Meet our Team

Thinta Films
‘Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokodo'
“You touch a woman, you strike a rock!”

In 2012, Jane Dawson Shang and Tandiwe Njobe were introduced through a mutual contact in Johannesburg. Jane had traveled to South Africa, and was captivated by the spirit and beauty of the country; Tandiwe was working in the finance sector. They quickly forged a connection through their shared experiences as Smith alumnae, along with their interest in the origin and development of Smith’s South African Scholarship program. Plans for a film started to develop, and Jane and Tandiwe decided to join forces and create Thinta Films.

Over the past decade, Jane and Tandiwe have worked tirelessly to bring Where I Became to life. Filmed in South Africa and the United States, this feature documentary explores the personal journeys of an inspiring group of “Smithies” from South Africa, who left their homes and families to pursue dreams, and opportunity.

Tandiwe Njobe
Executive Producer, Thinta Films

Tandiwe Njobe is a South African national who was born and raised in exile (Zambia and Tanzania). She is the youngest of five children, born after her parents left South Africa in protest of the apartheid system. Tandiwe earned a BA in Economics from Smith College and an MSc in Applied Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and she currently lives in South Africa with her son while working in the finance sector.

Jane Dawson Shang
Executive Producer, Thinta Films

Jane Dawson Shang graduated from Smith College with a BA in Economics and Art History, and pursued graduate studies in International Business at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, awarded by Rotary International. This experience launched her career in international financial markets, and more importantly, fueled her interest in world cultures. She and her husband Paul Shang lived 10 years in the Far East, followed by six years in the UK. Their children, Matthew and Margot, were born in Hong Kong and London, respectively.

A passionate supporter of Education and the Arts, Jane has chaired committees, volunteered, and donated to numerous schools and non-profit organizations including her alma mater Smith College, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, The Posse Foundation, Greenwich Academy, Brunswick School, Thomas’s Preparatory School, UK, Creative Art Works, NYC, City Year UK, and Greenwich International Film Festival, (GIFF). 

Jane has worked with Tandiwe over the last ten years to create “Where I Became,” and is deeply grateful to the women involved for sharing their friendship, trust, and their personal experiences.

Kate Geis

Kate Geis is an Emmy Award-winning producer and director of documentaries and programs for PBS, History Channel, A&E, and Metro. She has documented the lives of Eric Carle, Saturday Night Live’s set design team, the last checker cab driver in New York, and educators in public and private institutions across the U.S. Her most recent documentary, the critically-acclaimed "Paul Taylor: Creative Domain," follows the legendary choreographer’s creative process making his 133rd dance, in his lifelong exploration of the "human condition.” Geis lives in Northampton, MA, near the Smith College campus.

Council Brandon Associate Producer

Council Brandon is an artist and filmmaker. She graduated from Smith College in 2020 with a B.A. in Film, and has since directed and produced several short films, music videos, and commercial works. Council currently resides in Los Angeles, California. 

Zoë Dong
Zoë is an artist and videographer based in Northampton, Massachusetts. A native of Ohio’s Rust Belt, she moved to Northampton in 2015 to pursue studies in fine art and film at Smith College and graduated with the Class of 2018. In addition to doing freelance filming and editing work, she is a fine art printmaker and currently combines those interests in her work as director for Zea Mays Printmaking’s online video workshops. Zoë’s favorite part of contributing to Where I Became was working with so many intelligent, passionate, and driven women in front of and behind the camera.

Jerome Michael Bezuidenhout

Bassist, composer, and producer Jerome Bezuidenhout was born and raised in the Eastern Cape’s city of East London, South Africa. He has displayed an intense love for music since early childhood, and has shared stages across South Africa and abroad with multi award-winning South African artists, across a broad spectrum of musical genres; he has performed as a sideman to the late Jazz Pianist, Hotep Galeta, who was one of his mentors; celebrated SA freedom day in London, UK, with songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka; has performed with the late legendary Sibongile Khumalo; and with Songstress PJ Powers, among others. His studio credits extend to recording artists Oliver Mtukudzi, Ringo Madlingozi, Bianca Le Grange, MXO and Slique Angel, to name but a few.
In 2007 he started to focus on refining his music production credentials. Through a collaboration with Lalela Music’s Alan Lazar, who directed and guided him towards fine-tuning television scoring and library music, his debut was for a small-screen documentary featured on ETV titled Sex Tips For Girls, produced by Curious Pictures and sponsored by US Johns Hopkins International Health and Education University.   
His library music regularly features on various local drama TV series, as well as the 24-hour ENCA Channel, SABC and DSTV.

MannmadeMannmade provided vital production services on our shoots in South Africa.