Silo Dimba

Date • 30.05.2011

Words • Bongeka Tsekiso


The Movie

Student at AFDAthe leading Film school in the country based in the Cape Town, Silo Dimba is one of this country’s budding Cinematographers in training.

Stayela, as he is known by family and close friends is undoubtedly living the (overwhelming) life and is a sleep-deprived night closer to living his dreams – success knows no rest. Take a minute and a couple of seconds to view this masterpiece of a trailer – a film he and his team have been working on over the past Semester, then check out the interview below.


Here is Twisted Guidance.


The Macbook’s track-pad  turns me on

Silo Dimba

Who is Silo?

A kid born and bred in Durban. Born kwaMashu. I grew up e-Avoca Hills. I am crazy about  technology, love the arts and appreciate life!

Run us through a typical morning in your life

Whoah! Do you want the ‘I’m busy’ morning or the ‘I’m free the whole day’ morning? I’ll give you both though. Well, when I have nothing to do, I’m lazing around, watching movies and eating phalishi  [ isiZulu: porridge ]! Lol. ON a busy morning…Geez, I probably would’ve gotten up 4 hours earlier with no phalishi, coffee and then gone off to school or work!

As a student at AFDA, what have the biggest lessons been over the past two  and a half years for you?

Wow man, it’s definitely ‘hard work will get you places‘. I’ve seen a few people come and go  because of their laid back attitudes that they carry around at school and (the) focus they have in the club, if  that makes any sense.

The emotion in the city of Cape Town versus that in the city of Durban is?

The emotion? Well I’d have to say that mother city is laid back and it’s all about chilled vibes , it’s a city that  allows one to express who they are not only through personality but also through personal style. Then Durban. The home town. I love it, but I just feel that I’ve been there for way too long, and there’s  always a looming cloud of judgment. But that’s just me, I still love it though.

What does your filming equipment mean to you?

I should emphasise the fact that I don’t own filming equipment, but when I do hire equipment, the equipment you hire for each shoot is based purely on how you feel the equipment will allow you to do your job successfully and make it look smashing, from the lenses to the camera body and the lighting, et cetera.

You also produce music – when did this begin?

I think I was about 14, but it’s been along road in that department and I think it’s still a long way to  go. I plan on some time in my life focusing on that part of media!! 🙂

Your pseudonym, Stayela represents?…

To tell you the truth, it’s a childhood nickname I hated. But I guess it grew on me! And when I  actually took it up, it was the birth of the go-getter and the dream chaser.

What’s the one perception about you that you wish you could correct?

None. 99% of time I don’t care what most people’s perceptions are 🙂

In my dream world, I have…

A bag, a camera, travelers cheques, and an open road.

Who, in your opinion, is the hottest musician right now in South Africa?

It’s my band Lyrikal Mind!

Lol nah, honestly speaking, I’ve been sooo busy with trying to help grow the company I work for (don’t party tv), that I don’t really know what’s happening with music both  locally and abroad. But, with that said, Slikour is at the top in my eyes. You could swear there’s a  bit of his soul in each song he makes. And closely running behind is AKA. Forget the hype and all’a  that, that man is a great performer.

What are your top 3 films of all time?

Yho, that’s a hard que for me! Because for me every film I watch, has something I love about it. But since you’re forcing me to tell you…

3) The Lion King (killer, the only movie I know word for word)

2) The Dark Knight (brilliant story, performance and director)

1) INCEPTION ( I have the original soundtrack on my phone, it’s a deep love). Christopher Nolan is amazing!

MacBook or iPad – why?

Macbook Pro 15″ 8gb ram, 2.4ghz, i7 – a beast for editing.

I looooove editing, and my editing suite of choice is Final Cut Pro which runs on Mac, and I hate editing with a mouse. The Macbook’s track-pad  turns me on!

But I also want an iPad, any 3G model! They’re just sooo sexy!

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

The Passion I have for my craft as well as the skill set I’ve built for it. It’s something I’ve learnt to be  super grateful for, because with the long hours that come with the job, I wake up the next day tired, grumpy and ready to do it again! I love that about myself!

Light and emotion…

Yoh, don’t get me started!

As a Cinematographer, you need to learn how to paint with light.  Each project needs careful thought about how you plan on using light to tell the story which ties in  closely to emotion! Whether you want the shadows to be as black as night to create mystery  around a set, or a character, or you try recreate a warmly lit (orange candle like light) romantic  dining scene. I often walk around, looking at how light reacts in certain situations, and wonder how  I would recreate that if I needed to capture that moment for a film. Light is beautiful to me!

When going on a long drive/road trip, what’s the one album you cannot go without?

Michael Bublé’s. Call me Irresponsible. #LoveIt!



Life is not… 

About the problems. It’s about YOUR solutions!

What makes the perfect frame – in whichever context?


For me I’d say great actors! I love the feeling of removing myself from my eyepiece, grinning and thinking: “that’s the money shot!”

What’s your advice to aspiring cinematographers like yourself?

It’s a lot of work, I mean sh*t loads of it. Prepare to be on standby in the middle of a township at 2 in the morning, holding cold ass metal equipment – hard! But just do the hard work and do it with a smile for free – for a while! It pays off at the end! I’m still working for free though 🙂

Get connected with Silo via Twitter and/or ReverbNation


More on his website