Life at SAE Student Series: Tino Michelle Mavimba

24 Oct 2016



Life at SAE Student Series: Tino Michelle Mavimba

24 Oct 2016

Welcome to our new content student series called ‘Life at SAE.’

This series was born from the acknowledgement that we have some really awesome students at SAE in Cape Town; young people that are doing more than simply attending lectures and completing their projects.

These students are already pursuing their careers, getting involved outside of their studies, but of course, using the knowledge they are learning each and every day to follow their dreams.

Tino Michelle Mavimba is an outstanding example of this.

She is one of two aspiring female audio engineers and proves time and again her dedication to her craft. From recently recording Mos Def to participating in the 48 HR Film Project challenge (on sound duties of course) Tino is thriving at SAE.


What made you choose SAE Cape town for your studies?

When it comes to education my parents drilled it into me to never settle for anything but the best. SAE is a leading creative media institute with campuses all over the world. So I knew that I would get a great education, sharpen my skills, meet many amazing people and most importantly, be groomed to excel in life after my studies.

How are you enjoying your studies so far?

SAE has exceeded my expectations in every way possible. The lecturers are insightful and supportive, the facilities are world-class and the modules are challenging and inspiring.

As one of a few female audio engineer students do you think this can work in your favour or make it tougher in such a male dominated environment?

It is a very, very male dominated environment indeed! However, I have never looked at any aspect of myself as a disadvantage. Everything works in my favour. So, the fact that I am a female in a male dominated environment, and regardless of what people’s opinion as to what the consequences of that, may be; I have found that my hard word, my determination, my passion and the time that I have invested in honing my craft, speaks for itself.

When did you know that you wanted to study sound?

I knew that I wanted to study sound in my early teens but I never had the courage to step out and pursue it. In 2013 after being consumed by “what ifs” I realised that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by studying sound. So, in July of that year I submitted my SAE application forms and the rest is history.

You had the opportunity to record Mos Def. Tell us a bit about the experience, how it came about and what it was like working with him.

I am eternally grateful to SAE Institute, who were the gateway to this session taking place. I was the engineer for the session which lasted about four hours. There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing a person Yasiin Bey is. He is humble, kind, knowledgeable and extremely talented. There is nothing inauthentic about him. He is a true artist. I left that session feeling more inspired than I ever have before.


You were also involved with the 48 Hour Film Project challenge. As a sound student and leading the whole project, is this where you want to pursue a career after studies; in the film industry?

Absolutely! I love sound. I love film. Being able to combine the two and have them bounce off of each other to tell a story is truly fulfilling. Being in a leadership role in that context, even more so. This is definitely the area that I would like to pursue a career in after my studies.

How would you describe the 48 Hour Film Project challenge? Was it tougher than expected, more fun, less fun?

This was my third 48hr film challenge and so to come out of it winning 2nd Runner Up Best Film and being nominated for Best Score among other categories was absolutely amazing. The team and I went in with a winning mentality and therefore common hurdles you’d expect with a challenge of this nature such as long hours, lack of sleep and the pressure of racing against the clock were very manageable. Overall it was a lot of fun and, for many, a highlight of the academic year.

Has it changed your views on the film industry at all?

Nope, [laughs].

This is your final year at SAE, tell us about your future plans?

After 3 years I can confidently say that SAE has prepared me for life after my studies. My future plans are to dominate the audio post production world. I want to master sound design, foley, dialogue editing and ADR, and work my way toward being a supervising sound editor for feature films.

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