Florence Masebe

Nyamuthenga, Khadzi ya Makovhagada! Muduhulu wa Vhafamadi! Tshiongweeee!!!!

 

Khadzi's Diary


01.08.2016

Our storytellers failed the Women!

I want to write glowingly about the progress that South African women have made since that historical march 60 years ago. It would be appropriate, I think, to do this as we start our month long celebrations of this anniversary month of the 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Being a film person, I think it would be fitting to find a way to celebrate this very important date and month with a cinematographic trip down memory lane. Simple accounts of ordinary women who stood united to fight the injustice of apartheid laws for the sake of my generation and those of my children and theirs. I read books. I listen to songs. I watch plays on stage. I consume more film and television than the average citizen because my work demands it.

See, I am a storyteller. My storytelling I inherited from both sides of my bloodline. Gugu Vho-Mususumeli moulded her stories in clay and some she weaved with reeds and beads. Gugu Vho-Muțheiwana was the orator. She told the most beautiful fireside stories. Sang beautifully too. I remember many of her tales and songs. That old queen told stories that have stayed alive in me years after she passed on. That’s what great storytellers do. They put life into a story and give it to their audiences as a lifelong gift. And the beauty of a well told story is that it continues to touch lives long after those that first told it are no longer with us. Think about it… Shakespeare doesn’t die. Somewhere in the world today, someone is reading Macbeth or A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Romeo and Juliet. 

I love good storytelling. I hope to one day be counted amongst the greatest African storytellers that ever lived. My stories I choose to tell through film. I love the camera and I believe it loves me. I want to get behind it though, so I can paint my pictures exactly as I see them inside my story world. I’m ready for this… I hope I’m not alone on this path. We need an army of storytellers. Lord knows we have not been as vigilant in keeping our stories alive as we could have. Our heroes take their golden tales to their graves because our generation of storytellers overlooks their worth.

My challenge to myself as a filmmaker is to tell as many such stories as I can. It particularly saddens me that as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the women’s march of August 9th 1956 we still have no meaningful cinematographic tribute to this phenomenal part of our history. In fact, we’ve allowed ourselves to be part of an erasure agenda that seeks to see more of our heroes taking their stories to the graves while we continue to give audiences artificial versions of ourselves film after film. 

We are so apologetic about the beauty of our stories. Our heroes can’t count on us to keep them alive. Who will be brave enough to make a whole slate of women heroes’ films a reality? Who will make the crazy decision to give us an entire documentary series on Gxowa, Mompati, Ngoyi, Joseph and their peers? Who must the storytellers beg and butter up to be funded to make their 60 films in honour of the 60th anniversary of the women’s march? Why am I starting a conversation that should have been had 10 years back only now? Storyteller’s guilt, I guess. We’ve let the women down. We’ve left their story untold for 60 years and more. 

Re tshwareleng bo mma. Do forgive us, your storytellers, for sleeping on the job and compromising such valuable assignments. We lost your story while chasing other people’s viewpoints and perceptions of us. We put your story on the shelf because we thought we’d get to it once we were done with the comedy and romance and even sci-fi. We let you down. We lost your golden tale. Forgot to get ready even for this big anniversary that we must now have in your honour. 

We’ll scramble and rush a few stories through as if we didn’t know all along that this time was coming. We’ll dig in our non existent archive for a few documentaries packaged in foreign voices in our attempts to honour you. We will fill banquet halls and feast for days as we celebrate you. Re tshwareleng basadi. We’re still trying to figure out how to put your story on film. We’ll get to it, just not in time for your big day on August 9.

So, with all the gains we’ve made after your historical sacrifices, we’re yet to find the suitable slate and budget to tell your story. We, your storytellers, have let you down.

Florence - 03:02:48 | 1 comment

  1. buy essays

    02.02.2018

    I am extremely upbeat to peruse this about the new market. It is great opportunity for open and we can likewise join this http://mightyessays.com/ composing administrations audits organization to peruse the all rates of all items. Attempt to purchase the important things.

Add comment

Fill out the form below to add your own comments