Posts Tagged ‘Khayelitsha’

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.


The stats helper monkeys at 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,,,, and

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.


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


The Siyakhona Project June 2010


About Hillside Digital June 2010


Siyakhona and Hillside Digital featured on CNN iReport June 2010


For the love of the Game. June 2010



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:

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

Hillside Digital citizen journalists (CJs) collect a minimum of 100 votes from their community on a particular issue before producing an advocacy based video on a call to action: Sony Fevacastors made a great video explaining what we’re about.

HD CJs research and interview all concerned before formulating and producing a film that calls for a ‘plan of action’.


The screenings provide a platform for information sharing, debate and (a specialist on HIV/AIDS, employment, housing, government policy etc) dialogue empowering the community and leadership to unite to find solutions to their most pressing issues- speeding up social change.

HD videos are screened to all parts of the community on portable projectors; covering a number of issues notably, service delivery, human rights, health, education and employment, local news as well as positive stories on local arts and entertainment, success and impact.

A post viewing dialogue will give the audience a chance to have their voice heard.

The videos empower the community to unite and find solutions to their most pressing issues; i.e. speeding up social change.

HD CJs are responsible for implementing an agreed upon action by the community and reporting back to their community.


In each area where Hillside Digital operates, it coordinates with the area’s key role players; community leaders, NGOs, development forums and local authorities (when ethical) inspired by the community to ‘do it for themselves’ through the video advocacy screenings. Siyakhona inspires city to put rats in its crosshairs [tweetmeme source=”hillsidedigital” only_single=false]