Louise McClelland, co-founder of Cape Town-based production company Okuhle Media, has passed away at the age of 47 following a short battle with cancer.
In addition to co-founding the company 16 years ago with four partners, she served as executive producer and managing director of content, and was a driving force in building the company from the ground up. Currently, Okuhle Media has close to 80 employees and has produced more than 3,000 hours of content.
McClelland began her television career at South African pay-TV broadcaster M-net where, in three years’ time, she became head of scheduling. From there she became insert producer and a producer on K-TV, M-net’s children’s channel, and then moved on to the role of creative on-air producer at e.TV.
In 2003, she and her partners co-founded Okuhle Media, which is behind such programming as Sarah Graham’s Food Safari and Neill Anthony: Private Chef, both of which have sold to more than 70 territories all over the world.
“Her passion, energy, intellect, determination and creativity were instrumental in Okuhle’s success and we honor her memory by remembering that the greatest legacy anyone can leave behind is to positively impact someone else’s life,” said the company in a statement. “Louise did exactly that for countless people and for our industry. With every action she reminded us that it is our responsibility to create connections, to entertain, to bring laughter and joy in both our work and our personal lives.
“She leaves an indelible memory that will live in the hearts and minds of all who had the privilege of meeting her.”
McClelland passed at home on July 11 and is survived by her wife, Okuhle managing director and production executive Wilna van Schalkwyk, her two sons, her mother, brother, sister and extended family.