Thembisa S. Mshaka

Entertainment business author, award-winning campaign writer, media producer, California soul.

Thembisa S. Mshaka Biography Filmmaker * Author * Creative Veteran creative executive and entertainment branding specialist Thembisa S. Mshaka made her filmmaking debut at 2013 The Pan African Film Festival with The Divorce Counselor. As a television promo screenwriter and producer, her creative leadership contributed to the 2007 Emmy-winning BET Rap-It-Up HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. She won a Promax Gold Award as writer and talent director with Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx for The BET Awards ’09, and won multiple Telly Awards for campaigns starring Academy Award® nominee Queen Latifah, Bow Wow, and MSNBC news analyst Jeff Johnson. As Senior Advertising Copywriter for Sony Music, Thembisa created the award-winning global advertising campaign for Lauryn Hill’s solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill along with multiple album campaigns for Will Smith, Destiny’s Child, Wyclef Jean, NAS, and Maxwell. In just 5 years, her campaigns contributed to the sale of over 170 million units worldwide. Prior to joining Sony Music, Thembisa was the first African American woman to hold the position of Rap Editor at music industry trade magazine GAVIN, where she was instrumental in breaking many of today's hottest hip-hop and soul artists, including Busta Rhymes, The Fugees, D’Angelo, Common, and Timbaland. Thembisa’s music background allowed for a natural transition into film as music supervisor for the award-winning independent film Anne B. Real (Urban Dream Productions, 2002). She completed the New York Film Academy Film Producing Workshop in 2011 and has since written, produced, and directed two short films: The Divorce Counselor and First Kiss. Thembisa also completed her first feature screenplay, Islamic Speed Dating in 2014. A member of SAG-AFTRA, Thembisa is also a commercial voice actor. She is currently executive producing an LGBT docu-series for television and serving as producer on the feature film Skateboard, Skateboard written by Tank Burt. An established authority on urban and youth culture and the music industry, her book, Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business was released by Grand Central Publishing in 2009. The book was named among the Top 15 Must-Have Hip-Hop Lit Books by AOL and is hailed by Public Enemy founder Chuck D as “the new entertainment industry Bible”. A Los Angeles native, Thembisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Ethnic Studies from Mills College in Oakland and is an alumna of Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena. Blog site: On YouTube: On Vimeo: On Twitter: