#CreatepreneurAfrica- Riaan Hendricks, prolific South African filmmaker on the “Ramothopo the Centenarian” journey

A multi-award winning, Cape Town's prolific film director, Riaan Hendricks weaves into a rich tapestry of storytelling moments engrossed in the delicate elements of his creations. He wavers on motions of a constant struggle to engage audiences with emotional landscapes of life characters and stories into the beyond of everyday lives. His latest film follows the 110-year old Ramothopo and his 99-year-old wife, Anna.

Ramothopo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He initiated his ‘sterling directorial debut’  into the world of documentary with ‘A Fisherman’s tale in 2004.

His celebrated work constantly pushes the boundaries laid out in the documentary genre. Riaan is currently completing his Masters in Film at the Universtiy of Cape Town( UCT).

Skype: riaanhendricks | Twitter: @filmseason
Vimeo: riaanhendricksfilm | Facebook: riaanhendricks

A Fisherman’s Tale (2004) “…reminds me of the art of Picasso and Diego Riviera, who had used their art to animate the condition of the working people and their dignity”
– Professor Ben Turok, 
Independent Newspapers.

His film “The Devils Lair (2013) was received critical acclaim and was played on almost all the continents receiving multiple film awards.

 

  • Best Documentary World Cinema Award at the New Zealand International
  • Documentary Edge Festival 2014
  • Best Documentary Feature Award SAFTA’s 2014
  • Best Documentary Feature Editor Award SAFTA’s 2014
  • Jury Special Mention Documentary, Luxor Film Festival, 2014
  • Best South African Documentary Feature, JOZI FILM FEST 2014
  • Best South African Feature Documentary, Screen Excellence Award, 2013
  • Jury Special Mention at the 24th Festival Cinema Africano Asia Latin Americana, 2014

Meet CreatepreneurAfrica’s  profound South African filmmaker, Riaan Hendriks

Riaan Hendricks is a filmmaker. A beekeeper. Publisher of Docstreet Radio (www.soundcloud.com/docstreet).
What is your latest film all about?

My latest film is titled “Ramothopo the Centenarian”. It’s story of what it takes to return the love and care to 110-year old Ramothopo old and Anna his 99-year-old wife – who for generations played a vital role in their family and community.

In her younger years, Anna spent her younger life as a prophetess and healer. Leprosy was amongst many of the sicknesses she knew how to cure. She assisted many barren women to have children.

Even the mentally ill were lined up at her door for help. It’s not easy to judge her age from gauging her intelligent conversations. This woman she is strong – and surpassing 100 is nothing new in their family.

Their home was always a refuge to those in need of help.

Ramothopo was a preacher over hundreds of people. It’s his feeble state that compelled his granddaughter to spend more time with him in what seems to be the last years of his life. She’d leave her Cape Town family behind and journey the 1800km trip with 2 year old Anushka to attend to Ramothopo – whom she calls her dad. Her own dad passed away when she was still very young.

The film itself is a heart-warming experience. We all have a Ramothopo and an Anna in our lives. And if time permits – we too will find ourselves where they are. After watching the film – you’ll never look at life quite the same again.

How did you finance the film?

This is one of the most expensive films i’ve made in recent years. It’s also my longest. The cost cannot be translated into cash value – since it’s entirely funded with passion, handwork, and perhaps diligence. Usually, you’d go out and look for money before you film – or when you are in the edit. This film, however – was never meant to be a film. Initially, I was merely taken by the contrast between my two-year-old daughter and her interaction with her great-grandparents. I chose to film it for memories keep shake.

However – the more I filmed, the harder it became to confront the themes as it manifested itself.

I’m of sound mind and healthy body. To confront the realities of feebleness, old age and the dependence on love and care is the hardest I’ve ever filmed. Yet it’s in the very struggle of processing the themes and translating it into meaning that a film gets born. From experience, I know that is how all my films are done. It’s in your heart where the film gets born.

Thus every time we went to Botlokwa, i’d film. And the more I filmed – the more the humanness of feebleness, madness, and love emerged.

A life experience that changes you often makes a good film. This film changed me. I could not walk away from it without translating it into cinema and be titling it “Ramothopo the Centenarian”.

Where to from here?

Well, the film was finished a few days before the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival. The festival itself has always been the home ground of South African documentary cinema. So I’m thankful for their continued support of my work over the years. But with the Ramothopo, I truly thought that this time around they will be rejecting my work!

The film has possibly the longest documentary film shot that I know of. It’s a black and white film. It’s about old age. Yet, the maturity of their film selection and their ability to appreciate documentary cinema implies that South African documentary has a great future under their curatorship. So long live Encounters!

Obviously, we’d like to have the film broadcast. It is the centenary year of Nelson Mandela. If ever a film reflects the lives of our ordinary aged and feeble – this is the one.

I’m hoping a broadcaster will pick it up – so that we can translate some of the sweat, blood, and tears into bread, butter and attend to some requests their granddaughter has for her grandparents.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

It’s in the heart. That’s’ where it starts. Follow your instinct – even if it makes little sense. It’s not supposed to make sense – you are a filmmaker, not an actuary. If the final product has no resonance with your audience – move over to the next film. It’s a combination of your external physical craft and your internal filmmaker’s voice being honed. If the festival or funder rejects your work. Cry loud. Wipe your tears soldier. Eventually – it will all come together. You have to explore and discover through your cinematic choices who you really are.

And you have to push it. When you are young – it’s easy to close doors with your restless passion and vocal conflicting ideas. It’s fine. Let them close the doors. If you are able to stand up for what you believe and go hungry for it. Do it. It will only shape your character resulting in better work down the line.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

My first real paid job was when the National Film and Video Foundation funded my 26-minute documentary “A Fisherman’s Tale (2003).” When you consider how these guys are developing our industry, making huge financial investments in our development as film-makers – often granting us the license to explore our medium: regardless of its commercial value. We should applaud them for it.

Storytelling is an act of culture – their commitment ensured great vibrancy thereof. Furthermore, they managed to create a conducive environment to grow our talent and industry. If only our public broadcaster could come to the table in the same way. Could you imagine what positive impact that would have on the emergence of South African cinema?

 

 

 

#CreatepreneurAfrica, Liberian Patrice Juah – “A Gem of Unimaginable Proportions”

Writer                                          Poet Continue reading #CreatepreneurAfrica, Liberian Patrice Juah – “A Gem of Unimaginable Proportions”

CreatePreneurAfrica – Botswana’s Donald Molosi’s “Critical love letters to Humanity”

It was a soul calling for Donald Molosi...born with a passion to spread the word. A renowned writer, playwright, and actor, he has been awarded over twenty-five acting awards internationally, fifteen writing awards and was the first Motswana to launch performances on Broadway.

“critical love letters” to humanity – Molosi describes his work in a BBC interview

In his viral essay “Dear Upright African”, Molosi explores the need for a liberated school curriculum in Africa. It is a calling for genuine African history in African classrooms.

He delivered a keynote address at the Bucknell University’s Black History month,  themed on the archives of post-Colonial African performance.

From an early age, Molosi sparked a flair for performance naturally. By the time he turned sixteen, he was already on the journey of touring with arts festivals and co-writing plays.

Molosi was the youngest to hit the airwaves when he became a Yarona Fm radio announcer.

He was a child presenter on Botswana Television in partnership with UNICEF to empower youth and make their voices count.

When he was seventeen, he wrote his solo performance, “Fragments,” based on children’s rights. The critically acclaimed  “Fragments” got him invited to the United Nations General Assembly on Children in New York and he performed  for world leaders like Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela.

He continued to advocate for children’s rights through his  “Can I live” poetry exhibition, based on interpretations of the  African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.[11

A language historian, Molosi is multilingual. He speaks Setswana, French, Swahili, and English. He is conversational in Ndebele and Zulu. His writings have shed light on the diversity if Africa in multiple narratives, debunking misconceptions of Africa.

He is currently represented by the  Pan African Waka Agency, founded by  award-winning actress and media proprietor from South Africa, Rosie Motene.

Theatre

  • 2003   Fragments

  • 2008   Blue Black and White

  • 2010 Today it’s me

  • 2013 Motswana: Dream again

  • 2017 Tumultuous

  • 2017 Yaguine and Fode project

  • 2017 Black Man Samurai

Filmography

2016 A United Kingdom

2009  Given

2007  Green Zone

  • 2006 Breakfast in Hollywood

His latest documentary, “We Are All Blue,”   an Africa Day premier on May 25, 2017, debuted all over Africa on DSTV, Multichoice. The documentary carries the final televised interview with the  late  Sir Ketumile Masire, former president of Botswana

It has premiered at the Ditshwanelo Human Rights festival and made a cinema debut in conjunction with the first Dalai Lama visit to Botswana.

Molosi shared the stage with Dalai Lama in the historic conference to explore the African way of life, Ubuntu/ Botho in the modern Botswana era. 

The  framework to heal the trauma of the colonialism and trauma  legacy, advancing in social justice and equality.

 

Molosi is also a songwriter and a singer and has a project lined up to showcase singing and songwriting.

Meet #CreatePreneurAfrica Donald Molosi

 

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

I am driven by the desire to live a life of purpose. My true passion is to express myself through writing and performance and I am elated to be having my passion as my profession, therefore.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

My passion found me before I was born. I knew at 4 what I would do with my life and it is exactly what I am doing today.

I have been performing all my life and my early start meant that by the time I was 15.  I was internationally recognized enough for me to address the UN General Assembly at that age.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

I don’t think of my passion as something that necessarily has to have a wholesome appeal to me. It is a calling and I need to fulfill it to keep my spirit and the world around me stable.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

The need to grow the same passion. The ability to finance my plays and films and still travel the world launching my books.

I monetize what I do purely so that I can invest in my talent and growth and have freedom as an artist without being held hostage by misguided sponsors. That is partly because I come from Botswana where a real artist can only survive by investing in themselves.\

In Botswana, there are two ways to survive as an artist, generally – either by corrupt means or by monetizing your talent.

That is why I enjoy working on Broadway and Hollywood half of every year because in the US you actually compete against other talent and the arts are not subject to the corrupt whims of politicians.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

I definitely don’t recall the first time as I was below 10. I recall being extremely excited when I got my contract with Yarona FM when I was 15.

I was paid really well by Yarona FM even as a newcomer at the time. I was the youngest person on the radio at the time and the year was 2001.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

I have had challenges but I am not sure that I ever wanted to give up. I operate in full knowledge that this is my life’s purpose and legacy.

So, even when I face challenges I go through them without shaking the core of what I do in the first place. And that is because I am clear about the legacy that my name should leave behind.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I only pursue success so that I can better help and mentor others. For me, success is never really for the individual alone.

I choose to live a life where I challenge myself to use every day to be there for myself and others. That motivates me to get up in the morning because that is work that is never finished.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

I have nothing to say to them. I will let my work speak for itself and hopefully, they will learn from it the value of talent, hard work, and self-confidence.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

I advise them to speak from the heart and to speak truth to power. African artists are too silent about the lack of art academies in our nations for example, and yet we pour our taxes into our governments hoping they build one.

African creatives must stand up and let the African politicians that we see the lavish ways our corrupt leaders live on our taxpayers.

We must let them know that we will not tolerate that selfishness any longer while our industries suffer and countries like Botswana don’t even have a national theater after 50 years of being a country ….And yet we have the most fantastic corruption of national funds that my generation of Batswana has ever seen!

 

#CreatepreneurAfrica- ‘Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru- “C-Stunner Spectacular Spectacles”

Trashy Business- Give trash a second Chance .

Cyrus Kabiru

Electronic refuse dumps in the Nairobi, the capital of Kenya was a stepping stone for Cyrus Kabiru as he gave dumped materials new life.

 

His creative pathways embody soul playfulness and inspire the  Nairobi youth and creatives alike.

C. Kabiru

 

He steps in various aspects of art, between sculpture, performance, and fashion.

His gallery has sculptures, glasses and humorous canvassed painting portrayals of contemporary life in Kenya. Bottle caps are sewn together depicting African nature.

 

Artwork beyond the regular , his life journey is embodied in the prosthetic knowledge gallery.

His obsession with eyewear all started when his father refused to get him ordinary spectacles, so he created his own special twist in eyewear. He turns spectacles into various forms that enter a new realm of creativity into the beyond

My spectacles draw curiosity and attention . It therapeutical in a sense!

 

 

#CreatepreneurAfrica Spectacular Inventor Cyrus Kabiru

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life? 
 My passion….. My passion is my creation. My passion is my art.
How did you find your passion and how old were you? 

A young age, I forget how young I was. I just know my dad inspired me. He did not like the ordinary in anything! even refused to get me glasses I desired, so I created them!

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 
Art defines me. If there was no art there would me know me.I would feel like I live a soulless life.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
What drove me? It kind of came naturally. People started to buy my art. They started requesting my art and wanting to pay for it.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
 In 2005. My uncle bought from me for $9.
After that, he felt guilty for paying such a low amount and always dashed off when he saw me!
  What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
 I used to give up on a lot of other things in life. Not my art. My work. It’s about treating it as a calling and one can never actually give up what is a natural calling. A life purpose
 What motivates you every day to be even more successful? 

Every day, Every morning when I wake up, I fell like I must achieve something. I want to raise my art to new heights. I want to soar my art internationally. More so.I do believe it is already there.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you? 

Doubt me if you need to…..thats your choice ……but not my work. It has been a long journey for me to reach where I am

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you? 

Just believe in what you are doing, be the best and if you want to move be your unique self. Be what you want to be