Schlagwort-Archive: murder

Interview: Film director Teboho Edkins

German-South African film director about his work and Southern Africa

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Teboho Edkins, born in 1980 in the United States of America, grown up in Lesotho, Germany, South Africa as well as France, is film director and following the career of his renowned father Don Edkins, one of the most famous film producers of South Africa.

In Cape Town he studied Arts and he enhanced his course of studies with post graduations in France and Germany.  Teboho Edkins documentaries are characterized by sociolcritical bias, for which he has taken several awards. In addition, he took part  at umpteen film festivals, such as FID Marseille, Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), International Filmfestival Innsbruck, Vision du Reel Nyon, Tampere Short Film Festival or Berlinale.  Teboho Edkins is explaining to our South Africa web portal his job-related visions and documentaries on South Africa.


2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German gateway to South Africa, the in Berlin living filmmaker Teboho Edkins. You concentrate in your work on documentaries with sociocritical messages on South African issues. In „Ask me I’m positive“, „True Love“, or „Looking Good“ you focused your productions on HIV. What are the reasons to debate this pandemic?

Anwer: The HIV pandemic, especially in Lesotho at the time when I made my first film, Ask me I’m positive, was a monster that could simply not be ignored, it was all prevalent but at the same time invisible –not understood. Just image- Lesotho in 2004 was a county where almost 30% of the population was infected with HIV, but only a handful of people were public about their status and three of these were the protagonists in the film. There was (and still is to an extent is) such confusion and prejudice about the disease that it was the only topic I felt I could make a film about.

What helped make the film possible was that it was part of a really exciting revolutionary series of 35 films titled, STEPS for the future, on HIV by Southern African filmmakers that had been launched in 2000.

In my other film True Love, I don’t really deal with the HIV pandemic as such, but it so happens that the character in Lesotho is HIV, so its not about him being HIV positive but rather about a person that happens to be HIV positive experiencing love and sex. (That he is HIV positive is the status quo, I am trying to show how beyond having the virus one lives a normal life- and I think this is really important to understand especially in the context of Southern Africa where so many people are infected).

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In „Gangster Project 1, you are taking a new topic with regard to crime in South Africa. Are you changing your view on other social challenges?

Answer: Well I am not really a political activist, so I make films on topics that I find relevant and interesting, and that I want to explore filmically. After the HIV films for instance I made Gangster Project 1, a sort of deconstruction of a Gangster Rap video with real gangsters and then I also made Kinshasa 2.0  a short film about democracy and the internet using second life, a virtual world …

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Your new movie will be handling with crime in South Africa, too. What’s the exactly title of your newest production, when it will be come out in Germany and what it is about?

Answer: The working title of my latest film is Gangster Project . (its sort of picks up on the idea of Gangster Project 1). Briefly it is a feature length half-fiction half documentary Gangster film shot in Cape Town, South Africa.. The basic story is a young white person wanting to make a perfect gangster film, without really knowing what gangsters are, he meets various gangsters, finally casts what he believes are the perfect gangsters for his film, hangs out with them and pretty soon finds their life uninspiring and boring, the violence they commit petty and dirty so he starts to instigate acts of violence himself (all in the spirit of making his gangster film), and so paradoxically grows closer to them and understands them as people with real fears, too frightened to leave their house…

© Teboho Edkins (third one from left) with actors of his movie "Gangster Project"

We are still in the postproduction phase of this film, so it will only be properly finished, that at is colour graded, mixed etc end of November. We will then initially launch it onto the film festival circuit, including festivals in Germany and then perhaps a television station might buy it or it might show in a small cinema here and there for a short time…. its early days yet.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How do you would like to describe the current crime situation in South Africa?

Answer: I am not an expert on crime in South Africa but the statistics all say its one of the most violent countries in the world, has one of the highest murder rates, rape rates etc.

I do understands though that the crime is very uneven (South Africa is famous as the land of contrasts no? ) meaning that you are much, much more likely to be killed or raped if you are poor and live in a township, so the crime has to be understood geo politically, within the political apartheid context of South Africa. Which is why in my film the white boy leaves his relatively safe neighbourhood to go where the violence is and is consumed by it…

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which experience has you already done with German partners in respect of film distribution. Your documentaries are targeting explicit South African problems, so the question arises if your arts getting a good feedback by German cinemas, broadcastings and spectators?

Answer: That is an interesting question. I studied at a post grad art institution in France and did a post grad film school in Berlin so even if I made films in Southern Africa I often did it through European Institutions and funding and I would like to think that if the film is good as a film, then the location is not as important as the way one goes about making the film and the filmmaking process make it interesting beyond its location.

So in fact my films have had most of their successes and distribution at European films festivals like Oberhausen Short film festival, Visions Du Reel, Leipzig, Berlinale, Marseille etc as well as European television stations like ARTE, YLE, TV2..

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Will it be imaginable to produce one day movies from genre entertainment/ science fiction, such as your South African colleague Neill Blomkamp with District 9? These movies are very successful according to turnover, but their are losing in many cases the real message to the public. Do you agree with this opinion?

Answer: Its often true that the larger a budget a film has, the more it is controlled by the producers or the studios and leaves the director less and less control. And I don’t’ think I would ever want to make a film over which I don’t have control, even (or especially) if it’s a Slasher Zombie set in a nature reserve..

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which are your next cinematic ideas and will you shoot a film with your father Don Edkins, who is counting to one of the most famous film producers from South Africa?

Answer: In fact I am currently working on my next idea, (which is partly why I am in South Africa as I write this), but would rather keep quite about if for the moment, its still very half baked. And yes working with my father Don Edkins, – he produced my first two documentary films, was really rewarding (even if it made my mother a bit irritated that is all we would talk about, and bring the stress to the dinner table) and I would love to work make more films with him.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Teboho Edkins, thank you very much for your time to this interview!


This interview has been translated in German. For this one please click on following link:


Teboho Edkins at „Berlinale Talent Campus“:


2010sdafrika-Artikel published on

Exklusive Interview with Zanele Muholi

Exklusive interview with the if possible most provoking artist of South Africa

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

© Artist Zanele Muholi

In 1972, Zanele Muholi was born in township Umlazi/Durban. She is  skilled photograph as well activist for women´s rights  and homosexual  relationships. Her photography is presenting black women, especially their intimacy. In conservative South Africa meets this open exposure with the female body with much resistance. In March 2010 was planned, that the Minister of Arts and Culture, Lulu Xingwana, should open an exhibition of black female artists in Johannesburg, but as she had seen photos of Zanele Muholi, she denounced her art as „immoral, pornographic and against nation-building„. In consequence of this feelings she leaved angry this exhibition. However, Zanele Muholi, who is living in a lesbian relationship, is receiving by the international art scene much encouragement, respect and awards. Our South Africa web portal is pleased as much more to interview this „power woman“, who don´t to mince one´s words. Weiterlesen

Schriftsteller Roger Smith im Interview

Die Wahrnehmung des demokratischen Südafrikas aus der Sicht eines Bestseller-Autors

Bestseller-Autor Roger Smith

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Südafrika ist jetzt eine Demokratie mit der Möglichkeit einer politischen Partizipation für alle Bevölkerungsgruppen. Welche sind die größten Herausforderungen, die diese Nation zu bewältigen hat?

Antwort: Die Apartheid endete Mitte der 90er Jahre und Südafrika wurde unter Nelson Mandela vom einstigen Paria der Weltgemeinschaft zum Liebling aller Nationen. Bedauerlicherweise platzte die Blase als Mandela abtrat.

Die Lücke zwischen Reich und Arm war niemals größer. Wir haben heute die höchste HIV/AIDS-Verbreitung weltweit und Kriminalität sowie Korruption haben die Apartheid als größtes gesellschaftliches Übel abgelöst. Südafrikas Spitzenpolizist [damit gemeint ist Jackie Selebi] – während seiner Verhaftung Police Commissioner und Präsident von Interpol gewesen – steht wegen kriminellen Geschäften und der Annahme von Bestechungsgeldern durch die Organisierte Kriminalität unter Anklage.

Die südafrikanischen Tötungsdeliktstatistiken sind erschreckend – eine von vier südafrikanischen Frauen wird im Laufe ihres Lebens vergewaltigt. Um die 1.500 Kinder sind letztes Jahr in Südafrika ermordet worden. Die meisten dieser Kinder wurden zudem sexuell missbraucht.

Südafrikaner haben eine Menge worauf sie stolz sein können und sollten sich trauen, die sozialen Übel in unserem Lande nicht zu ignorieren.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Ihr neues Buch „Wake Up Dead“ (zu Deutsch: Blutiges Erwachen) gibt eine atemraubende Wahrnehmung der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft wieder. Das deutsche Magazin FOCUS bezeichnete Ihr Roman als „blutiger Bilderrausch“.  Um was geht es in Ihrem Buch und in welchem Kontext steht es mit der Realität?

Antwort: Meine Bücher sind natürlich reine Fiktion, beschreiben jedoch sehr realistisch Südafrika und Kapstadt. Das ganze Kapstadt, nicht nur die touristischen Gegenden.

Roman "Blutiges Erwachen"

Die „Cape Flats“ – die Kehrseite einer Postkarte Kapstadts – handeln von gewalttätigen Orten, welche man außerhalb von Kriegsgebieten findet. Vor 40 Jahren  hatte die Apartheid jeden nicht weißer Hautfarbe in diesem windgepeitschten Hüttenlabyrinth und Streichholzschachtelhäuser abgeladen. Regiert von Drogenbossen und Verbrechern, haben diese Hütten die höchsten Vergewaltigungs- und Mordraten in Südafrika überhaupt und die Sexualdelikte gegenüber Kindern sind erschreckend.

Mein Partner – welcher in einem dieser Hütten aufgewachsen ist – berät missbrauchte Kinder und erzählt mir Geschichten, die mir Albträume bereiten. Wenn dies im Westen passieren würde, würde es zu einem Aufschrei kommen. Hier bringt es kaum Schlagzeilen.

All dies hat seinen Niederschlag in meinen Büchern gefunden.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Denken Sie, dass Südafrika in der Lage ist die Weltmeisterschaft 2010 abzuhalten und die Basissicherheit von einer halben Million Gäste – so die Erwartung des Gastgebers – zu gewährleisten?

Antwort: Die Weltmeisterschaft wird ein gewaltiger Auftrieb für Südafrika sowie für den afrikanischen Kontinent sein und ich prognostiziere einen großen Erfolg. Südafrika veranstaltete 1995 die Rugby-Weltmeisterschaft, 2003 die Cricket-Weltmeisterschaft sowie letztes Jahr den COSAFA Cup [ = regionale Fußballmeisterschaft]. Natürlich kommt keine dieser Veranstaltungen an die Bedeutung der FIFA-Weltmeisterschaft heran, aber was ich sehe ist, dass die Infrastruktur/ Kapazitäten vorhanden sind.

Ich denke nicht, dass die Besucher der Weltmeisterschaft in Gefahr sein werden. Denn die traurige Wahrheit ist, dass die meisten Opfer von Kriminalität und Gewalt in den Ghettos und in den ländlichen Regionen leben; weit weg von der Blase der privilegierten Touristen, in der sich diese selbst befinden, wenn sie Südafrika zu Besuch kommen.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Roger Smith, wir danken Ihnen für Ihre Sicht der Dinge!

—— Das Interview wurde in Englisch geführt und ist ins Deutsche übersetzt worden. Unten ist das Originalinterview ebenfalls abgebildet.


—> Blutiges Erwachen


The perception of South Africa by Roger Smith, South African bestseller author

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is now a democracy with political participation for all sections of the population. Which are the biggest national challenges?

Answer: Apartheid ended by the mid-nineties, and South Africa went from being pariah of the world to everybody’s darling under Nelson Mandela. Unfortunately, the bubble burst when Mandela moved on.

The gap between rich and poor has never been greater. We now have the highest incidence of HIV/ Aids statistics in the world, and crime and corruption has replaced apartheid as our number one social ill. South Africa’s top cop – still commissioner of police and head of Interpol at the time of his arrest – is on trial for racketeering and taking bribes from organized crime.

The South African homicide statistics are off the charts, and one in four South African women will be raped in her lifetime. Nearly 1 500 children were murdered in South Africa last year. Most of these children were also sexually violated.

South Africans have much to be proud of, be we dare not ignore the social ills in our country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Your new book „Wake Up Dead“ (in German: Blutiges Erwachen) is reflecting a very breathtaking perception on the South African society. The German magazin FOCUS declared your novel as „bloody inebriation of images“ (in German: Blutiger Bilderrausch). What is your book talking about and in which context is it connected with the reality?

Answer: My books are fiction, of course, but they are a very realistic depiction of South Africa and Cape Town. All of Cape Town, not just the tourist spots.

Novel "Wake Up Dead"

The Cape Flats – the flipside of the Cape Town picture postcard – is about as violent a place as you’ll find outside of a war zone. Forty years ago, the apartheid government dumped anybody who wasn’t white out in this windswept maze of shacks and matchbox houses. Ruled by drug lords and gangsters, the Flats has the highest number of rapes and murders in South Africa, and sex crimes against children are off the charts.

My partner – who grew up out on the Flats – counsels abused children, and tells me stories that give me nightmares. If this was happening anywhere in the West there would be an outcry. Here it barely makes the newspapers.

All of this has found its way into my books.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think South Africa is already poised for hosting the World Cup 2010 and to ensure the basically security of the estimated half million of guests?

Answer: The World Cup will be a huge boost for the country, and for the African continent, and I predict that it will be a great success. South Africa has hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, as well as the COSAFA Cup last year. Of course, none of these are on the scale of the FIFA World Cup, but from what I have seen, the infrastructure is in place.

I don’t think visitors to the World Cup will be in danger. The sad truth is that most victims of crime and violence live in the ghettoes and rural areas, far from the bubble of privilege tourists find themselves in when they visit South Africa.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Roger Smith, we would like to thank you for your personal view to this matter!


—> Wake Up Dead: A Thriller