I volunteered with Equal Education (EE) in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, during the summer of 2012, teaching the youths at EE how to make short documentary films. That means some basics knowledge about using a DSLR camera, audio recorder, and microphones, planning a story line, gathering interviews, narratives, and B-rolls, and some video/audio editing. I worked with Phelokazi and Samkele, and we were a part of a bigger doc film-making program, but somewhat self-contained. We would go with the big group on field trip days, but sometimes we split off to do our own thing, such as visit Phelokazi and Samkele’s family and friends, grab fish and chips, go around the piers and markets, and have sleep overs.
At the time, Phelokazi was a high schooler, and Samkele was a middle schooler. Both lived and studied in Khayelitsha, the biggest township in Cape Town. Over 2 months, we shot footages, interviewed family and friends, and sometimes strangers. They wrote and directed two shorts about topics that they found important. I brought the equipment and the technical know-how, they brought the heart!
Inequality in Khayelitsha, dir Phelokazi
Phelokazi is an activist and currently works at Equal Education, a non-profit that advocates for the right to education for children in the townships. In the short she made when she was still a high school student, she talks about her experience and observation of the racial tension and violence in Khayelitsha.
Work and Live in Khayelitsha, dir Samkele
Samkele is always a poet. He once wrote a poem about the sweetness of sleep, which I just started to appreciate years after first heard him recite it. In this short film, Samkele reflects on the working and living conditions in his hometown.