Musa Gift Masombuka talks with Wilfred Lungile Seliba about his career as a scriptwriter.
Wilfred Lungile Seliba was born on the 13th of November 2000 in Bloemfontein – Botshabelo, South Africa and is currently residing in the same location.
Wilfred as a Writer
I started writing in November 2014, I was 14 and writing short stories. “Uhm, writing just seems to come naturally to me. I feel like I need to write, as if it’s a part of me.”
The things I need necessary for my life apart from the basics are gym and writing.
I used to post my short stories on Facebook and Wattpad. Around March 2015 while I was watching Skeem Saam, it was the day Lelo and Enhle were fighting. After watching that episode I decided to copy and paste Skeem Saam teasers on Facebook and then Kagiso Mogale (Skeem Saam storyliner/writer) shared the post. Then I got about 45 friend requests in one night and messages – People asking me what will happen next, some of them telling me that they also wanna be part of the episode. Lo! They thought I was working at Skeem Saam!
The following day Christopher Ngobeni wrote to me, telling me that he’s also a script writer and he needs someone to help him. So I thought to myself – I’m not a screenwriter, but lemme help the guy. He asked me for my email, and he sent a treatment – Briefs, Templates, etc. I didn’t know these things. It was the first time I would be writing a screenplay, then before I started I did some research on screenwriting.
In September, I was done with the script and decided to send it to a production company where it was rejected. We were told that our format was incorrect, we must attend workshops before writing another project.
From there I did a thorough research on screenplays and in December was done with the script in a correct format (I didn’t attend a workshop – I did research).
In January 2016, I was busy reading the posts on the Screenwriters Central group on Facebook and came across a post from Film 100 Africa. They were looking for 45 Scripts and I tried my luck by submitting a synopsis and they asked me to send the script. After a few days I got an email from them telling me they’re going to produce my script. I was excited!
In April I sent another two scripts and they are also gonna be produced by Film 100.
I have always admired the works of Christopher Ngobeni, Bongile August, Chris Q. Radebe, Kagiso Mogale and Sipho Xolisa Tshapu.
I am honoured to share the same art category with these honourables.
What is a Scriptwriter?
Scriptwriters write a script for a film or television. They (if not all) start their career writing on spec without being hired or paid for it. A scriptwriter visualises the things they come across in order to send an important message, they feel like it’s better for the message to be visualised, so as for people to associate easily rather than to read for themselves.
What you must bear in mind as a Scriptwrtiter
As a writer you have to be passionate about the story you’re writing and also have to write the ending you want, not what the viewers want. Write something that the viewers can’t predict.
Where I see myself in the next five years
I see myself as a world known scripter with my plays being televised and others being aired. I see myself as a scriptwriter graduate and having my own production company. I want to cater all the up and coming other scriptwriters, give them platforms to fully express their work in an appropriate way.
Advice to other Scriptwriters
Be yourself, let your personality be a screenwriter along side you. Write a lot more than you plan on selling your script, allow yourself to have failure and try not to be your worse critic. Be patient, writing takes time and rushed scripts are usually subpar. Take your time…
Wilfred Seliba Lungile
Wilfred Seliba Lungile is a screenwriter, scriptwriter and short story writer from South Africa. He can be reached on facebook, twitter and by email [email protected]