By Vuyo Madyibi
“Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
This quote encapsulates the aims and goals of the Kliptown Beehive team. Neo Monyamane, a filmmaker, opened the meeting addressing their aim to train the interested community of Kliptown in the art of filmmaking. Their training will result in official accreditation which allows those who have embarked on it to work and make use of their accreditation in employment.
Mocke Jansen van Veuren, filmmaker and lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand further expressed this through his analogy of an education puzzle piece. Through establishing a curriculum such as the program they have in collaboration with Animation SA, has far reaching effects to structure the education puzzle which is aimed at empowering and uplifting the community of Kliptown through filmic proficiency.
Prince Massingham, who is from Kliptown and is a screenplay writer of the first film the team embarked on in Kliptown which elicited the need for the training and education in filmmaking they uncovered, expressed how the films are used to help address some of the troubling issues of the area.
Furthermore, the team recounted their long working collaboration which allowed for a thorough analysis of their project proposal and what they envision. Therefore, they were able to structure their vision around the conscious representation of the population as well as the development of a model which will allow them to develop a sustainable project which is feasible monetarily. In addition to their vision, they established the need to create a community-based approach which will focus on the treatment of the community and the need to focus on treating the community in a way which empowers them and leaves them in a better position than before. The team believes strongly in empowering the township communities through education. Kliptown Beehive hopes to encourage Kliptonians in this way as they are their target audience with whom they are extremely passionate about.
The team is appreciative for the voucher scheme however, their resourcefulness is not determined by their monetary gain as the film they embarked on in Kliptown relied virtually on no budget. The team is then able to make the seed money from the voucher scheme count. Moreover, they promote the idea of universities being custodians of knowledge and resources, thus aligning the voucher scheme with what the moral and core messages are.
Kliptown Beehive can foresee challenges with their proposal, as they seek to first establish a consistent trust within their community as it has been taken advantage of in the past. This again does not deter the team from bringing their plan to fruition.
Lastly, the team hopes to collapse the gate of formal education which encloses the privileged and circulates knowledge only at the top. They hope that their initiative will satisfy the hunger of the Kliptonians for the content to empower them to tell their stories on their terms.