Limpho has played many roles in business development and production in the South African game development scene. Learn about some highlights of her career and her new work as part of Nyamakop. We’ll let Limpho introduce herself in a way that only she can!
Who is Limpho? Tell us a bit about yourself
“Limpho Moeti previously worked at Free Lives (Broforce, Gorn) and was Deputy Festival Director of South Africa’s playful media festival, Playtopia. Currently, she works as a producer and business developer at Nyamakop developing African-inspired video games. She is one half of the Bad Form Podcast. In her spare time, she thinks of ways to smash the patriarchy, topple capitalism, and who was the best Batman. She is definitely not a robot sent from the future to destroy humanity but her boss did call her The Nuclear Bomb of Biz Dev.”
This is the introduction I use because I am an awkward person who struggles to talk about myself while also being very egotistical. I love nerd things like comics, games, and movies.
How do you explain your name (pronunciation) to people who aren’t aware of Sotho phonology? I hope we can make people say your name right while they read this!
Well, even though it is spelt with an L, it is pronounced Dimpho. In SeSotho, when you refer to something in the plural (my name means Many Gifts – because my presence is a present) you sometimes put a Li as a prefix that is pronounced Dee. So Mpho means Gift and Limpho is many gifts.
You’ve worn many hats in the SA game development industry. Could you tell us about some of the roles you’ve had and which ones have been your favourite?
I started as an Admin Systems Specialist at Free Lives where I worked for two years, then I became the Deputy Festival Director for Playtopia and now I’m at Nyamakop. I’ve done talks all over the world including in Germany, Denmark and other places.
I really love being a producer and business developer at Nyamakop. This is a studio that values diversity and inclusivity and does the work to create a welcoming environment and one where young developers, particularly African developers of colour, can grow.
What has been your favorite contribution to a game?
Doing play-testing for Genital Jousting at 1AM in the morning.
Another favourite would be the contributions I am making to a new game at Nyamakop, in terms of how we are framing the narrative and the direction the game is going in. We’re really focusing on depicting black people’s joy, while a lot of other media focuses and even commodifies black pain. We’re also taking specific care to authentically represent people from different parts of Africa. We want someone of that culture to clearly be able to see their own culture and feel a swell of pride seeing it.
What are some things you would like young people to know about working in the games industry in South Africa that you think they might not know?
It can be incredibly difficult, but it is also deeply rewarding. One thing I think many smaller developers don’t think about is the importance of making connections with other people in the industry. Business development can be vital to a studio just starting out. That means going to the events that you can, both locally and internationally, and making friends from all over the world. There are difficulties to doing bizdev, both structurally (it can be prohibitively expensive to travel) and on an individual level (people can be introverted and thus cliquey) but if you have someone who is outgoing and friendly, bizdev can be invaluable to a growing studio, and there are efforts to make it more welcoming and inclusive.
What has been the most challenging thing about working in the games industry in South Africa over the years?
Where should I start? Lmao. It can be hella rough. But if you love games and making games, it is 100% worth it and some of the best Bens I have met are in game development.
You recently started a new job as a producer/business dev at Nyamakop. Congratulations! What are you looking forward to with this new role?
Technically, I’ve been working at Nyamakop since January, I just recently got around to announcing my job and title of Producer/Bizdev. I am really excited to work with a studio that not only is interested in telling African stories but one that is deeply committed to growing the South African gaming industry. I love being in a company that is committed to creating world-class games and growing talented African developers.
And travel. I’m excited to travel again once I get the chance.
What would you like to see more of in the games industry in Africa and globally?
I would love to see more women and people of colour in the gaming industry. We have a lot of talented people and I hope to see the industry grow and become more representative of South Africa’s demographics.
Anything you would like to tell us? A fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about myself is that I am learning Korean! This is so I can finally watch K-dramas the way I watch most shows – while scrolling through Twitter/Reddit on my phone. I also like BTS (anyone else who does – DM me. I want more Kpop stan friends!).
You can purchase and play Genital Jousting by Free Lives here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/469820/Genital_Jousting/