In The World of A Television Production Manager
Livhuwani Dagada shares what her role as the production manager of Urban Brew Studios entails, as well as her career success tips
At 27 Dagada has managed the smooth running of some of South Africa’s favourite shows, such as Friends Like These, Real Goboza and Khumbul’ Ekhaya, she shares where it all started:
Share how your career began?
I started my career six years ago after getting a diploma for Motion and Picture Productions at Damelin College. I did my internship for three months at Ezimkhulu Productions, which made shows like DIY, for SABC 2. After that Urban Brew called me to intern for them for four months. I was 19 years old. I was then offered a production assistant position for six months. I was working on the show, Friends like These and Headlines. When the shows’ season ended I worked on the LKG show. As time went by, I stood in for someone who went on a maternity leave, as a Production Manager. That’s where everything changed. I became Production Manager for Live Amp in 2012.
What does your role entail?
I have to ensure that the whole show runs smoothly. I make sure that the show is in line with the producer’s vision and also sticks to its budget.
What qualities made you get promoted so soon into your career?
I work extremely hard. I go the extra mile in what is required of me. I remember when I started out in Friends Like These, our call time was 06:00 am, but, even without transport I made sure that I got to work by 05:00 am before everyone came in and would make sure that everything is smooth. The hard work has never stopped since.
What is hard work for you, define it?
I believe that hard work is when you put in the work and effort without waiting for any appraisal. It has to come within you because if you are passionate about something, working hard at it is second nature.
How has your career been since 2012?
I have been working on shows like Live Amp, Khumbul’ eKhaya for a year. Real Goboza came after working on another show with the show’s producer. I then worked on WTF Tumi since 2017. What excites me about my career is that all the shows I have worked in are different and cater to a different audience. It’s a challenge I enjoy taking because it boosted my confidence.
Where did your passion for television spark from?
I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to be when I was in high school. But in primary school, I used to do a lot of drama and dancing, even though I didn’t think it was something one can have a career in. In Matric we went to Wits University where they showed us how production is done and I immediately fell in love with it. I am more of an organiser than a creative and that is why I excel at what I do. To be honest I thought it was going to take me longer to get to television hence I started my career in retail. It was my lecturer who paved the way for my internship opportunities.
What are some of the challenges you faced in your career?
The only challenges I had were when I first started my career as an intern. I barely got paid but the passion I had kept me going. My first salary was R2000. That had to cater for transport and other necessities.
How do you define success?
I associate success with being happy. I love what I do and it makes me happy. If you wake up every day looking forward to what you are doing then that is success.
How can one find their purpose?
Your purpose is within you. If you really love something and you know you are talented in it, I believe you should go for it. You know what it is you want in life and what makes you truly happy you are on the right path. If you are not happy, go back to the drawing board because it’s never to late to find your purpose. Protect your space by surrounding yourself with positive people and cheerleaders who will uplift you every step of the way.
What are your success tips:
You have to be yourself and don’t conform to peer pressure. Do your best there is always someone out there who notices, they might not tell it in your face, but they do notice. Do what makes you happy. Most importantly, pray. Your tongue is very strong, you have to watch what you say because the Universe obeys.