They are big with different kinds of colors. They don’t care about life as long as they get something to eat. You will find them everywhere, but they stay in a township called Alexandra yes I am talking about Rats. Others may take rats and mice and make them their pets but for us people of Alex it’s terrifying to have rats as our pets.

We live, eat, sleep with them. These rats have invaded our beautiful township. mobile public screening in Setshwetla Alexandra

They are seen day & night yet we think it is normal, at first it was 1, 2, 10 but there are millions of rats in Alexandra township. These rats come with their own diseases, but still we sit and keep quiet. I am a citizen journalist of Alex who is very concerned because these rats won’t only give me their disease, but the whole of Alex will suffer.

So we took the rats’ film to Setjwetla one of the informal settlements in our township, trying to hear their views and what can we do about this problem.

The people were very shocked when they heard about the diseases that the rats carry. We consulted with them. This is what they said, “as long we don’t clean after ourselves nothing will be done to get rid of these rats”, the other one said “we as Alexandra citizens, we need to help the municipality and work with them to keep our township clean”.

We do not plead to the government only but to the people as well please let’s keep our yards clean, let’s live in a clean environment, the government is trying to help Alexandra by bringing owls to the township so people I leave you with this question. What do you think about owls in the township of Alex?

 

 

 

 

Before I blog about this month’s documentary Screening, I’d like to show Hillside Digital’s gratitude to Ms Kgomotso for blessing us with a sophisticated venue. We also want to thank our guests such as Linda Twala , AZAPO, SA HIP HOP , for taking time off their schedules to witness and admire our passion as the Hillside Digital family. I’d like to emphasize my thanks to the Siyakhona crew for bringing the whole event to life. Now that I’ve given thanks, let me get to what this blog is about, The Siyakhona Documentary Screening .

I feel I should elaborate to those who do not have the full scoop on what Siyakhona Hillside Digital is about. The Hillside Digital is a Non-Profitable Organization based in Alexandra Township, with a goal to plant a seed of change within the unattended community. It deals with the obstacles that bash the township against the wall. Hillside Digital goes out to the community and captures the matters, organizes screening events across the township and showcases them to the people it affects, community members . It also helps the worried citizens to come up with solutions as to how they can approach and defeat these problems. And so far, Hillside Digital has done an exceptionally good job to reach out a hand and try help bring these obstacles forth, through the power of video journalism.

So, on the 6th of June 2011 , Hillside Digital organizes a documentary screening, sets up in a well known venue in Alexandra Township (The Basement). The guests’ early arrival portrayed a sense of keenness toward the event and to witness what the Hillside Digital family had to showcase. The success of the event was unexpectedly great; since we had guests’ like Linda Twala who has had Alexandra Township in his hands for many years; he was instrumental in saving our Township and survived the police bombing his home back in the day. The documentary screening commences and goes on as planned. Our first documentary showcases one of the matters that the township faces on a daily bases-rape. It focuses on the young Alexandra citizens that have been victims and have suffered the ill consequences of living with HIV.

Our second documentary is based on Housing and the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP). We show footage that Hillside Digital has gone out to research, and get feedback on how the people of the township have housing issue. It’s been disclosed that the unhappy citizens have bad experiences with the Housing Projects; they report that their houses are sold to unknown individuals that have paid enormous amounts of money. We then went out to hear what the ARP had to say about the matter, though the citizens are told by an ARP representative that it has nothing to do with the Housing Department selling their homes. Then the screening proceeds to another problem in Alexandra, updating our progress to end the rats crisis and the audience relates very well as they live under the disturbing conditions.  We then show a documentary called “Music Frees My Soul”; it is based on the passion and talent for music in Alexandra Township. We capture the young voices that live and love music; we meet music legends of Alex such as Jika Twala who is a musician and Moses Sibeko who is a producer. They move our concentration from the troubling topics to something the township is capable of-music. The young talent in Alexandra is marvelous though still undiscovered as yet, so Hillside Digital takes initiative to expose it at the screening event. After the Documentary Screening, we allow the citizens to have a voice and come up with solutions as to how we can better the community. They spoke about solutions as to how we could build a sanitarily clean and crime-free township, and luckily the audience really felt the need to stand as one and fight these battles together as a community. And we as Hillside Digital were content to realize that we have given a voice to Alexandra Township and the township has a voice found through  Siyakhona and Hillside Digital.

Siyakhona Alexandra and Siyakhona Khayelitsha are saddened to hear that Matthew Lang is leaving his post as CEO of Sony South Africa. We wish you all the best for your future Matthew and hope that we will remain in your thoughts as you surely will remain in ours. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and encouragement during our training and filming the football for hope tournament.

Thank you for playing a part in changing our lives, giving us skills and amazing Sony equipment. With Siyakhona and your help we have inspired our communities to join us in improving all our lives and our surroundings.

 

 

Our piece of humble pie

Posted: March 7, 2011 by Danny Lurie in Uncategorized

Sunday the 27th of February was another example why growth is so static in our townships; Artists in Alexandra are quick to depend on outsiders for sponsorships because we always forget to work together. Enough having ciphers where we diss and put each other down to spit and shine our own egos. How about we start spending more time on the things we can do together and the resources we can use from one another?

A potential sponsor of the music workshop that was expected to be held on that day pulled out at the eleventh hour blaming punctuality and leaving an eager but poorly informed crowd hanging.

Blame African time but the preparations began thirty minutes after the time that was set for the workshop to start, after dedicating thirty more minutes to disappointment and finger-pointing, the artists that were expecting to be performing after the workshop refused to leave without a show.

The new formation and arrival to the scene in Alexandra the “Untitled Band” set up their gear and gave the crowd a mixture of cover tracks and own compositions before free styling with hip-hop artists Linda, Disciple and Twigger Mansion. The entire show was live and raw and the crowd was pulled in by the new flavours to their ears when passing by.

Dreams coming true should be about creating your own chances and opportunities. There’s a lack of growth in Alexandra because we don’t believe in ourselves enough to implement our own visions and ideas. The serendipity of this event has encouraged me to believe in the destiny that I am setting forth for myself. Revolutions did not begin with people wanting fame and recognition instead they grew from an individual wanting to better a certain part of their life.

 

It’s time we stop trying to imitate past martyrs who then had reasons to be confined to who they were told they were, we need to start being concerned with who we are not and that can only happen with us learning and adapting from other cultures.

The world is only concerned about where you are from after you’ve become a part of something that has mattered to the rest of us. Music is a universal tool and that’s where we should be concerning ourselves with what we’re hearing and what we should be saying.

It’s sad that even collective efforts are only mere excuses for independent gains. Bands are formed by people looking at how much money can be made from using one another’s talents. Why are we so afraid to admit to our mistakes? Isn’t that the whole point of growth? Townships are no longer a result of segregation but an excuse to the things we’re not doing.

Thank you to the following mentions Alex FM, David Chislett, ALPOA, HILLSIDE DIGITAL, LINDA, DESCIPLE, TWIGGER MANSION and THE UNTITLED BAND your efforts and contributions are appreciated.

Writer: MAMO.

When Florian came to us with the idea of using Khayelitsha Siyakhona to create a multi-media installation that would portray life in Khayelitsha using the four walls of a re-purposed shack, we were excited.
I refused to see the film until the night of the premiere and I’m so glad I did. What a beautiful and inspiring experience. It was amazing to see what Florian and his team pulled off with a minimal self financed budget and sheer will. I am looking forward to helping Florian and his team get this installation into other galleries around the world.
The audience loved the experience and the positive feedback was amazing. The Siyakhona Khayelitsha team truly have something to celebrate.

Hillside Digital Trust’s mantra is “We are one people, we have one destiny, we can make the world the way we’d like it to be.”

Our task is simple, to bring about real change and make a real difference. Our Siyakhona (We can do it) Video Journalists use their skills in film, new and social media as community organizers, they are empowered to engage with their community, identify the root causes of their social ills, organize the community to find the answers and implement action plans to solve the issue together with all role players, stakeholders and partners.

We started in October 2009 and our concept is proving itself as a game changer in community development. There’s been a paradigm shift at the offices of Region E since we presented our call to action video on the rats crisis in Alexandra Township.

To remind you Siyakhona’s advocacy call to action film on the rats crisis so impressed all the regional directors of Gauteng, that they pooled all their resources together, from as far as Orange farm and Soweto. Our film inspired the departments of health, environmental affairs, service delivery, roads, water, the Police, emergency services and others to join our campaign. Over three days they joined us and nine hundred local volunteers in a major clean up and education campaign. The Regional director has since overhauled their entire approach on service delivery. Before the campaign their departments worked in silos, each not knowing what the other was working on. Siyakhona has inspired the city to bring all departments together in an integrated service delivery plan for Alexandra and surrounding areas to combat service delivery issues in a manner that is sustainable and visible to the community.

Herbert and Lucky joined me at the Region E offices to identify the hotspots Siyakhona will focus on for the clean up campaign and rodent crisis; Pan Africa precinct, River Park Precinct, Madala Hostel, Nobuhle Hostel and Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel, how to monitor the project’s impact and get the support of specifically the hostel dwellers as well as the rest of the community. The regional director established monthly Siyakhona task group meetings at her offices. The task group involves representatives from departments of environmental health, housing, PickitUP, Stakeholder management, Service delivery, urban management and ourselves in which we will work together on this and other service delivery issues and implement innovative solutions.

All departments have been briefed on the Siyakhona Initiative and have been directed to submit plans on how they can best add to the project and its impact on the community. Further to the clean up campaign we are also discussing other projects such as recycling, developing green based cooperatives, rehabilitating the Jukskei river, ending tribalism as well as delving into the problem of housing delivery.

Region E will pay the costs of our public screenings, literature and marketing materials and participate in conversations with the community at our screenings. I met with Ephraim; marketing specialist for Region E, he relayed how excited they all are to join the Siyakhona Initiative and add to our work. He believes that joining our grass root initiatives will be far more effective than trying to implement projects developed at management level.

We’ve also been given the go ahead to produce and distribute a Siyakhona Environmental Health DVD on rodent control.

Posted: January 23, 2011 by Danny Lurie in Alexandra, HillsideDigital
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 46 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 82 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 96mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 10th with 85 views. The most popular post that day was 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were networkedblogs.com, facebook.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, cardonation.sex991.com, and slashingtongue.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for siyakhona project, siyakhona, siyakhona africa, rebecca malope, and zwakanaka.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children. November 2010

2

The Siyakhona Project June 2010
2 comments

3

About Hillside Digital June 2010

4

Siyakhona and Hillside Digital featured on CNN iReport June 2010

5

For the love of the Game. June 2010