Joburg Rising has been sitting in my head for the past two weeks since the film’s opening on 13th July. The film is special because it was made by my dear sister friend Lindiwe Nkutha (writer, poet, photograher and film maker)
The film is a 48 minute documentary called Jo’burg Rising, and follows three men,a beggar, a vendor and a car guard, as they try to earn a living off of the streets of our beloved Jozi
and because, of my little bit of participation with the making of the film especially exploring the streets of Bree and Jeppe looking for shots, asking for permission to film people and places and watching the clips from the first days shooting before I left.
Some props from Rista of Cool Breeze
The one poem I learnt in high school that continues to echo in my mind is ‘building the nation’ by henry barlow.
It resonated anew at a private viewing of the documentary “Jo’burg Rising” which premieres tomorrow (Friday) at NuMetro in Hyde Park.
Yep, we’re all building the nation, one dream at a time. And props to Sokari who contributed along the arduous path of the documentary conceptualization.
I am only sad that I wasnt able to be there through the whole process and especially for missing the film’s opening.
Wally Serote’s poem “City Johannesburg” on the beauty, vibrancy and horror as he passes through the city that is his but not his, pass in hand.
This way I salute you:
My hand pulses to my back trousers pocket
Or into my inner jacket pocket
For my pass, my life,
My hand like a starved snake rears my pockets
For my thin, ever lean wallet,
While my stomach groans a friendly smile to hunger,
My stomach also devours coppers and papers
Don’t you know?
Jo’burg City, I salute you;
When I run out, or roar in a bus to you,
I leave behind me, my love,
My comic houses and people, my dongas and my ever whirling dust,
That’s so related to me as a wink to the eye.
I travel on your black and white and roboted roads
Through your thick iron breath that you inhale
At six in the morning and exhale from five noon.
That is the time when I come to you,
When your neon flowers flaunt from your electrical wind,
That is the time when I leave you,
When your neon flowers flaunt their way through the falling darkness
On your cement trees.
And as I go back, to my love,
My dongas, my dust, my people, my death,
Where death lurks in the dark like a blade in the flesh,
I can feel your roots, anchoring your might, my feebleness
In my flesh, in my mind, in my blood, And everything about you says it,
That, that is all you need of me.
Jo’burg City, Johannesburg,
Listen when I tell you,
There is no fun, nothing, in it,
When you leave the women and men with such frozen expressions,
Expressions that have tears like furrows of soil erosion,
Jo’burg City, you are dry like death,
Jo’burg City, Johannesburg, Jo’burg City.