EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DAVISON MUDZINGWA – A SEASONED JOURNALIST & LOST TONGUE DIRECTOR- AWARD WINNING SOUTH AFRICAN DOCUMENTARY

Lost Tongue is a documentary of the Khomani San people in the Kalahari which are 3 people away from being extinct. Due to their lighter complexion the Khomani San were forced to classify themselves as ‘colored’ (mixed race), and pledge allegiance to the Afrikaans, because their language was deemed ‘ugly’ by the Afrikaner. This raises awareness of the South African education system that seemingly does very little in the way of preserving indigenous languages.
Director Davison Mudzingwa – a seasoned journalist – chose an unorthodox manner to narrate the story of the Khomani San. Helena Steenkamp takes us on her journey to find her identity and cultural background, all to find out there are three people that know the “N!uu” language. Lost Tongue raises awareness on a race that is three people away from extinction, with the youngest person of this culture 80 years old. 

Mudzingwa gives a voice to the Khomani San community through the cinematic talents of Themba Vilakazi. This is a must see documentary, raises questions of Identity, language and culture. It speaks of the agency to preserve not only language but the essence of all South African culture.
 Seif Kabelele: What's harder: getting started or being able to keep going?
D. Mudzingwa: Getting started is tough. You get an idea to embark on something but there is that crucial, last stage of getting work off the ground; somehow one gets a sense that the work is either too big or it's not worth it. Once one conquers this stage of doubt and gets hands dirty with work, the inspiration from the work itself fuels the rave count to see it to the end.
Seif Kabelele: When inspiration is waning, when you feel creatively sapped, what do you do? How do you stay fresh?
D.Mudzingwa: Staying motivated all the time is difficult, there comes a time when you are at your lowest point due to various factors. However, when this sets in, I play music, my African music. There is something about African music that stimulates new energy and fantastical ways of reinventing storytelling. Music keeps me going.
Seif Kabelele: How much do you think commerce affects your art? Or: How much do you have to compromise as a filmmaker because of financial restrictions or business?
D.Mudzingwa: Art is much a business as it is a passion. One can't eat passion but one needs to eat through their passion and business underlies the “eating” Fundraising is tough and selling an idea as viable to potential funders is becoming more difficult but because of the love of the art, we push on. However, lack of funding delays the delivery of our products and in some extreme cases, great works that the world should be consuming never make it to the market. However, we always re-engineer ourselves to ensure that all our film and multimedia projects see the light of the day.
Seif Kabelele: What is the one mistake most filmmakers make, regardless of experience?
D.Mudzingwa: The greatest mistake that filmmakers make is making a film without the target market or marketing strategy in my mind, this mistake has seen the most beautiful films gathering dust in shelves. It is sad.
Seif Kabelele: Why do you think there are so few women in filmmaking?
D.Mudzingwa: It's a difficult one to prescribe. One thing for sure, women, through my upbringing as an African, are the best storytellers. I used to listen to my grandmother, aunt, mother reciting grabbing fables and folks. Surely, film is just another medium that women can be on the lead. What's needed is to support women to take up filmmaking and also to offer a sustainable support structure for those that are in the industry. At film school level, female students need to take up lead roles such as producing and directing too.
Seif Kabelele: How do you know when your story's finished, when to walk away?
D.Mudzingwa: I usually listen to the story itself. There is that time when the story communicates to you that, 'I'm done.' When you try to force it for commercial reasons, you also feel it that, 'I'm swallowing before chewing properly' and often a times, you choke.
Seif Kabelele: We all hear so often about the lack of original stories in the world. That we've all "seen it before". How do you stay fresh in the face of an idea like that?
D.Mudzingwa: All stories that are told have been told before. The trick is coming with new perspectives. I always like going to the most marginalized areas of our societies and it is in those places that one usually discovers something that will excite audiences.
Seif Kabelele: So what is your intellectual view on the marginalization of the San people as a whole in society? And secondly how relevant is it to modern day society to bring about insight on different cultures and ethnic groups? i.e Khomani San
D.Mudzingwa: The academic marginalization of the San groups has many factors; chief among them is that San groups have seen a chain of subjugation. They have been either driven away from their native land or enslaved by various tribes or race groups. They have seen it all, and the sad part of it is the brutality that they have survived. They survived but not their way of life, not their culture, values and language. They were forced to speak the oppressor's language. The #Khomani San case is one that reflects in all of us across the world. They have only three elders left that speak the N/uu language, however, is this not the case in as many people around the world? Look, we have many families that prefer speaking in English, French etc within their own homes. The kids can't even speak the parents' native language. This is sad because language comes with identity, culture and values. Once a language is lost, it goes with all these crucial dimensions that define a human being. UNESCO estimates that if nothing is done, by the end of this century, at least 3 000 language will die. This is sobering.
Seif Kabelele: What were your goals for the film when you were starting out and what are the impact goals for the film now that it’s done?
D.Mudzingwa: Our primary goal was for the world to know about the crisis faced by the #Khomani San people. We wanted the world to do something about this chilling reality. We still do and now that the film is out, we are using the screening of the film as a pedestal to gather funding from individuals, governments, corporate and individuals to build a multimedia centre in the community of Andriesvale, Kalahari. This center will serve as repository for recorded files of the language. People will go there and learn the language. Young people will also learn multimedia skills at the center so that they would be able to tell their own stories. We call this the Lost Tongue Legacy Project. We need partners to succeed and it's all our duty to save this language.

"We are excited to be part of ZIFF. Our film is one of a young lady on a journey to discover her identity; this aligns well with the ZIFF theme, ‘This Journey of Ours.” D.Mudzingwa


AWARD WINNING SOUTH AFRICAN DOCUMENTARY PREMIERS AT ZIFF

 South African feature-length documentary film, Lost Tongue, winner of the Women Film Critics Circle Award, is set to premier at the 19th Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) set between July 09 and 17.

The 75-minute film draws attention to the plight of South Africa’s indigenous and marginalized Khomani San people in the Kalahari and their desperate efforts to save their almost extinct N/uu language, with only three elderly people still speaking it. Lost Tongue follows the journey of Helena Steenkamp in her efforts to learn and save the language, culture and values.
 The film, directed by Davison Mudzingwa and produced by Mvura Ya Afrika (MYA) Productions, earlier in March received the prestigious Women Film Critics Circle Award after its premier at the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York and has had sold out screenings at the Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival. 

"We are excited to be part of ZIFF. Our film is one of a young lady on a journey to discover her identity; this aligns well with the ZIFF theme, ‘this journey of ours.”

"Lost Tongue is a film that resonates with all of us as it speaks about the core of our being as humans; identity, language and culture and Zanzibar is the best place for the film to screen," said Davison Mudzingwa, director of Lost Tongue.

Lost Tongue will screen at on 10 July at Maru Maru Hotel, Stone Town at 11:40am. Director Davison Mudzingwa will be in attendance.

The film has been supported by Entrepreneurship Africa (EA) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).
Lost Tongue Trailer Link:


MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS AT ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016

ZIFF 2016 is a feast of films, exhibitions – and also music! This year ZIFF celebrates the music of Zanzibar and Tanzania with a few very special guests included in the mix! ZIFF 2016’s music programme starts off with a bang on Sunday July 10th with international hip hop sensation Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) performing LIVE at the Mambo Club. Hip hop fans are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience when this legendary performer takes to the ZIFF stage.

Monday the 11th sees the Dhow Country Music Academy bringing the sounds of traditional Zanzibari music to the stage with performances from Afro Jazz Taraab, Fahari Group, Kidumbak and the Fussion n Western Band. More traditional sounds of the Dhow countries will be presented on Tuesday the 12th with Matona|Ashimba Fusion, Music Del Lles|Buzzi Modern Taarab and Matona N G Cliff Band.

Wednesday July 13th is Reggae Night at the Mambo Club – featuring a host of African reggae artists including Ras Katongo, Mash Marley/Ras Koko, Dabo from Dar es Salaam, Black Lion From the USA and The Island Band. Thursday ZIFF pays tribute to Zanzibari legend Bi Kidude with a host of women DJ’s and performers  including Playing With Knives (Samira Bin Sharifu) of London who has performed internationally with Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). The line up will also include Clouds FM’s own DJ Sinyorita and performances from Sada Nassor, Baby J and Snura.

As we head into the final weekend of ZIFF, Friday July 15th the Mambo Club presents Usiku Wa Sauti Tamu with a line-up including Galatone, Bayo, Tid, and Kassim Mnganga. Saturday July 16th is the official ZIFF Awards Ceremony followed by a night of hip hop at the Mambo Club. Join Bodea, Ison, Juma Nature, Young Killer, Stamina, Ben Poul and Fid Q for an unforgettable night of African hip-hop.

The final night of ZIFF music and performing arts is on Sunday July 17th – Zenj Night with the Waiz fashion show, Kira Kiramy, Abramy, Pozi Adimu, Dogo Fani and Smile. Tickets for all events will be on sale on the day at the Old Fort information desk. For all the latest updates and more information make sure to like ZIFF on Facebookwww.facebook.comm/zanzibarinternationalfilmfestival, like us on twitter @ZIFF_2016, and follow us on Instagram: ZanzibarInternationalFilmFest.

ABOUT ZIFF
Just the name Zanzibar conjures up positive and mythical images – long known as a hub of trade, communications and a true cultural melting pot – Zanzibar is one of Africa’s top tourism destinations – and for good reason.

ZIFF is one of the highlights of the island nation’s cultural calendar with thousands of people attending every year. Films, filmmakers, film-lovers and tourists all flock to the 9 day event that celebrates music, the arts and the spirit of the island itself.

The ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries is organized by ZIFF, a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1998 in Zanzibar to promote and showcase the culture of the Dhow Countries.

ZIFF is:
·      The largest multi-disciplinary cultural festival of its kind in East Africa.
·      The longest running film festival in the region
·      Listed in the top 5 film and music festivals in Africa
·      Tourism friendly - has acquired the reputation of a top Cultural Tourism product
·      International- on average over 40 countries are represented.
·      Music –oriented programme that includes over 30 local, regional and international acts
·      Social aware with ties with cultural, civic, film and social NGO’s across Africa
·      Developmental – with a strong focus on workshops and outreach

·      Business friendly – with various partners, sponsors and a market driven approach to film,      tourism & culture.

THE MOST AMAZING POSITIVE VIBES FROM SOME OF THE YOUNG FOLKS DOES IN JOZI THAT WE HARDLY KNOW!

Tebogo Ditshego is a former freelance journalist writing for Avusa Media publications such as the Business Day, Sowetan and Sunday Times and he holds Honors in Communications and Media Studies from the University of Johannesburg and a certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin in the US.
He grew up in Kagiso, which is in the West Rand of Johannesburg and started his first company Ditshego Media in 2011. In 2015, Tebogo was listed as one of Fast Company Magazine’s top 100 most creative South Africans in business. Later that year, the Sowetan featured him as one of South Africa’s top 100 young bosses. In 2014, he was also named one of the top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail and Guardian.
Tebogo Ditshego was nominated for the University of Johannesburg’s Alumni Digitas Award in 2015, which honors graduates who achieve a dynamic legacy of accomplishment. In 2006 and 2007 he was elected twice consecutively to serve in the University of Johannesburg’s Student Representative Council. He also represented the University of Johannesburg twice consecutively at the annual Southern African Communications Conference for his honours research essays.
Tebogo Ditshego is the chief executive officer (CEO) of South African public relations agency Ditshego Media. Forbes Magazine included him in their list of the top 30 African entrepreneurs under 30 in 2014. In 2012 he founded an on-line book club called ReadaBookSA, which has grown to become the biggest on-line book club in Africa.
In 2016, Tebogo Ditshego published his first African fiction book "Kasi Nerd" which went on to be a bestseller. In June, 2014 Tebogo Ditshego participated in the Mandela Fellowship for Young African leaders in the US, a programme launched by US President Barack Obama. The Mail & Guardian newspaper listed Tebogo Ditshego as one of the top 200 youth in South Africa for the work he has done in spreading a culture of reading books.
He worked on the communications campaign for the "Mandela" banknotes for the South African Reserve Bank. In 2006 and 2007 he was selected twice consecutively to serve in the Student Representative Council at the University of Johannesburg. Tebogo Ditshego represented the University of Johannesburg twice consecutively to present his research papers at the Southern African Association of Communications Conference.
 @TebogoDitshego  (Twitter)



 

GET TO KNOW A TANZANIAN YOUNG POET WHO WAS CLOSE FRIEND OF TUPAC SHAKUR GODFATHER....

He is Sagittarian brother from Dar es salaam, Tanzania  known as GEORGE KYOMUSHULA. One of the few brothers here in AFRICA whom was capable enough to go at the middle of the unknown place just to find himself after struggled enough to reach a path which could lead him to experience the meaning of life and the term fact of being a man whom will be in need in future to take care of his own family as a FATHER.
GEORGE M.E. KYOMUSHULA
He was one of the peer age brother whom young folks like us we can learn a lot from him, George from mid class family found a bit about himself after he experience hard knock life style in Dar es salaam, soon after graduated secondary school, he enforced to look for a job so he can be able to handle his financial problems as a young man, and that was the beginning of a further step he started to take in order to reach the path of success, as a radical brother he expelled from the fine gig he had in Kilimanjaro International Airport where he got a job as a customer care in one of the well-known DUTY FREE SHOP right there in Kilimanjaro
SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERISM
He got the spirit due to the fact of hard knock life ,living broke with no job was bothering em a lot which led him got into crushes with his father, whom was after his feet often to force em to get outta of the hood to start look for a job, he did but things couldn’t work out the way supposed to be, so he seen to evacuate the harassment from his father whom was quiet rude to understand how hard to find a job even if it will be like the one with a form of plantation, I mean a job which the payment might be not be able to buy even a GIN, this young fella decided to join the local NGO in his neck of the wood (KIWALANI) the N.G.O was focusing on taking care the orphans and street  children, George decided to volunteer as a ENGLISH TEACHER of the those young kids, he did all that to avoid spending time at home work for nothing yet  his relationship and his father were no good cause of being useless at home for not having a job.

He did the volunteering for months and months while he was applying for a job into millions of companies though he didn’t even have qualifications, he did that cause he wanted to accomplish his goals and as we all know cash rules everything around us. He got a job, and he unluckily he messed it up for the fact of being so radical, worked with foreigners some of them takes an African people like KUNTA KINTE, and my boy George couldn’t take it…bang! Hangs blew up.
BEEN BROKE…NO JOB, WHAT NEXT??
George in KIA half desert far from home, while pockets are still empty though he was living with his cousin called EVANCE whom was baling at that time cause he had fine job, this brother (George) once again took a risky for left the house of his cousin and get himself interior of ARUSHA village known IMBASENI VILLAGE after have a link with former EX CHAIRMAN OF BLACK PANTHER PARTY from KANSAS CITY CHAPTER..Black Panther Party was an Afro American party in early 60’s formed for the civil rights movement of Black People at that time...It was formed by HUEY P NEWTON and BOBBY SEALE, google about it BLACK PANTHER PARTY….let get going to our story.

George met  70years old man known as PETE O’NEAL who is living in exile at ARUSHA, Pete was former chairman of BLACK PANTHER PARTY in KANSAS CITY, these guys became friends and GEORGE decided to settle at Pete’s place there in rural village of Imbaseni-ARUSHA .Pete is a founder of Nonprofit Organization known UNITED AFRICAN ALLIANCE COMMUNITY CENTER, where became a new home of GEORGE KYOMUSHULA whom few months ago was struggling volunteering in DAR ES SALAAM back in 2008 just to stay away from the fact of known as JOBLESS.
KYOMUSHULA MET   2PAC SHAKUR GOD FATHER -GERONIMO JI JAGGA.
As a coordinator of United African Alliance Community Center this young man had a close tie friend with 2Pac Shakur  Godfather whom was living with UAACC FAMILY in a same village there in ARUSHA, George was introduced to GERONIMO JI JAGGA whom was formed top leader of Black Panther Party in LOS ANGELS where Ji jagga sentenced 27 years in PRISON for the crime which he didn’t committed, Geronimo  Elmer Pratt as his second name decided to shift from U.S.A to ARUSHA Tanzania after won a case and found not guilty, he decided to shift in AFRICA after  his friend PETE O’NEAL whom is still in exile here in Tanzania, Geronimo shifted  to TANZANIA and worked with the UAACC to empower the community there in ARUSHA,Geronimo lived in ARUSHA for couple years till last year when he passed away….Geronimo died last year 2011 and in his will he didn’t want his body to be taken back in STATES so was burned in respect and his ashes scattered in Lake Victoria and Mountain Kilimanjaro, and George Kyomushula was selected by the elders  and close family and friends of Geronimo Ji Jagga to take the ashes of his friend and go scattered them in lake Victoria.
GEORGE KYOMUSHULA WITH UNITED AFRICAN ALLIANCE COMMUNITY CENTER- UAACC
As a second phase volunteer George started to Volunteer as English Teacher of the UAACC ENGLISH CLASSES, he taught and taught for free which built em in good way of continue the spirit of helping peoples though he was seeking for help at the same place. Education program which UAACC host are FREE English classes, Computer Classes, and Music classes which one of the illiest Kenyan Music producer brother Akula Akwabi a.k.a DUNGA was one of the first MUSIC TEACHER, in details that nonprofit organization UAACC is well known in ARUSHA for promoting young folks to reach the road of success by believe on what they seeks and follow what their hearts tells them to go..UAACC promoted early HIP HOP MCS in Tanzania like X PLASTAZ, WATENGWA, CHINDO,JCB,ALWATAN KWERE,KALAMASHAKA member KAMAU of UKOO FLANI MAUMAU, and last couple years M1 of DEAD PREZ from US visited the center when they were working on a documentary known as NI WAKATI,.

Through that this dude started to see a light within his thoughts that one day he will reach where he want to go, few months later though he was still a volunteer he became the COORDINATOR of FREE EDUCATION PROGRAMS which are down by UAACC..he continue to web weave the hype network with different type of people especially from U.S  most of them are revolutionaries of back in the days when MARTIN LUTHER KING and MALCOM X fights for civil rights, This young man turned to be one of the most radical POET, and WRITER inspiration from his friend and elder sister MAMA CHARLOTTE HILL O’NEAL wife of PETE O’NEAL whom is also a POETESS, and artist with no boundaries, she taught him how to achieve many different things in life, yet she is the one whom turned GEORGE to be a poet,writer,photographer,percussion in her band, yet George was the teacher of different classes even physical education (Basket ball coacher of UAACC students team) George started to discover himself.
GEORGE KYOMUSHULA AS AN ACTIVIST 
He is an activist which you can tell through his articles and his poems, he always talks about Malcom X and some socialism doctrines, he is down for changes and composes amazing quotes of himself  talking about PAN AFRICANISM, LIFE , STRUGGLES and different type of things which if you are lazy on thinking you will get bored..Lol… but I don’t, he teaches with example like cousin of Jesus.
5 AMAZING THINGS ABOUT HIM.
-A picture of himself when he was 24 is hanging on  a wall of national Library of BOSTON UNIVERSITY in U.S.A as the best picture taken from Africa; picture was taken by one of the American student whom was a student of photograph.

-He abandoned the admission from UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM which he applied to go study certificate of Law, why he did that? He doubted would score first class as he wished to do it so he can get a full government sponsorship.

-He never got busted though he operates his own company of supplying chicken meats in the hotels while it wasn’t registered in Tanzania Revenue Authority.

-He tried to do millions things to achieve success for 10 years and only one plan he did, it has got flying color this year after got a job in Dar es salaam.


-He has no enemy neither best friend though he does have friend.