May 24, 2012

Hlonipha Makoena, Author of Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual:

“Dear Mandela is a colour-saturated and vivid story of young people organising themselves into a protest movement against forced evictions, relocations and their impoverished conditions. In the year that the African National Congress celebrates its 100th anniversary, the name of Nelson Mandela will be invoked many times to affirm and reaffirm the righteousness and timeliness of South Africa’s liberation from an oppressive apartheid system. Dear Mandela is a different kind of invocation – it does not seek to merely remind the audience of the end of apartheid and the sacrifices that were made to bring that about. It is a reminder that the end of apartheid was also the beginning of promises: starting with Mandela’s “never again” and culminating in the “better life for all” message of recent elections, South Africa’s poor have been promised a place in the new South Africa and it is time to deliver. Dear Mandela is the best kind of expression of what these promises mean to a young generation, who were probably too young to vote in the first election of 1994, but are old enough to know how to read the Constitution and the rights enshrined in it. Dear Mandela is their cri de coeur and manifesto. For anyone wanting to understand how the voiceless and powerless make their demands known, Dear Mandela is a must.”

Marie Huchzermeyer, Author, Cities with ‘Slums’: From Informal Settlement Eradication to a Right To The City In Africa:

“Filmmakers Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza sensitively capture how everyday life in an informal settlement intersects with the threat of eradication. Dear Mandela touches us with the doubts, fears, reflection and courage of members of the Abahlali shack dwellers movement in Durban in their resolve to defend a new democracy against its custodians’ resort to apartheid era legislation against informal settlements. In the depth of the backlash that the Kennedy Road community endured, this documentary leaves us with questions that few have dared to ask about the new South Africa”.