Zimbabweans in S.A write their own story

Self-taught filmmakers Cleopas Shumbanhete (24) and Carlon Chinogureyi (19), born in Zimbabwe and now living in South Africa, have produced a film highlighting the plight of Zimbabwean border jumpers.

Carlon Chinogureyi says more films are coming.
Carlon Chinogureyi says more films are coming.

The 48-minute The Border Jumper exposes what it’s like for some Zimbabweans living in South Africa and the dangers encountered by those who cross the border without proper travel documents.

The film was shot among Zimbabwean communities in Montclair, Durban. “The film reveals the painful journey travelled by desperate Zimbabweans as they leave home, pass through dangerous rivers and bushes in search of greener pastures across the River Limpopo,” Shumbanhete told The Zimbabwean.

“We also chronicle the tough and risky lives led by a significant number of Zimbabweans in the cities of South Africa as they struggle to earn a living, sometimes through immoral means.”

According to Shumbanhete, the film will reveal the plight of Zimbabwean immigrants to the world through the first-hand accounts of people who appear in the film.

The film, which took three months to write and shoot, also exposes the ‘gumagumas’, who rob border jumpers of their goods in the bush.

Relations between Zimbabweans and their hosts in South Africa are also laif bare in the film.

Though it was appreciated that desperation due to poverty led some Zimbabweans into criminal and other antisocial activities such as prostitution, the film urges those affected to maintain their dignity regardless. The devastating effects of prostitution and drug abuse are highlighted.

Married people who left spouses back at home are encouraged to remain faithful to their partners lest they fall victim to HIV/AIDS. In light of the hardships encountered in a foreign land, the film urges Zimbabweans to unite and treat each other as family members to overcome the challenges.

The film, which is currently on DVD, has gone for approval to Mzansi Magic Studios, who helped with production equipment. If approved, it will be screened on channels 161, 162, 163 and 164, according to Shumbanhete.

The producers are calling upon talented and skilled Zimbabweans to come forward and participate in planned future movies.

Post published in: Entertainment

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