This is the first of a two-part blog post titled Black on Both Sides. I’m sure the Hip-Hop aficionados remember and probably still play Black on Both Sides, Mos Def’s classic break out album, right? Mos Def or should I say Yasiin Bey now, as he changed his name recently hasn’t been bringing the classics lately but his shit was hot fire when [...]
This is Part 1 of a two-part blog on “Hood” Movies in South Africa.
Right now I am hungry for a brothers in-the-hood movie, completely gangster. With Impala 64’s and slow moving drive-by assassinations, “chicken-head” women chattering all over the place and smack talking. Scenarios where the kid on a BMX is selling crack, under-aged and with a piece hidden in his dungarees. A completely incorrect movie, with lots of bad stereotypes. A future NFL star in trouble after an unnecessary 187, elder brothers trying to be lawyers, N.W.A on rotation, doo-rags, street water hydrants raining water on the kids on the street playing soccer. Projects poverty, house parties regardless of that financial situation, and silly college romances from 18 year old baby mamas. College drop-outs in a heat-box. The hot-box being a bedroom with an NES, with Punch - Out. And the main actor, he just trying to finish college but he finds himself breaking bad.
That was the satisfying formula for the “hood” movies in America. There was a time they were a genre and were enjoyable. Back at my old high-school, these types of movies used to pull the most crowds. But America has changed now.
So, I guess now South Africa should take up this mantle and give us something from the hood.
So we need the scene to be Soweto. Sun-baked sky that punishes when it rises but calls all the brothers or the “amasoja” to action for the day. We track the corner of the street merchants as they catch taxis to move from the south to the north, where they sell cell-phone chargers and sunglasses at the corner of William Nicol and Witkkoppen roads. Then we want the young bloods, barely twenty waking up in the shacks, jeans and pants, putting on the “wife-beater” vest. A room cluttered with unclean clothes, blankets, tin cans, newspapers, rizzlers, left-over weed, condoms. A ’44 piece hidden inside the pillow.
Dust roads, high-density housing, and vendors on the side of the road selling on aluminum tables on bricks. Selling sweets and airtime. House with a constantly in-repair Peugeot 504. Non-running taxi combis. Then a suited up smart boy who speaks fluent English, full suit and tie. But ready to go to Johannesburg City to sell airtime to the middle class in the bustling CBD. Gatherings at BMWs by the growth point, pumping Brown Dash and Mzekezeke . Women in Pick N Pay uniforms catching taxis for their shifts. Still carrying a Nokia with taxi money wrapped in elastic band tied around the phone. Some pretty young girls, or “gelz” hanging around some of the rough BMW owners, questionable at best. Watch Brown Dash’s “Umthandazo Wabo Lova” video to get a feel of the setting.
South African culture is so rich, that it is very possible to make a completely “Boyz n the Hood” movie of quality. We had “Tsotsi” that focused more on coming of age and seeing a different perspective to life by raising a baby. But also juxtaposed ghetto living with lavish Sandton living for the child’s parents. We had “Hi-jack Stories” that focused on an urban youth experiencing ghetto life, getting disapproving looks from the rough looking hoods, when he asked for a soft-drink at a local shebeen/house party. Then we had Jerusalema, which was a Scarface type movie for leaving the taxi industry to become a thug estate manager, literally hi-jacking rental apartments.
All these were good movies, but I think it’s time we got a consolidated view, taking in all the ghetto living, and placing some chaps in it, with ambitions, and goals, then seeing different paths emerge based on decisions taken. Think 2002s “City of God”. With a budget of R$8.5 million Brazilian Reals (about US$4 million), it grossed US$30 million with minimal marketing. So it’s possible.
To Be Continued…
Here is a bit about the blogger in his own words:
I believe that I am a reformer of the mind, though at times confusion is required to unsettle the blocks so we can reform them. I have delusions of grandeur, and do believe there will be some reckoning of my wasted talents, I hope it comes soon, else I will just settle for dormant super-powers. I am a writer, though I don’t exhibit some of the “writer” habits, like reading many books. I like reading articles and stories online though, and I love reading my own work, especially after others have complemented it. I’m a Christian so illogical things can be perfectly logical to me. I love movies and TV shows and actors who go beyond, I love Japanese Anime as the Japanese always go beyond. I was raised by Wu-tang Clan, Nintendo and Manchester United, so I believe I am the best in my field but the world doesn’t know it yet. Oh, and yes, I am Zimbabwean.
Favourite Film and TV Show - Terminator 2 (movie) and Spartacus (current best)
The first TV show or film you ever watched if you can remember - Rainbow?
Something silly/fun about you - I drew my first comic when I was 10 years old, it was called “Mudman
There are a couple of actors that I do not particularly care for, and Hugh Grant is one of them. Nothing against him as a person I should add - after all, I don’t know the man individually as I have never met him. The only bit of semi personal knowledge I have is that [...]
This story does my heart good. As a proud Nigerian-American hearing news about the homeland that doesn’t involve a Nigerian prince asking for money via email, makes me a little giddy. A few years ago, Nigeria launched 2 satellites in to space. According to the BBC these satellites are now being used to keep tabs on [...]
This is the first blog post in a Blog Series called Mafuta Vibes. Are You Allowed To Be Fat? So I don’t blog much, so this is my first blog. I do write lots about me and life in my diary, like most young girls do. But today I am branching out and trying this whole blogging [...]
At some point in your life you have heard the names One Piece, Naruto, or Bleach if not then definitely these Digimon, Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. Growing up some of us didn’t know these cartoons were a subculture of Anime. I’ll approach this post on the chances that the majority of our community are [...]
The 90′s were famous for their many comedies whether black, white or homegrown. When I think of the comedies that I enjoyed as a young girl my mind goes to Friends, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Martin I loved those comedies. They just used to make laugh so much. I love the lightness and sometimes [...]
Today we are proud to announce that we are launching a subscription service for all our users. For US$5.99 per month you will get unlimited access to all our TV shows and films. We have redesigned the Wabona website and we are launching this new service with some new West African films on Wabona. We want to make [...]
Since we had such amazing feedback on our soap opera post, I thought it would be good to speak about Generations new villainess or b*tch. Her name is Noluntu Mamela, played so well by rising star Zenande Mfenyana and she is ruthless, cold, charming and scary.
As a young girl, I was a big soapie lover. I loved all the soap operas from Days of Our Lives to Backstage. I must admit that in the 1990′s and early 2000′s my favourite soap operas were the South African ones. I just could not miss an episode of Generations and Isidingo. The backstabbing [...]
Posted in Wabona on March 27th, 2013 By wabona
Game of Thrones Season 3 is about to start and here is Wabona CEO, Simbarashe telling you why he loves it.