As the fifth in a series of articles profiling various manufacturers, suppliers and services who cater specifically to the film and television industry in Gauteng, In Focus spoke to Zimele

Ken Herold of Zimele
Broadcasting Services, a major supplier of a broad range of broadcasting equipment, and Wild and Marr, a long established sole importer of leading brands of professional audio products.

In Focus spoke to Ken Herold, a Director of Zimele Broadcasting Services (Pty) Ltd.

In Focus: Tell us a little about yourself.
Herold: I was born in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, and formally trained in the United Kingdom. I later joined Zambia Broadcasting Corporation's technical department for some years and thereafter Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation for a number of years. On my way home, I was with Transkei Broadcasting Corporation before joining the SABC as technical manager PWV. I later joined the Independent Broadcasting Authority as a councilor.

In Focus: Please describe Zimele.
Herold: Zimele Broadcasting Services is a private company that was incorporated in 1996, whose main business is to sell broadcasting and allied equipment to all broadcasters. Zimele represents international companies that produce a large cross section of equipment used by broadcasting organisations. These total over 25 and include Panasonic, Snell & Wilcox, Swe-Dish, Pixel power, Ibis to name but a few. The company's shareholding is 51% black owned therefore Level2 BEE compliant. This not only satisfies the BEE requirements of Government but is also a first in South Africa for a company like Zimele.

In Focus: So what does the word 'Zimele' mean?
Herold: The name is derived from a Zulu word meaning 'stand by yourself unaided' and was chosen as a motto by which Zimele staff operates to encourage responsibility and accountability. At Zimele, we draw on the extensive experience of our staff gained in the advanced technologies employed within the broadcasting, entertainment and IT industries.

In Focus: There are several suppliers of a similar nature to Zimele; what, in your opinion, makes the company stand out?
Herold: What makes Zimele a leader in our field is our innate ability to provide a one-stop integrated turnkey service, tailored to meet the exact needs of our clients. Zimele is adamant that it provides the correct solutions to clients at the most cost effective rate without compromise on quality. Through the outstanding quality of our products and strategic alliances with local and international suppliers, we are able to provide a full range of services such as, system design, project management, turn-key solutions, maintenance contracts and consultations to the digital Television, Radio, Satellite and Audio Visual industries.

In Focus: How many employees do you have?
Herold: We employ 8 permanent staff, while casual and temporary employees carry out other functions as and when necessary. Our key personnel include Leon Labuschagne, who held many managerial positions within the SABC television business unit for many years, Chief Executive Officer is Casper Klopper, who also takes care of the commercial side of Zimele, and Lizelle Starck, who heads the Marketing division of Zimele and has had many years in broadcasting sales.

In Focus: Do you have other branches in South Africa and do you offer country- wide service back up?
Herold: Zimele does not have any branches but intends visiting that business aspect in the near future. This will enable Zimele to offer service back-up not only in Johannesburg but also throughout South Africa and to expand further to other parts of the African continent.

In Focus: Any new products on the horizon?
Herold: With regards new products, we are keeping all options open to cater for the digital and HD future in South Africa. Currently Zimele is well and truly prepared for this event and will complement current equipment with the latest in the world. For this reason, we are sending a high level delegation to IBC this year.

Zimele Broadcasting Services can be contacted on +27 11 770 9760 or visit the website at

Wild and Marr (Pty) Ltd has been around for many years and many will remember their premises in President Street Johannesburg. Now occupying premises in Isando, their Marketing Consultant, Helen De Oliveira Reis, spoke to In Focus.

In Focus: Please describe your product offering.
De Oliveria Reis: I think here it would be better to list the brands that we distribute, which on the audio side include BSS, AKG, Crown, DBX, Cleartone, Tascam, JBL, Lexicon, Studer, Shure, Penton, Inter-M, Ateis and Soundcraft. On the lighting side, the brands are DTS and SGM, and we have accessories which include Klotz, Neutrik, Road Ready and Quiklok.

In Focus: What would you say is your area of specialty?
De Oliveria Reis: Wild & Marr are the leaders in professional and commercial audio distribution and offer turnkey solutions to meet individual needs.  With a complement of internationally respected brands, we are able to expertly specify, design and install to client requirements.

In Focus: Do you have other branches in South Africa?
De Oliveria Reis: Yes  in Durban and Cape Town.

In Focus: How many staff do you employ?
De Oliveria Reis: We have a total of 51 staff members at present.

In Focus: Do you provide service back up and support?
De Oliveria Reis: Yes, product and service.

Wild and Marr can be contacted at or on +27 (11) 974 0633 or visit the website at