Zwelethu spent much of his youth behind the lens, recreating his favourite film scenes with nothing but an 8mm camcorder, his BMX and his younger brother as the actor. By the time he was cast as a caricature of cricket legend Lance ‘Zulu’ Klusener in a washing powder commercial, the film bug had its fangs in deep.
Zwelethu finished top of his class throughout film school, winning numerous awards and the bursaries he needed to fund his studies. The trend continued at his first Loeries, where, just months after graduating, he won a Student Silver for Ster-Kinekor Thato.
Still in his twenties, Zwelethu has spent a busy last four years directing commercials full-time for both local and international agencies and clients, shooting in nine countries across Africa and Europe. In 2017, he won a Silver Apex Award for Creative Effectiveness for Strongbow, while his short film The Hangman has won Best Foreign Film at the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts Fest, Best South African Short Film at the Durban, Jozi and Shnit film festivals, and Best African Short Film at Zanzibar International Film Festival, among other accolades. He was included in Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans feature in 2018.