still entertain,” he said.

The concept has been running for two years. People can book the (mobile) cinema and he will bring along his equipment and people can enjoy the cinema experience ekasi. Entry is free and people only have to pay for snacks. He provides his services to kids, the youth and adults.

His ultimate goal, he said, is to host road shows and take the cinema to every community. “Find something that you love and do it every day. Always remember education is key,” he concluded­.

Contact Sithela on 076 571 3356 or on Twitter and Facebook: @Buhle_­Sithela­.