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My Video scholarship 2010 entry

WORLDWIDE | Sunday, 1 August 2010 | Views [1106] | Scholarship Entry

In South Africa, there is an indigenous cattle breed called the Nguni. The Ngunis were brought into southern Africa by the ancestors of today's Zulu, Xhosa and Swazi people around 600 AD. It was regarded as inferior during the colonial times because of its connection with black people. The breed only restored its status in late 1980 when Apartheid was coming to an end. In one of the poorest provinces, the Eastern Cape, a group of Nguni cattle farmers are trying to make a living during the worst drought the area has ever seen in 85 years.

In this short film I shot during March and April, 2010, a local Nguni farmer Dries du Preez manages to install a trough and bring water from up the mountain to his cattle. For them, the ancient cattle are more than an animal, but a treasure of this land that can help them survive the drought as well as preserve the nature. 

This film is part of my school’s dissertation project, which is about organic cattle farming. I got in contact with the farmers through the help of a friend in the Eastern Cape. The biggest challenge during shooting is that I had to handle everything by myself—camera, microphones, tripod, interviews. There were moments when I didn’t, or simply couldn’t, do justice to the camera. Also following the cattle in the mountains is very demanding both physically and mentally.

As a documentary maker, I want to tell stories no one else has told, to celebrate the beauty of life as well as to uncover the hidden truth in the dark.

Tags: 2010 travel video scholarship

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