Mr. Phillips brings a varied skill set and vast experience to the Diamond Life team. Sam has a long track record of using his skills in encouraging developing talent, teaching writing workshops and leading community theatre in disadvantaged communities. He is passionate about the positive development of South Africa and is very concerned with the issue of drug abuse. As we design campaigns targeting youth through entertainment to promote positive social change, Sam advises and helps to steer the Diamond Life team in the IMAS campaign and as an ambassador to the creative industries throughout South Africa.
Sam is an actor, writer, music composer, director and producer. He caught the bug of performing in High School at Langa High in Cape Town. He joined the non-racial People’s Space Theatre in 1974, and played in the first ‘multi-racial’ production Lycistrata at the Space. He performed in the first black production The Sacrifice of Kreli and joined the Market Theatre in 1971 with the Merchant of Venice. When TV 2 started in 1980, he settled in Johannesburg as a TV actor, played lead in several religious programs including the acclaimed Monna wa Cyrene and Ibali lika Yona. He has played lead in dramas and comedies including Phamokate, Umzi Nento zawo, Tholwana tsa Sethepu, Backstage and many others. He has also features in international plays like Atholl Fugard’s Master Herold and the Boys in New Orleans, Selaelo Maredi’s Absolom’s Song with the Los Angeles Theatre and main supporting role in Ace Ventura/ When Nature Calls.
He is an Oscar nominee for playing lead in Senzeni na?, which was nominated for Best Short Story with the American Film Institution (AFI) in 1990. He has worked as an assistant editor at Kinnerland and Scholtz Films in the 80’s for these films Motlhalefi Molefe, Ifa lika Mthetwa, Masechaba etc. He directed Woza Albert at McGowan theatre in UCLA and held several Workshops at the Hollywood Theatre Rapport. He has also worked as a producer for Nna Sajene Kokobela and 102 Paradise Complex as well composed music for 102 Paradise Complex which was sung by Brenda Fassie, Nna Sajene Kokobela, Motlhalefi Molefe, Nonwane, also wrote the lyrics for the feature Bopha directed by Morgan Freeman.