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SAMUKELE Deborah Khumalo-Dludla


Samukele Deborah, Khumalo- Dludla (IMBdI) , born in 27 February 1982 in South Africa.

An 8 times winner in over 8 countries with her short film The child with a Child on her Back. Deborah's film has been selected in over 13 International Film Festivals in and out of Film Freeway. She has worked with SA government with over 20 years as a Gender Specialist by profession, holding a Masters in Gender - GBV with the University of Natal, a Phd Candidate with University of Pretoria. A Human Rights Activist, Community Developer, A writer, composer, actor, producer, vocalist, a unionist, and a storyteller in her own right. She created a cyber space for people save their money to build houses to be more independent , creating a space for upcoming young women in the construction sector during Covid-19 in SA. Her cyber space, as a project has attracted over 272 000 members where she has empowered more than 57 000 members to build or contribute directly or indirectly, creating a space for job creation and flow for black business nurturing and growing smaller businesses to big businesses because of her space she created. With her group, her group and space has indirectly built over 95 000 homes and houses in KZN, and neighboring provinces and countries where the service providers get the opportunities.

Samke has exceptional talent as a storyteller. In her film Zipped, which was not a funded project, she managed to write the story, direct it, and did the production of the whole film which include musical directing where she wrote over 15 songs for the film, arranged and create most of the music in the film. She also did the casting, acting in it even assisted in the editing of the film. She managed to pull together a film with a 110 cast and 18 crew to show her passion on film-making hoping that the industry will will notice her work and support her passion. With no academic background on filming, arts or music, one can conclude her as one of the few exceptional talented film-makers in the industry of SA.


❖ The Child and the Child on her Back – Selected : Botswana International Film Festival (20-24 November 2023

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back – Selected Ekurhuleni Film Festival 29-30 November 2023

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back: Shortfundly Annual Film Festival in India in February 2023

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back: Winner: Africa USA International Film Festival in 11-14 October 2023 as the Best Short Film.

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back: Winner: Rohip International Film Festival in 15 October 2023 in India

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back: Winner: Tekka International Film Festival in Singapore in 02 November 2023

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back: Winner: Navy International Film Festival in Malaysia 2 November 2023.

❖ The Child and the Child on her Back: Winner: ISP Festival on 08 November 2023 collecting 5 awards: the Best Director Award, The Best Short Story, The Best Original Screenplay, The Best Short Film and the Best Cinematography of the Year 2023.

❖ Waterberry(Ndoni): Screened at Durban SunCoast Cinema on 28 October 2023.

❖ Waterberry(Ndoni): On 2 November won Best Short Film in Malysia

❖ Waterberry(Ndoni): Won Best Critics Choice Award on 04 November 2023 in Singapore.

❖ 2021 : Cashbuild Acknowledgement for Job Creation Online Project

❖ 2022 : Lifetime Award by Mahlabathini MCM Education Department : Women Empowerment

❖ Award winner for 2022 National Builder of the Year

❖ Award Winner for 2022- New Comer 48hourFilmChallenge

❖ 2022 National Nominee: 100 Influential Women in SA

❖ Board of Advisor: SIFE Programme: University of KwaZulu Natal- Durban 2006-2010

❖ Germany – International Scholarship for Global Symposium on Community Foundations, Berlin, 1-4 Dec 2004❖ Canada- International Scholarship for the Community Foundations of Canada, Quebec, 11-19, 2004-10

❖ OSSF AWARD (BUSARY) for the Disadvantaged Students, who helps the underdeveloped communities (New York) 2000

❖ Highly involved in the annual international festivals as Host Guide and Co-Ordinator: CORN CONFERENCE 2002, CEBRATE DURBAN WEEK/MONTH AND FLAVOURS OF DURBAN ( 2002-2005), AFRICAN RENAISSANCE CONFERENCE(2003-2012)

❖ University Entrance Award (for 2 “A’s” First Class Pass) University of Natal 1999

❖ Best Student: African and Language Studies 2001

Director Statement

Director Statement

I make inspirational films and stories about rural women, children and girls on their day to day plight, myths, challenges and victories to inspire other women and people to bring hope in the world

SAMUKELE Deborah Khumalo-Dludla
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