A blur of a year

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future — Yogi Berra

Ronnie Apteker
5 min readDec 31, 2020

Most people will be happy to say goodbye to 2020. But there is a lot about this year that will be missed. This year gave us time. To plan, to think, to dream. It was a year of soul searching and it was a year of love. And yes, it was also a year of struggle. Projects postponed or cancelled, monies lost, stress. Our film project about IT entrepreneurs in Kyiv, which we had been preparing for over the last 18 months, was meant to start shooting in April and then lockdown. This is a word I can’t say I had heard before this year. This is the year of the lockdown.

I started running during the lockdown and I lost around 10 kilos. Not that I was fat, but it does feel good to be lighter. I better keep exercising and maintain my new weight going into the year ahead. Discipline. This is still the key to everything.

This will me my last blog post for a while. I started writing a bunch of blogs again this year and it has been cool. I got some good thoughts down on paper, had a few interesting conversations, ruffled some feathers, and had many laughs. I will write these blogs less frequently next year as some new projects are going to be starting and my spare time will be less.

Our big endeavour for this year has been “57”. This is our first documentary film adventure and the learning curve has been intense. We have made over 20 feature length indie films, but on the documentary front this is new ground. The subject matter we are tackling, violent crime in South Africa, has been extremely hard, and the journey has not been easy. We are aiming to finish the film in about 6 months from now. And then, if all goes according to plan, we will get started on another documentary film project. There are so many stories to tell. This has been a year for stories. You can’t make up stuff like this.

New Material was completed this year and should come out in 2021. The cinema industry has been hit hard because of the pandemic and God knows what will happen to the big screen going forward. The second installment of Material has turned out great, and whoever enjoyed the first film is going to love this one too.

One of the biggest pieces of movie news is from Akin Omotoso who will be directing the Disney production Greek Freak, to be shot on location in Athens in the spring/summer of 2021. This is going to be magical. What a story. See you soon in Greece my man.

The last bit of film news from this year is Courting Anathi, the cool romantic comedy that Akin and Robbie Thorpe got made. I dig this film. I hope Netflix picks it up. Wow, it has been a busy time on the creative front these past 12 months.

The coronavirus opened many people’s eyes this year, mine included. We don’t need much to live comfortable lives. Who even has time to enjoy what they have? Always chasing the next big thing, trying to make more money. We don’t have time but yet we want more. It makes no sense. What is the purpose of hoarding cash? What is the purpose of work? Yeah, this year gone by I embraced one of my favourite words all over again: purpose.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. — Robert Byrne

The arrival of the Bun has been magical. Bunster for Prez!!! I am experiencing magic I never knew before. And purpose.

I am not a magician but I have been studying the art of magic for quite a few years now. I did not have much time this year to dedicate to this special hobby, but next year I am going to try invest more time again and learn more. Magic, storytelling and wonder. And laughter. This is what the worlds needs more of. Especially in these anxious times. I hope one day the Bunster embraces magic and storytelling.

On other adventures, I am super excited about PYGIO. Dimitri Gonatas is a rock solid, young, inspired soul. I am blessed to have got to know him better this year. Software development is the mission here, and the cities of Johannesburg and Kyiv are where this magical story takes place.

One of the people I truly am inspired by is Haroon Meer. This year Haroon has once again gone from strength to strength and the Thinkst birds are flying. Canary is an amazing story and Haroon and the bird team are too. If you want to hear about Haroon’s journey then this podcast is excellent.


The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. — Pablo Picasso

This has been a challenging year for just about everyone I imagine. Mentorship is needed now more than ever. I will end off this blog post with some gems that I have been reminded of recently. Never confuse kindness for weakness. Personality opens doors but character keeps them open. It is better to be interested than interesting. And this key one: every problem has an expiry date.

Happy new year !!!

PS — That quote above about magic is intriguing. I am not sure I agree with it. I understand what it means, and yeah, it is cynical. There is real magic in the world. I have experienced it this year.