Cape Flats Film Festival: 16th – 23rd August 2015


SUNDAY, 23rd August 2015

11h00 – 19h00

Cape Flats Uprising aims to change the stereotypes that people have of the Cape Flats that strips vulnerable communities of their humanity. The film festival will therefore show positive documentaries and stories from the community with the community during the month of August. The aim is to highlight the many amazing people from the Cape Flats to change the lasting perception that was created by Apartheid to vilify the masses. The central message of this festival is that ‘Change begins with US!”

Cape Flats Film Festival Part 1 (The Winter / Indoor Screening) will run from the 16th August and end at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre with an ‘Awards event’ on the 23rd August.

Screenings will take place in the following areas:

Follow the festival on Facebook for updates.

Sunday, 16th August – Ocean View
Monday, 17th August – Fairmount High
Tuesday, 18th August – Langa
Wednesday, 19th August – Mitchell’s Plain
Thursday, 20th August – Gugulethu
Friday, 21st August – (tbc) Bonteheuwel
Saturday, 22nd August – New World Foundation, Lavender Hill
Sunday, 23rd Aug 2015 – Finale at District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

Pictures below:

Left: learners at Fairmount High School, Grassy Park with a performer from the Cape Flats Hip Hop and dance crew, Mixed Mense. Right: Learners at Surrey Primary, Athlone discussing the movie ‘Afrikaaps’ with Emile Jansen of ‘Heal the Hood’.



Women’s films on Saturday to commemorate National Woman’s Day

To end off the Africa World Documentary Film Festival week, District Six Museum and UWC Education Department will host a day of films by women film makers: South Africans – Elise Fernandez, Nadine Cloete, Esley Philander; Haitian-American Rachelle Salnave; and self-described ‘multi-ethnic’ Jade Gibson. In addition, we will feature the Dan Yon biopic on songstress Sathima Bea Benjamin


12h00 – 17h30


15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

Background information:

12h00 – 13h05 La Belle Vie: The Good Life (62 mins) Haiti, USARachelle Salnave  A story about a Haitian-American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave’s journey to discover her Haitian roots by examining the complexities of the Haitian society as it pertains to the overall political and economic dichotomy in Haiti. Using her own personal family stories interconnected with capturing the voices of Haitians and experts overall, this film chronologically uncovers the rationale behind its social class system but also how it has affected the Haitian-American migration experience as well. With the proliferation of political turmoil, poverty, and now an earthquake shattered nation, the documentary beckons all to lay down their arms, be it the tangible weapons of death and pain or the psychological and spiritual tools of division and prejudice, and work as one to rebuild and prosper in the name of a new and stronger Haiti.This film in the end invokes the question whether or not its tragic event will shift the consciousness of all Haitians (living in Haiti or abroad) by motivating them to unite to build a new Haiti.
13h30 – 13h45 BREAK
13h45 – 14h15 THE GOLDEN YEARS (1): Maria April (24 mins)Courtesy of SABCDirected by Nadine Cloete

Produced by Elise Fernandez

Maria April – A story of an elderly woman who’s grandmother died years ago. Her bones were dug up by a white school teacher who used it in his biology class. Today the school says they own the bones and that the family cannot prove that the bones belong to them. All that is left of it is the skull and it is kept in a Typex box..Maria Cloete 2
14h30- 15h00 THE GOLDEN YEARS (2): Fatima Dike (24 mins)Courtesy of SABCDirected by Esley Philander and Elise Fernandez

Produced by Elise Fernandez

Fatima Dike – A story about the first black woman to become a published playwright. Sis Fatts (as we know her) deals with the loss of her son, her grandson and her brothers all being murdered at different stages of her life. She is a playwright and activist.33kultur-fatima_dik_713192a
15h00 – 15h30 THE GOLDEN YEARS (2): Katrina Esau (24 mins)Courtesy of SABCDirected by Nadine Cloete

Produced by Elise Fernandez

A story of an 80+ year old woman in the Norther Cape who is fighting to keep a dying language known as Nu! alive.Katina Esau
15h30 – 15h50 BREAK
15h50 – 16h20 WISH YOU WERE HERE (8 mins)Jade Gibson A material object is seen and categorised as a visual referent within the mind, where, linked with its contextual associations and other referents, it becomes part of visual memory, both individual and collective. This short art film explores how ‘objects’ in the past, as in photographs, books, experiences and film media, shape unconscious perceptions of how we encounter ‘objects’ in the present. In the case of the short art film ‘Wish You Were Here’, the object is myself. I present as an ethnographic art ‘object’, in order to examine the mis-identification and projections of others who create me as being of multiple and different ethnic identities and provenances. Although essentially a playful piece, the work also draws on and relates to more disturbing connotations; the phenotyping and determination of racial ‘types’ in the past and present, the deliberate construction in the composition of the ‘ethnographic’ photograph and film, and the impact of racial and ethnic stereotyping in the present, despite the world being increasingly presented as a more and more genetically and electronically interconnected space.Being of mixed ethnicity, apparently Scottish/Irish/Spanish and Filipino, yet growing up in the UK with adoptive parents and thus having no cultural knowledge of Filipino culture, and never having been there, I find myself constantly mis-identified by how I appear to others. This is often initially with absolute certainty by those who see me, as being identified as a number of different, and often quite diverse, ethnicities. Over the years, I was curious what images and associations might exist in the people’s heads who mis-identified me, and how these might interplay with images of ‘ethnic stereotypes’ shaped through images in the past, as well as present.
16h20 – 17h30 SATHIMA’S WINDSONG (54 mins)Dan Yon Sathima’s Windsong is about the life and times of South African jazz singer, Sathima Bea Benjamin, whose musical creations were often in the shadow of her husband, jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim. The film is shot primarily in New York, Cape Town but opens with short of the Island of St Helena, birthplace of Sathima’s grandmother. It returns to the ocean to signal travel, ‘routes’ and jazz as metaphors for her life-history. In her apartment of the Chelsea Hotel Apartment, Sathima’s home for more than thirty years, she patches together her journeys from apartheid South Africa and its ‘patterns of brokenness’ to Europe, and a chance meeting and a recording with Duke Ellington in Paris in 1963, to the highs and lows of making a life for herself and family in New York. The narrative of her journeys is interwoven with her music and the reflections of folks in South Africa and New York who know her work thus making this film both a celebration of Sathima’s music as well as a reflection on the historical context that helped shape it. The film takes it title from Sathima’s haunting composition, Windsong, which, like this film, is itself is a reflection upon displacement, exile, belonging and longing.

District Six Museum’s July Supper Club with Njabulo Ndebele

2015_07_30_Supper Club







Thursday 30 July 2015
18h00 – 20h00

Professor Ndebele will talk about his life as a writer, poet, academic and public intellectual. A visionary storyteller of note – not to be missed!

Further reading

Not even the ANC will survive a legacy of corroded systems, political purges and politically conferred “innocence”. Njabulo S Ndebele reports.

Njabulo S Ndebele explores the collective anguish of a nation trying to find the way past race and into leadership.


15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

Chicken Breyani and Mutton Curry with rice
A surprise pudding
A welcome drink and samosas on arrival
Coffee, tea and koe’sisters to round off your meal

R 150pp

BOOKING ESSENTIAL: Please call Zahra on 021 4667200 or email

With kind support from Brimstone Investment Corporation Limited

Roland Colastica’s DESIRE: Every soul tells a story

Wednesday, 20th May 2015
18.30 for 19.00
Prestwich Ossuary
C/O Somerset Road and Buitengracht Street
Enquiries: 021 4667200 /

Roland Colastica and Storytelling

Roland Colastica is a contemporary storyteller, writer, actor and poet who uses his performances -to reveal his theatrical storytelling and writings- to create instruments to support this fighting.

What is storytelling other than to make the listener experience the reality of humankind that everyone faces; every heart and every soul tells a story. Storytelling makes people understand that each soul has its own story.

Curaçao is a small island off the coast of Venezuela, South America and is still a colony of The Netherlands. As part of the Dutch kingdom, it was the most important point of sale for the Dutch slave trade.

Six hundred thousand slaves were forced to leave their homes in Ghana and other parts of Africa to make the horrific journey to the Caribbean – to Curaçao – where they were sold to plantation owners in most of the islands of the Caribbean, Suriname, Brazil and the southern USA.

Despite the pain that we inherited from this horrific part of our history, these African ancestors left us one of the most precious treasures a community can desire which are our traditional stories. These stories combined with those of the ancestors of former white rulers left behind, enriched even more the treasure box of our oral stories.

All these stories tell the enormous desire of humanity, whatever these were; from slaves that wanted to fly back to Africa to whites and blacks falling in love which was prohibited. From the fable about the Nanzi, the smart and sly spider who knew how to trick the King (read the slave owner) and get advantage over him for its own benefit, to young mothers who trust their new borns to the huge eagle.

These stories tell so much about our past reality that has made us the people we are today – a community that is constantly fighting for respect of its identity; a community that is convinced it can determine its future by knowing its true past.

Roland Colastica, as a contemporary writer writes about present topics like the desire of the modern man to talk about his emotions when his wife is pregnant among other themes.

Summary of Performances

  • In 1999: celebration of the “Quincentenary of Written History of Curacao” for his Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander together with Jacques Visser and Dana Kibbelaar.
  • In 2002: celebration of the Royal wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Máxima in Curaçao.
  • In 2005 celebration of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix 25th anniversary as Queen of The Netherlands.
  • In 2013: cultural event for an official visit of Queen Beatrix to Curacao, which later on turned out to be her last visit to Curaçao as the Queen of the Dutch Kingdom.
  • In 2014 he was made responsible for producing a huge cultural manifestation as a welcome gift from the Curacao community to King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Máxima, on their first visit as king and Queen to Curaçao. King Willem Alexander is the First King of the Dutch Kingdom since the passing away of King Willem the 3th in 1890. For this manifestation Roland was chosen not only to write, to direct and to produce, but also to be the master of ceremony, in which position he could address the King and Queen personally. His assistant in this was former Lieutenant Governor Ms. Lizanne Dindial.
  • It was in 2004 that Roland was invited by the IDEA organization to attend to their International Conference then held in Ottawa Canada. In 2007 this same organization invited him to their Conference held in Hong Kong.
  • For his theatre achievements Roland was honored, in 2006, with the most prestigious “Cola Debrot Award”, a Cultural Award given for ‘theatre’ only once in 6 years.
  • In 2010 he received the decorations of the “Knight of the Dutch Kingdom”.
  • Roland has written and published several books for children and adults as well as plays in his native language Papiamentu.
  • In 2012 Roland wrote his first children novel in Dutch entitled “Vuurwerk in mijn hoofd” , (Fireworks in my head) which was a huge success.
  • Roland gained popularity in the former Netherlands Antilles as well as in The Netherlands with his successful monologue “Ninga Bon” (denial), directed by the Venezuelan director Carlos Acosta.
  • South Africa, and especially Ms Myriam Makeba, has played a very important role in Roland’s development, growing up and maturing both as a youngster and as an artist. He feels very proud and honoured and still considers it a privilege having met Ms Makeba twice in his life.
  • So when in 2014 Roland was invited to participate at the TWIST writers’ project in Grahamstown, he was more than honored to oblige. In this project he worked with Roel Twijnstra, Emma Durden, Kobus Moolman, Neil Coppen, Ntsieng Mokgoro, Samson AmJay Mlambo, amongst others.
  • In Curaçao he had the honor of working with 2 South African writers in a European literary event called Writers Unlimited: Rayda Jacob and Diana Ferrus.
  • Roland Colastica plays, writes and performs in 4 languages: his native language Papiamentu, his colonial language Dutch, and English and Spanish, languages he speaks fluently. He writes plays and tells stories both for children and adults.

DESIRE: Synopsis
In interaction with the audience, Roland Colastica will sing, tell stories, perform poems and use theatre /acting elements to make the audience experience the beauty of verbal expression.

Desire, a theatrical storytelling performance
Duration: 60 min.
Language: English

For one hour Desire will take the audience back to the past through oral stories and bring them back to our daily life in the present through contemporary stories and poems. Desire will tell the stories of the daily life then of the ancestors of the present black community in Curaçao. It will also give a glimpse into how the colonial times influenced our identity and pulled us away from our African customs and culture as well as how it forced us to fight for afro recognition, even though we are 20.000 km from the African continent.

Every soul tells a story.

(makamba means white dutch man)(Roland Colastica)
Anecdote/satire about a black man winning a lottery
This Black man hates the white’s, because he wanted so badly to be white, for being white stands for everything his heart desires: big house at the shore, fancy cars, good job and even though he has all of these he still wants to be white.

Song: Island in the sun (Harry Belafonte)
Song telling about the daily life on a Caribbean Island

Poetry: Granny on the market place (Emeral Johnson)
An old lady is buying on the market: Taste the creative mixture of the creole language of the Caribbean and the power of the elderly Caribbean woman

Storytelling: Ta mi senglé. Ta mi senglá.
(It is not all gold what shines)
Oral story about a young woman who has one desire in her life and that is to marry a man with only golden teeth in his mouth. She will go through hell to discover that everything that shines is gold.

Song: Laman ta duna. Laman ta tuma
(the sea gives, the sea takes it back)(Clemencia)

Storytelling: Luangu.
(mixed colour)
Oral story about the slaves that wanted to fly back to Africa

Storytelling: Nanzi ku La Muérté
( Spider Nanzi and the Death)
Oral story (slave story) about how Nanzi(spider) defeated even the death.

Song: Nochi pasoleta
(the night is not bringing anything to eat) (traditional song)

Storytelling: Kositu
(little tiny thing of me)
Oral story about a young mother who trust her little baby to the hunting eagle.

Poetry: Pakiko sigui
(Why should I go on) (Fifi Rademaker)

Storytelling: Underwood: (Marcos Gabriel)
Contemporary story about a man’s desire to believe in the real woman. His real love is writing him every day a letter telling him when she will arrive.

Poetry: Pa grasia di matris
(For the grace of a womb)(Roland Colastica
Poem about how easy it is to blame a man for being a bad father

Storytelling: Tata embarasá
(Pregnant father)(Roland Colastica)
Contemporary story about a man during pregnancy and birth of his child

Storytelling: It’s all about hope(Roland Colastica)
Contemporary story about the child in the adult who never will lose hope.

Song: I am in love with life(Roland Colastica)

Junice Augusta manager
Roland Colastica © 2015


2015 started on a strange note for Capetonians, with the shifting of the Tweede Nuwejaar * Carnival to a date so far from the start of the year that it felt disconnected. Whether you support the Carnival or not, you can’t argue with it being an important part of this city’s heritage. It’s a pity that so much of its history got lost along the way. What a powerful link for us all to remember that part of our past is located in the shameful enslavement of people, and the joy and meaning that they found in this day of celebration during their time of enslavement.  This association make more apparent the connection between Tweede Nuwejaar and the Emancipation Day Walk in the Night which we have been involved with for a number of years now, to mark the day on which the enslaved people at the Cape were freed by law (1 December 1834).

But that, I suppose, is the nature of history. It is up to those of us who care about the past to keep it alive. Seven Steps members continue to lead the way in showing how much they care about making sure that a forgotten past stays alive!

* Second New Year

As usual, our first ‘Seven Steps’ members’ activity and public programme for the year starts with the 11 February commemoration of the declaration of District Six as a White Group Area (1966). The closing in of the historic cairn of stones in old Hanover Street by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) construction has been an intense focus of 2014 and is likely to continue in the current year.

While we continue to pay attention to the future of the cairn, we should at the same time be vigilant about the other sites of memory which are potentially at risk. This includes the Memorial Park (Horstley Street), Lydia’s School (Dry Dock), Hanover Street from the site of the cairn to the Holy Cross Church and, also, the site of the first pilot phase of housing development—representing years of struggle for the land.

Bonita Bennett (Director), 30 January 2015