African folklore lives on through craft

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The documentary is covering the beauty of African folklore through generations. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Imagine gathering around a moonlit fire, anticipating a fresh story from your great grandmother or grandfather. This is the exact feeling Bokang Lefoko Theatre’s documentary on Charmaine Mrwebi plans to evoke as they take viewers on a journey of preserving the legacy of African Folklore.

Charmaine Mrwebi is staring in the documentary. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

According to producer, Sizakele Mdi, their interest in Mrwebi was to capture the applied methods she engages within the communities of Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu to preserve the heritage of one’s mother tongue and continue the legacy of African folklore through her use of indigenous games.

As their first filming production, it took the company six months to produce the work.

“As a producer I am always looking for artistic engagements that are relatable to the South African society, engagements that have a measurable outcome and clear communicated objectives that can facilitate critical transformative thinking in shaping the utopia of Africanism,” said Mdi.

Mrwebi, an author, publisher, poet and much more explains that the journey of shooting a documentary was surreal for her and one of her greatest achievements.

“My highlights from shooting were the involvement of my family members and their stories and narration in relation to my career. Going through my 80-yearold grandmother’s early memories of my reading and writing humbled me and gave me confirmation in my journey of writing,” said Mrwebi.

Above it being a story of the legacy of African folklore, it further documents a journey of a journey to make it to the top. “This is a story of inspiration and reality of a simple girl from Thaba Nchu who had individuals and leaders who took their time to support and show me love on my journey of writing and my creative career,” said Mrwebi.

In future, Mrwebi would like to write a memoir on her journey as a writer and how she became a giant in the publishing industry.

The documentary was premiered by the National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in Johannesburg at the Africa Rising International Film Festival and it will be screening next at the 25th edition of Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in Cape Town on 28 June and Johannesburg on 29 June.

The film will screen for the Free State audience on 15 July, and more information can be found on Bokang Lefoko theatre’s social media platforms.

Bonolo Moloi

bonolo@centralmediagroup.co.za