Taku Mbudzi is a Zimbabwe-born writer, filmmaker, and podcaster who wields humour as a tool to amplify voices and foster self-expression, especially among children. With an impactful 17-year journey, Taku has shared her stories across schools, libraries, and youth organisations like Halogen Foundation Australia, Youthworx, Red Cross and the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia.
In 2021, Taku was selected as one of four filmmakers across Australia for The Kaleidoscope Project, a joint Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Screen Australia initiative, spotlighting the stories of children from communities underrepresented in mainstream media.
Taku’s debut film Gugu naGogo, available on ABC iview, explores intergenerational and cultural relationships and the struggles between daughter, mother, and grandmother, through the eyes of Gugu, a 12-year-old budding astronomer living in a small Australian town, far removed from Zimbabwe, where her Gogo lives.
Taku’s film earned her an Audience Award at the 2023 New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) and its profound impact led to its inclusion in NYICFF’s National North American Tour and Education Program, reaching young audiences across the United States of America. Gugu naGogo has also been selected for other film festivals including 2023 Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2023 Mill Valley Film Festival and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
Taku’s commitment to professional growth and screen industry enrichment is evident through her membership in organisations such as the Australian Writers Guild, Australian Directors Guild, and the Screen Producers Association. She actively serves as a Natalie Miller Fellowship Board Member, helping to advocate for women within the Australian film and screen sector.
Taku is also an experienced audio storyteller, producing four podcasts, with over 150 episodes, 50 guests and 60 hours of audio content. The popularity of her 2017 radio play JoYOLO led to a book publishing deal with Allen & Unwin, with her book forthcoming in 2024.
Beyond screen and audio platforms, Taku’s stories have earned her recognition on stage as a two-time State Finalist in the RAW Stand-up Comedy Competition at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, in both Western Australia (2015) and Victoria (2023). She is also an active participant in The Moth StorySLAM live events in Melbourne, based on New York’s global storytelling sensation, The Moth Radio Hour podcast. She recently performed at The National Theatre in St Kilda as a 2023 Finalist in The Moth’s Melbourne GrandSLAM Storytelling Championship.
When Taku’s not performing, writing or teaching, she discusses TV-making and storytelling on her award-winning podcast Two Words with Taku.
Connect with Taku on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/takumbudzi/