Connie Ferguson will officially launch the Ferguson Foundation, which she founded with her late husband, Shona, in August.
The foundation will be a new South African film school to help disadvantaged students enter the film and TV industry as producers, and in front of the cameras, as actors. Plans to launch the Ferguson Foundation were postponed by the unexpected death of Shona in late July 2021.
Under their Ferguson Films banner, launched in 2010, the couple produced series including Rockville, iGazi, The Throne, The Herd, The Imposter, and The Queen for M-Net’s Mzansi Magic channel and Kings of Joburg for Netflix South Africa.
The Ferguson Foundation will officially launch with a gala dinner on Friday, 5 August, at The Venue at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg, where actor, businesswoman, and producer Connie will dedicate the couple’s philanthropic endeavour to her late husband.
“The official launch of the Ferguson Foundation is on the way; thank you for your patience and support in the build-up to the big day and all the activities we have been undertaking,” Connie said in a statement, with the Ferguson Films owner noting that it marks “new beginnings”.
“I am looking forward to having you join us in the fruition of this vision and celebration of the life of a true visionary of empowerment and upliftment.”
The Ferguson Foundation aims to help “create tomorrow’s dreams today by promoting young entrepreneurs, funding the education of disadvantaged youth, and nurturing film enthusiasts”.
“We also aim to create balanced and equal opportunities for women who have been dealt a disadvantage in life,” Connie added.
Like the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), beneficiaries will attend two annual mentorship workshops with Ferguson Films, with students – through internships – who will also get work experience and networking opportunities alongside film and TV professionals.
At the same time, the foundation says it also aims to sponsor the university fees of five children from disadvantaged families who will be funded throughout their undergraduate programmes until they graduate.
The vision of the Ferguson film school is to equip students “with the tools they need to know about film production and functions related to film, to build future film industry leaders, producers and actors”.
In regards to female empowerment, the Ferguson Foundation will support selected women around Southern Africa living with HIV/Aids, struggling with the effects of being widowed, and the consequences of the recent Covid-19 pandemic to “provide them with funding for their start-up businesses, and assist them in elevating their skills and thus creating sustenance”.