Picture by Azola Maliti


This has been a great successful event, the whole community stood up as a one society saying no to drugs and substance abuse, also on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, especial among youth.

They were saying no to Rape and brutal killings of women, defenceless grannies, people with disabilities and young children and also human trafficking. They also fight against not coping with the burden of HIV /Aids leading to suicide and killing of partners and violet crime.

It was great to see political parties united as one supporting their communities even though Mr Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille were not present. ANC, DA, NAPWA, HOME AFFAIRS, CHILD LINE and other NGO’s stood together and shouted with one voice; “DON’T LOOK AWAY, ACT AGAINST ABUSE”

There was also HIV/Aids test clinics, while Home Affairs were helping people with Identities and some got free t-shirts with flyers detailing contact details of programs and associations that could help.

This is how we should work as a province to protect our sisters, brothers and our parents, families together with our communities, so we started it here and you???


Zwakanaka is so cool that it’s nc´a, dope, sooooper-  ayt, the bomb, wicked, off the hook, in fact it’s dianesa and njo-jo and most importantly it’s moving forward, that is what it means. And that is exactly what it does. Zwakanaka only looks as far back as the ‘right now’. It can see around corners and moves into the future to create spaces that haven’t been invented yet. It is constantly changes, grows and expands with the urban youth it represents. If you want to know what township cool is- you need to get with Zwakanaka.

Zwakanaka caters to a street-wise youth culture who want more than the classic once-off downloads and music. Zwakanaka offers original local content accessible to a township market on the MxIt platform and gives filmmakers and mobile users an opportunity to create and enjoy relevant mobile media entertainment. It represents a first in terms of giving a voice to filmmakers and consumers alike to determine what they want to get across to each other.

Emma Kaye, A leader in mobile media, entertainment and content noticed a gap in the urban mobile youth market. Her vision and experience allowed her to create a mobile platform which would enable young township filmmakers to reach a large market. Emma teamed up with Danny Lurie and Nadiva Schraibman, the founders of Hillside Digital which trains township youth to be social activists through making documentary films. This partnership gave birth to a creative filmmaking initiative characterized by storytelling which will enable the filmmakers to become financially sustainable.

Emma Kaye is CEO of Gate 7 New Media and is widely known as an innovator and industry leader in the fields of animation and mobility. She is recognized as one of the top 50 women globally in mobile entertainment. Documentary filmmaker Nadiva Schraibman and social activist Daniel Lurie developed Hillside Digital which empowers impoverished communities by giving them a voice and uniting them through film and mobile cinema to jointly come up with solutions to their pressing problems.

You can find Zwakanaka’s short films on MxIt. For more information contact Emma Kaye at:

By Gladness “Nana” Mathebula

Siyakhona covered the ‘No to child pornography and human trafficking’ awareness campaign in Alexandra township at Thusong youth center on the 23 October 2010. Guys from the film and publication board and bikers representing their clubs; Gauteng’s Night Riders, Signature de Bikers and the Hood Ratz Bikers were out to support the campaign. 

Child pornography in terms  of South African law is any picture or any description of a real or imaginary person who is under the age  of 18 years , or is represented as being under the age of 18 years.

A few days ago I saw guys  sell pornographic DVD’s to a 10 year old girl. I started having questions popping up in my mind, where does she watch the DVD, with who, when and what was her reaction, after watching the DVD what does she feel like?

I told them that I would call the police. One guy laughed as he told me the very same police came here for the very same porn DVD’s and police take the  DVD’s for free. I am a mother in Alexandra Township, I am worried about the future of our children in this country.

The community came out in great numbers to show support. I was so impressed to see young children coming in a huge number to support the event.

At the same event I spoke to Amanda Ndlovu, she is 14 years old. She told me that porn is her food, clothes and she can’t live without it. She saves money from her lunch box money given by her parents. Her parents have no idea of what she does with her pocket money.

The event was a success but my main concern is I didn’t see any of the children’s parents support their children at this child pornography awareness campaign. We cannot do it alone. Parents, the Police and the government have to be involved and  help us save our children.

By Nana Mathebula

My team and I were given a project by Into the Limelight Communications for The Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO), a partnership between UJ, Wits and Gauteng Government. Our brief was to interview people regarding their activities surrounding sports, entertainment, how they use parks, cultural precincts and entertainment. We shot this project over the course of last week. It has been an eye-opening experience where we had to work as a team. I like to think that we were given a chance to do this project for the city to use as a door to start working together as a team and making change in our community and our surrounding areas.

Then it was time to show our dedication, skill and love for the work we do. We are young trained video journalists; we do short films and screenings. At the same time as interviewing people we did a lot of drive-by shots in different places like Pretoria, Soweto, Orange Farm , Zoo Lake , Alexandra and Sandton. My first concern was transportation, which was a challenge for the team, however although it was a challenge for everyone we managed to get to where we needed to go.

The challenges we faced on interviews concerned getting people who wanted to be interviewed. During our interviews there was a guy I approached for an interview, as I introduced myself to him I could see that he looked bitter but this didn’t stop me from wanting to interview him. After I had told him what I was doing he asked me what that had to do with him and told me I was disturbing him and that I must move away from him. So that was a bit stressful for me, that someone could talk to me like that.

However I did not let his attitude get me down for long. There were friendly people who were interested in what we were doing which helped us to have a great time, especially at the Gay and Lesbian Pride event at Zoo Lake. We all had fun and enjoyed filming what we saw. For me it was exciting because their were interesting people in their beautiful outfits and costumes. It was colorful and joyful, they just didn’t care who was there and who was looking they just enjoyed themselves and that made things easy for me to move around them.

I’m a young lady from Alexandra township trained by Hillside Digital in the Siyakhona project to become a video journalist. We collect votes from the community before producing a documentary on a burning issue. We screen our documentary back to the community and encourage the audience to speak their mind.

As Hillside Digital we have a partnership with the local radio station; Alex fm. Our show is every Tuesday at seven pm. I chose a topic on millennium development goals. The United Nation chose 8 goals to focus on, to eradicate extreme poverty around the world. This is an important issue to talk about on air because it affects us all in different ways.Suzan Khosa

I arrived at Alex FM to prepare to be on air. Brian the presenter asked what the topic of the day was. I told him that I wanted to talk about the United Nations’ MDGs as there was a summit in New York about the world meeting the MDG deadline in 2012. We started the show but Brian stopped the show because he didn’t have any idea what the millennium goals were all about. I gave him a copy and he read to get some clue on what is all about.

I was very disappointed to see the local radio station who has more than 50 000,00 listeners, had never heard of the MDGs. They host a good show but they don’t know about vital policies the international community is following to get us out of poverty. I don’t blame the radio station or its DJs but I can’t help thinking that if radio talk show hosts don’t know about the MDGs then how many residents of my community or South Africa know about them?

I think it is very important that we as a community follow what the United Nations is doing because it affect us all. The world agreed to these goals to get poor townships like Alexandra out of poverty. It is time for us to start educating our people to be aware about the goals and have our voice heard as a contributing factor in the policy decisions. It is our lives that is affected by MDG policy and my people don’t even know they exist.

While in the process of doing this story we face a lot of challenges because, the topic has so many angle to choose from, and no matter how you try to eliminate same of them they find their way right back to your story. Which makes it hard for one to edit.

The reason we did this story is because we wanted to highlight that HIV does not necessarally kill a person, but it is the HIV cycle that leads to death meaning that in our townships people are still  discriminated against because of their status.

Our main character Noma Africa had an amazing  and sad story to tell, it was amazing in a way that after all she has been through with her family and community and having a young boy of seven who has HIV, she is still living strong. Even with examples like Noma Africa in the community, it is sad that  there are still youth with  little knowledge about the risks of  getting HIV infected.

Hopefully the message that  you will get across from this  film is that people rely on ARVs to live longer. Lots of money has been invested in health care and prevention, I think what people really need is educational skills about HIV because after all these years people are still ignorant. They still  judge by appearance whether one is HIV positive or not. Those living with HIV and AIDS still find it difficult to disclose.

I personally think that  education should start in grade one and the information should not be limited because they are at a young age. What we’re told at schools is that if you are  HIV positive you will die. We are not taught how to prevent contracting the disease and the  details that goes with it.

Being a lesbian and having to tell a story of another lesbian on how she is treated in the community; almost being raped and beaten up for what she is, is painful for me. The worst to hear is not being accepted by your own family; the people you shared a womb and breast with, the mother who gave birth to you; spent months carrying you. How is the community going to accept you if your family will not?

I have not experienced these hardships living in the townships; maybe it’s because I have not come out yet. I am a lesbian and I am proud but after what I heard from on the streets during Vox pops (random interviews) I don’t think I will ever come out. The way the people were talking, it was scary hearing them saying, ‘lesbians are not supposed to live, they deserve to be killed because homosexuality is a sin. God never created a woman to fall in love with another woman and it’s against black culture. We are embarrassing and humiliating the black community and our families.’

I do not believe this is true. We can’t help the way we feel. If it was not created by God then why do we even have these feelings, not just feelings but strong feelings? How many lesbians have to suffer and die before we are accepted in our community and by our families?

How long is our government going to continue just talking and still remain quiet? They write a constitution that ensures everyone has a right to equality but people are violating our rights. The government does nothing as if to say we deserve what the people are doing to us.

I think as long as the government is not teaching people to practise what they preach in the constitution we still have a long way to go and to suffer. As long as there is no political member saying this is wrong, that homosexuals deserve to be treated fairly like everybody else, violent hate crimes will continue. There is nothing more hurtful than being violated for who and what you are.

I really wish people would wake up and realise that this is happening and it’s not going to end without leadership, dialogue and tolerance. Until then what does not kill me will only make me stronger, we are here to stay, in the closet and in the open.

By Hlomela Msesele