After having launched his documentary series, Skeef, in 2019/2020, Renaldo achieved great success both locally and internationally. Following this, he wanted to continue the work set out in the film. “A book was the best way to do this. It also allowed me to go a lot deeper into the topics, covering a wider spectrum and showcasing the remarkable stories of all those people whose lives are documented in the book.” The book has also been listed as number one of non-fiction titles sold by Graffiti Books & Stationery during the month of September.
The diverse Renaldo explains how the title, Skeef, is a derogatory term that people who fall under the LGBTIQ+ umbrella get called. Even though it’s perhaps one of the less offensive slurs, it still haunts youngsters and gay people at large. His goal with this title has been to reclaim the word and un-shaming it. “I want to wear it like a badge of honour and pride. It used to be a term that hurt me, but now I’ve reclaimed that power and it isn’t something I am ashamed of. Hopefully it has the same impact on other queer people in South Africa.”
Over the years he has made his mark in both the corporate and entertainment space through hard work and dedication, driven by the passion he has for both industries. Apart from graduating with an undergraduate in B.Dram from Stellenbosch University, his passion for people and stories is what has led to where he is in the industry today. “I have passion for people and telling their stories. That is what drives me. I’m an extreme extrovert and I’m fascinated by people, so it was a bit of a no-brainer that I’d end up in media. I get to connect with people and share their stories, whether it be on air, on screen or in print. I’m grateful that I got to make my passion my pay check.”
Mail & Guardian recognised him as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans In 2019. He received a Koker Youth Award at the 2019 Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR) Koker Awards. In 2020, he was awarded the 2020 SRC Award for Exceptional Achievement at Stellenbosch University’s Rector’s Awards. To date, perhaps Renaldo’s greatest contribution to the local media industry has to be the work he does with his production and PR agency, Sharp Pictures. Since its inception, the agency has produced and conceptualised shows for Via tv, Netwerk24, kykNET and Showmax.
Renaldo “kicked open the closet doors” by intentionally living a life filled with authentically and connection. “Connection with oneself and then to others as well. It is important for me to share this with others and on the platforms that I work on. There is so much value in living authentically and living in full colour. Be being yourself, and sharing that, you allow others to do exactly the same.”
The parents of the talented Renaldo have always been one of the biggest support structures in everything he pursues. “They taught me the importance of putting in the work, staying, even hopeful, about things turning out right.”
In April this year, Renaldo made the big move to the City of Roses. He describes the list of perks as endless. “The list is endless, but hands-down, it’s the people who made the transition so easy. After six months here, I think it’s safe to be called a ‘Bloemfonteiner’ now. I love the energy and vibe of Bloem. It’s a great space and I love its bustling creative circle.”
Renaldo is yet to make another big announcement for an exciting entertainment show that is said to take place right here in Bloemfontein.