Cape Town teenagers trained in documentary filmmaking as part of national unity campaign - Unite as One, 20 March 2012

Media Statement issued on behalf of the UNITE AS ONE campaign – Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Civil Society organisations Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town; Sonke Gender Justice, Black Sash and Passop launched a national unity campaign called UNITE AS ONE in July 2010 aimed at collecting a million signed pledges against xenophobia, intolerance, intimidation and violence.

12 budding young filmmakers from Phandulwazi High and Vuyeseka High in Cape Town have been selected to take part in a film and media project to explore cultural diversity and identity. The teenagers were chosen from 40 Peace Ambassadors who have been trained by the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training & Advocacy (ARESTA). The media training will be conducted by director and producer Beathur Mgoza Baker of Original Ancestor Films along with other professionals in the industry, and will culminate in the creation of 3 short films.

In order to be eligible for the project, the learners had to complete an essay writing competition explaining their ideas for the films and why they should be selected. Their films will be used to engage other young people on issues around cultural diversity. The successful youngsters include Phandulwazi High learners Abongile Ngqunge; Onenji Phiri; Oyena Nokemfu; Lunga and Mfuneko Qazisa, and Mandilive Magwaza; Nonzukiso Gwaza; Pulani Tantaswa; Thumeka Nquevy; Stefaans; Simankele Gocini and Sinovuyo Mndayi from Vuyeseka High.

In addition to the campaign’s filmmaking project, STEPS for the Future will be screening various documentaries and facilitating discussions around diversity in 20 schools in the Western Cape over the next couple of months. 12 of these schools will also take part in workshops facilitated by the Institute for the Healing of Memories around facing the past and building community. Well-respected artists will also be working with learners to create murals that showcase communities’ commitments to peace.

Besides the school-based projects organised as part of the 'Unite as One' campaign, Sonke Gender Justice will be running an Ambush Theatre Project in various locations around the province as well as their Street Soccer Festival. An exciting part of the campaign will be the World Refugee Day Music Festival at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town on 20 June 2012. The closing ceremony will be held on Heritage Day, 24 September 2012.

The UNITE AS ONE pledge is as follows:

I am 1 of a million people livingin South Africa who

Says YES to: humanity, peace and unity

Says NO to: racism, ignorance and violence

I promise to

  • confront ignorance with knowledge;
  • prejudice with tolerance;
  • And isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity.

I will

  • Celebrate the common humanity of people and our shared heritage as African
  • Recognize and protect the human rights of all people living in South Africa, no matter their language or country of origin
  • Attempt to prevent any acts of xenophobia –intolerance, intimidation or violence; and to report to the police if any person violates the rights or safety of another

Find out more about the Unite as One campaign

Sign the UNITE AS ONE pledge

For more information and interview requests, please contact:

Sergio Carciotto, Outreach Manager, Scalabrini Centre

Cell: 079 475 6987

Beathur Mgoza, Director & Producer, Original Ancestor Films

Cell: 076 166 8700.